On Being Podcast

On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you’ll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives — updated every Thursday. Hosted by Krista Tippett. Discover more at onbeing.org. On Being Studios is the producer of On Being, Becoming Wise, Creating Our Own Lives, and more to come.

Joy Ladin — Transgender Amid Orthodoxy: I Am Who I Will Be


Joy Ladin — Transgender Amid Orthodoxy: I Am Who I Will BeFor as far back as Joy Ladin can remember, her body didn’t match her soul. Gender defines us from the moment we’re born. But how is that related to the lifelong work of being at home in ourselves? ...
Mar-23-2017

[Unedited] Joy Ladin with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Joy Ladin with Krista TippettFor as far back as Joy Ladin can remember, her body didn’t match her soul. Gender defines us from the moment we’re born. But how is that related to the lifelong work of being at home in ourselves? ...
Mar-23-2017

Carlo Rovelli — All Reality Is Interaction


Carlo Rovelli — All Reality Is InteractionCarlo Rovelli offers vast, complex ideas beyond most of our imagining — "quanta," "grains of space," time and the heat of black holes" — and condenses them into spare, beautiful words that render t...
Mar-16-2017

[Unedited] Carlo Rovelli with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Carlo Rovelli with Krista TippettCarlo Rovelli offers vast, complex ideas beyond most of our imagining — "quanta," "grains of space," "time and the heat of black holes" — and condenses them into spare, beautiful words that render ...
Mar-16-2017

[Unedited] Bessel van der Kolk with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Bessel van der Kolk with Krista TippettHuman memory is a sensory experience, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he’s learning about how bodywork like y...
Mar-09-2017

Bessel van der Kolk — How Trauma Lodges in the Body


Bessel van der Kolk — How Trauma Lodges in the BodyHuman memory is a sensory experience, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he’s learning about how bodywork like y...
Mar-09-2017

Pádraig Ó Tuama — Belonging Creates and Undoes Us Both


Pádraig Ó Tuama  — Belonging Creates and Undoes Us BothPádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent di...
Mar-02-2017

[Unedited] Pádraig Ó Tuama with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Pádraig Ó Tuama with Krista TippettPádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent di...
Mar-02-2017

Marilyn Nelson — Communal Pondering in a Noisy World


Marilyn Nelson — Communal Pondering in a Noisy WorldMarilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicate...
Feb-23-2017

[Unedited] Marilyn Nelson with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Marilyn Nelson with Krista TippettMarilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicate...
Feb-23-2017

Margaret Wertheim — The Grandeur and Limits of Science


Margaret Wertheim — The Grandeur and Limits of ScienceA passionate translator of the beauty and relevance of scientific questions, Margaret Wertheim is also wise about the limits of science to tell the whole story of the human self. Her Institute for ...
Feb-16-2017

[Unedited] Margaret Wertheim with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Margaret Wertheim with Krista TippettA passionate translator of the beauty and relevance of scientific questions, Margaret Wertheim is also wise about the limits of science to tell the whole story of the human self across history and ...
Feb-16-2017

Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships


Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and RelationshipsWhat if the first question we asked on a date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton's essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" was, amazingly, th...
Feb-09-2017

[Unedited] Alain de Botton with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Alain de Botton with Krista TippettHow different would our relationships be if the question we asked on an early date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? A conversation with writer and philosopher Alain de Botton about t...
Feb-09-2017

[Unedited] Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne with Krista TippettThis conversation about Christianity and politics with three generations of evangelical leaders — Shane Claiborne, Greg Boyd, and the late Chuck Colson – feels more relevant in the wake of the 2016...
Feb-02-2017

Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne — How to Be a Christian Citizen: Three Evangelicals Debate


Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne  — How to Be a Christian Citizen: Three Evangelicals DebateWhite Evangelical Christians helped secure the election of President Trump. Many said that his views on abortion were decisive, overriding concerns they had on other matters. But to be Evangelical ...
Feb-02-2017

