Interviews about religion and culture with brilliant people who will fan the flames of your curiosity.
BONUS—Let’s Talk (Anna Sale)
29:44Anna Sale says a loss of faith in social institutions has left people seeking alternative ways of celebrating, mourning, and connecting. At a fractured and disconnected moment in time, she urges us to reconnect by having hard conversations that are too-often avoided. Anna Sale is the host of the award-winning podcast Death, Sex, and Money from WNYC Studios, and author of the book “Let’s Talk About Hard Things.”
Ep. 10—Options (Taylor Petrey)
1:32:01Is human gender and sexuality fixed and binary, or malleable and multi-various? Taylor Petrey discusses the fascinating twists and turns in Latter-day Saint thought on these questions. By looking at LDS beliefs as they evolve over time, we might get a clearer view of where we are now and what's up ahead. Transcript at our website, firesidepod.org/episodes/petrey.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 9—Home (Lauren Sandler)
1:14:03Lauren Sandler was a journalist covering homelessness in New York City when she met Camilla, a woman without a home who didn’t seem to fit the homeless stereotype at all. Sandler tells Camilla’s story in This Is All I Got: A New Mother’s Search For Home. It’s an up close and personal account of one woman who shares the fate of millions of Americans battling homelessness and the stunning boring inefficient bureaucracy of it all.Transcript at our website, firesidepod.org/episodes/sandler.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 8—Slow Down (John Swinton)
59:52John Swinton’s path-breaking book, Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefulness, and Gentle Discipleship takes us through a brief history of time, showing how western culture has changed its experience of time in big ways, and how those changes have impacted people with intellectual disabilities, brain trauma, and people with conditions like Dementia. As a theologian, Swinton reflects on what this history suggests for Christianity. Transcript at our website, firesidepod.org/episodes/swinton.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 7—Reckoning (Anthea Butler)
1:03:15Anthea Butler is a top expert on religion, politics, and race in the United States. In her latest book White Evangelical Racism she tells the history of the rise of the Religious Right in America—Christians who are politically conservative, predominantly white, and Republican. As church attendance shrinks and public confidence and respect of religious people dwindles, Butler sees a moment of reckoning for American Christianity. Transcript at our website, firesidepod.org/episodes/butler.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 6—No Compartments (David Dark)
1:05:24David Dark seems hard to pin down. He's a professor of religion and the arts, he's a Christian, and also a self-identified agnostic. He engages readers all along the spectrum of belief by claiming that everyone believes in some sort of scripture, even if it's a sci-fi novel or a Radiohead album. Transcript at our website, firesidepod.org/episodes/dark.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 5—Lost and Found (Elaine Pagels)
1:09:25Elaine Pagels is a ground-breaking scholar of Christianity. Back in the Sixties she was a student at Harvard when long-forgotten ancient texts re-emerged, secret gospels challenging old religious ideas. That research shook up Christian history, but for Pagels, it was also really personal. And unlike most scholars, she decided to take her intensely personal stories public, writing about the incredible ups and tragic downs happening behind the scholarly scenes. Transcript at firesidepod.org/episodes/pagels.Buy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store.
Ep. 4—Revision (Kiese Laymon)
1:04:41Kiese Laymon is a writer and professor of English who believes time travel is possible. It's as easy to access as human language. Laymon discusses his re-released novel, 'Long Division' and his memoir 'Heavy.'Transcript at firesidepod.org/episodes/laymonBuy the book and other merch at firesidepod.org/store
Ep. 3—New Words (Mary Rakow)
1:18:54Things were falling apart in Mary Rakow’s life. Her writing was stagnating, her marriage was falling apart, and she broke up with God. Then Mary picked up a pen and created one of the most religiously rich books I’ve ever read in my life.Transcript at firesidepod.org/episodes/rakowBuy the book at firesidepod.org/store
Ep. 2—End Times (Adam Miller)
58:50If you ask philosopher Adam Miller what he thinks the end of the world will be like, he’d tell you it looks like the day his son turned fifteen years old. Not because anything remarkable that happened that day, but because it wasn’t remarkable at all. It was a day that came and went and then it was gone. And it’s never coming back. We face the end of worlds like this every day. But rather than despairing, this realization can energize us to appreciate the present even more.