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Dialogues on meaning, ethics, and spirituality

“I grew up in a world where the deepest things shaping us were unspoken, and this galvanized me to seek to muster big enough questions and words for it all.” This is the motivation behind Krista Tippett’s award-winning radio show and podcast On Being which explores the religious, spiritual, and moral dimensions of life. First titled Speaking of Faith, the broadcast originally aired in 2003 as a radio show on Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media before being renamed On Being in 2010. Since 2003, Tippett and her team have engaged with a wide array of religious leaders, philosophers, poets, scholars, and activists in pursuit of shedding light on what Tippett calls the “animating questions at the center of human life: What it means to be human and how we want to live.”

Photo by Kyle Kaupanger via Unsplash.

The Conversations

On Being with Krista Tippett includes over 500 conversations with guests hailing from all around the globe. Below are just a few of those episodes.

Sacred Wilderness, An African Story (February 22, 2007)

In this episode, Tippett interviews Isabel Mukonyora, a scholar of religion who tries to reconcile religious traditions that European colonization imposed on Africans with the enduring presence of Indigenous spirituality. In particular, she has studied the Masowe Apostles, a religious movement practiced among her own Shona tribe. The Shona people live in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. As Mukonyora and Tippett discuss, the Masowe teachings and practices blend a reading of Biblical messages with an Indigenous reverence for the sacred wilderness.

Black & Universal (February 11, 2010)

E. Ethelbert Miller is a poet and activist who served as the Director of Howard University’s African American Resource Center for forty years. In his conversation with Tippett, he describes “Blackness” as a social, spiritual, artistic, and political consciousness rather than a mere physical characteristic.

Photo by Mali Maeder via Pexels.

Toward Living Memory (February 2nd, 2012)

In 2011, historian Tiya Miles received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” for her work delving into the intertwined stories of African and Indigenous peoples in America. Regarded as a critical innovator in the field, Miles emphasizes the metaphysical, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of public history.

Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Dialogue (July 25, 2013)

Tippett’s dialogue with David P. Gushee and Frances Kissling originally aired as part of her Civil Conversations project. In this dialogue, Gushee (a Baptist minister and Christian ethicist) and Frances Kissling (an activist in religion, women’s rights, and reproductive rights) engage about how to move beyond the “pro-choice/pro-life” binary in the public debate about abortion.

The On Being Project

Since airing in 2003, the Speaking of Faith broadcast has expanded into a broader initiative including a vast array of podcasts, dialogues, retreats, resources, and artistic offerings collectively referred to as the On Being Project.