John Lewis — Love in Action


John Lewis — Love in ActionWe take in the extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis on what happened in Selma on Bloody Sunday and beyond - and how it might inform common life today. A rare look inside the civil rights ...
Jan-26-2017

[Unedited] John Lewis with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] John Lewis with Krista TippettThe extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis. A rare look inside the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation with themselves - and their intricate art of "love in action." This intervie...
Jan-26-2017

Eula Biss — Let's Talk About Whiteness


Eula Biss — Let's Talk About WhitenessCould we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens ...
Jan-19-2017

[Unedited] Eula Biss with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Eula Biss with Krista TippettEula Biss is a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. Her writing includes "On Immunity: An Inoculation" and "Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays." This conversation ...
Jan-19-2017

Anil Dash — Tech's Moral Reckoning


Anil Dash — Tech's Moral ReckoningA wildly popular blogger, tech entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley influencer, Anil Dash has been an early activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere — an aspiration which has now become an ...
Jan-12-2017

[Unedited] Anil Dash with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Anil Dash with Krista TippettAnil Dash is the CEO of Fog Creek Software. He also founded Makerbase, Activate, and the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Associatio...
Jan-12-2017

Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age


Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital AgeShe has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each da...
Jan-05-2017

[Unedited] Maria Popova with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Maria Popova with Krista TippettMaria Popova is the creator and editor of brainpickings.org and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episod...
Jan-05-2017

[Unedited] Gordon Hempton with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Gordon Hempton with Krista TippettGordon Hempton is founder and vice president of The One Square Inch of Silence Foundation, based in Joyce, Washington. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On ...
Dec-29-2016

Gordon Hempton — Silence and the Presence of Everything


Gordon Hempton — Silence and the Presence of EverythingSilence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox."...
Dec-29-2016

Eugene Peterson — Entering Into What Is There


Eugene Peterson — Entering Into What Is There"Prayers are tools not for doing or getting, but for being and becoming." These are words of the legendary biblical interpreter, teacher, and pastor Eugene Peterson. Frustrated with the unimaginati...
Dec-22-2016

[Unedited] Eugene Peterson with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Eugene Peterson with Krista TippettEugene Peterson served as a pastor for 29 years. He is the author of over 30 books including "Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer," "The Pastor: A Memoir," and "The Message: The Bible in ...
Dec-22-2016

Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman — Meeting Our Enemies and Our Suffering


Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman — Meeting Our Enemies and Our SufferingTwo legendary Buddhist teachers shine a light on the lofty ideal of loving your enemies and bring it down to Earth. How can that be realistic, and what do we have to do inside ourselves to make it ...
Dec-15-2016

[Unedited] Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman with Krista TippettSharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the co-author of "Love Your Enemies." Her other books include "Real Happi...
Dec-15-2016

Alice Parker — Singing Is the Most Companionable of Arts


Alice Parker — Singing Is the Most Companionable of ArtsSinging is able to touch and join human beings in ways few other arts can. Alice Parker is a wise and joyful thinker and writer on this truth, and has been a hero in the universe of choral music as...
Dec-07-2016

[Unedited] Alice Parker with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Alice Parker with Krista TippettAlice Parker is the artistic director of the non-profit Melodious Accord and is the author of "Melodious Accord: Good Singing in Church." She collaborated with the Robert Shaw Chorale for 20 years ...
Dec-07-2016

James Martin — Finding God in All Things


James Martin — Finding God in All ThingsBefore Pope Francis, James Martin was perhaps the best-loved Jesuit in American life. He’s followed the calling of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, to “find God in all thing...
Dec-01-2016

[Unedited] James Martin with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] James Martin with Krista TippettJames Martin is a Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine. His books include "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything," "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at t...
Dec-01-2016

[Unedited] Abigail Washburn + Béla Fleck with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Abigail Washburn + Béla Fleck with Krista TippettBéla Fleck has recorded over 40 albums, most famously with The Flecktones and New Grass Revival. His albums include "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo," "UFO Tofu," "Rocket Science," and "The Sparrow Quar...
Nov-24-2016

Béla Fleck + Abigail Washburn — Truth, Beauty, Banjo


Béla Fleck + Abigail Washburn — Truth, Beauty, BanjoThey are partners in music and in life — recovering something ancient and deeply American all at once, bringing both beauty and meaning to what they play and how they live. Béla Fleck is one of the...
Nov-24-2016

Isabel Wilkerson — The Heart Is the Last Frontier


Isabel Wilkerson — The Heart Is the Last FrontierGo to the doctor and they won't begin to treat you without taking your history — and not just yours, but that of your parents and grandparents before you. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel W...
Nov-17-2016

[Unedited] Isabel Wilkerson with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Isabel Wilkerson with Krista TippettIsabel Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of "The New York Times" and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2016. Her book "The Warmth o...
Nov-17-2016

Vincent Harding — Is America Possible?


Vincent Harding — Is America Possible?In an unsettled political moment, at the end of a divisive campaign, the late, great civil rights elder Vincent Harding is a voice of calm, wisdom, and perspective. He was wise about how the civil ...
Nov-10-2016

[Unedited] Vincent Harding with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Vincent Harding with Krista TippettThe late civil rights elder Vincent Harding was chairperson of the Veterans of Hope project at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, where he was professor of Religion and Transformation. He posed an...
Nov-10-2016

Michael Longley — The Vitality of Ordinary Things


Michael Longley — The Vitality of Ordinary ThingsTo reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift to Northern Ireland as one of its ...
Nov-03-2016

[Unedited] Michael Longley with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Michael Longley with Krista TippettMichael Longley has written more than 20 books of poetry including "Collected Poems," "Gorse Fires," and his most recent collection, "The Stairwell." This interview is edited and produced with musi...
Nov-03-2016

Natasha Trethewey and Eboo Patel — How to Live Beyond This Election


Natasha Trethewey and Eboo Patel — How to Live Beyond This ElectionThis political season has surfaced our need to reimagine and re-weave the very meaning of common life and common good. We take a long, nourishing view of the challenge and promise of this moment wi...
Oct-27-2016

[Unedited] Natasha Trethewey and Eboo Patel with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Natasha Trethewey and Eboo Patel with Krista TippettNatasha Trethewey was the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate. Her books include "Domestic Work," "Native Guard," and "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast." Eboo Patel is the founder and...
Oct-27-2016

[Unedited] David Brooks and E.J. Dionne with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] David Brooks and E.J. Dionne with Krista TippettDavid Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times. His books include "The Social Animal" and "The Road to Character." E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post. His books include "Souled ...
Oct-20-2016

David Brooks and E.J. Dionne — Sinfulness, Hopefulness, and the Possibility of Politics


David Brooks and E.J. Dionne — Sinfulness, Hopefulness, and the Possibility of PoliticsThis is a strange, tumultuous political moment. With columnists David Brooks and E.J. Dionne, we step back from the immediate political gamesmanship. We take public theology as a lens on the challe...
Oct-20-2016

Mary Karr — Astonished by the Human Comedy


Mary Karr — Astonished by the Human Comedy“A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” Mary Karr is beloved for her salty memoirs in which she traces her harrowing childhood in southeast Texas with a mother who o...
Oct-13-2016

[Unedited] Mary Karr with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Mary Karr with Krista TippettMary Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University. Her books include “The Liars’ Club,” “Lit,” and “Now Go Out There: (and Get Curious.)” Her celebrated g...
Oct-13-2016

Leonard Mlodinow — Randomness and Choice


Leonard Mlodinow — Randomness and ChoiceFundamental forces of physics somehow determine everything that happens, “from the birth of a child to the birth of a galaxy.” Yet physicist Leonard Mlodinow has an intriguing perspective on the ga...
Oct-06-2016

[Unedited] Leonard Mlodinow with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Leonard Mlodinow with Krista TippettLeonard Mlodinow is a physicist, and the author of several books including "The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives" and "Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life."...
Oct-06-2016