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16 minutes | 3 years ago
The Things That Divide Us
Whether it’s a discussion in a college classroom or an argument around the Thanksgiving table, divisions in our society seem both more apparent and more intractable than ever before. Yet, even as divisions grow, we struggle with addressing these societal fault lines in productive ways. In this episode, Carr and Prerna talk about the moral and historical roots of current political and religious divides in American life and on college campuses and how people can rethink the paradigm around seemingly unresolvable disagreements.
17 minutes | 3 years ago
Where Do We Find a Communal Bond?
What bonds us together? In the present day, even when addressing issues meant to bring us together like interfaith cooperation, spaces and ideas of genuine unity can be hard to find. On this episode of Common Knowledge, Carr and Prerna discuss how two distinctive things—public schools and the food we eat—offer us examples of how genuine bonds can be formed even among stark difference.
21 minutes | 3 years ago
What is Leadership?
When you think of a leader, what image comes to mind? On this episode of Common Knowledge, Prerna and Carr discuss the idea of leadership in an increasingly diverse America. From civic activism spurred by natural and man-made disasters, to new theories of leadership inspired by a mix of personal spirituality and societal change, our hosts examine the aspects and qualities of a new generation of leaders.
23 minutes | 3 years ago
Identity: Moving Through the World in Challenging Times
This past year, how we identify ourselves has been contested, challenged, and redefined by events and social movements. To start the new season of Common Knowledge, Prerna and Carr talk about the changing concept of identity. They share intimate examples of how their own identities have morphed over the past year and touch on everything from Hindu mommy bloggers to the surprisingly compelling language of sympathy cards.
33 minutes | 4 years ago
The Case for Pluralism in a Divided Democracy
We live in a religiously diverse democracy, yet our country today seems frustratingly polarized around lines of difference and not connection. This month’s episode of Common Knowledge features a speech from IFYC president and founder, Eboo Patel, tackling this issue head on. Given in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Eboo offers his thoughts on how pluralism and interfaith cooperation can be a spur to social action and offers a vision for how to engage, not vilify, our differences.
20 minutes | 4 years ago
2016: A Year in Review
For many folks, 2016 was a year of surprises, with both unexpected challenges and encouraging achievements. In a special New Year’s episode of Common Knowledge, Carr and Prerna share the writings, events, and people that inspired them during a tumultuous year. They also look to 2017 and discuss what they, as interfaith leaders, hope to see in the year ahead.
6 minutes | 4 years ago
Small Community, Large Impact: A Personal Look at the Lucumi Tradition
The values we share in interfaith spaces are often rooted in deeply personal beliefs and customs. We hear about one of those traditions today from Taryn Harris, a follower of the Lucumi tradition. Incorporating beliefs from Africa, Europe, and the Americas, the Lucumi community is a small but vibrant group in the United States. Taryn shares with us the story of her first experience with the tradition and how that encounter provided the foundation for her own interfaith commitment.
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Unaffiliated but Not Unconnected:
When does a spin class go from an excuse to lose a few pounds to a transformative shared experience? The answer might lie in what kind of community it creates. Among young people, 1 in 3 do not belong to a faith community according to the Pew Research Center. And yet, within this group, many are searching for forms of relationship related to their spiritual beliefs. We speak with Ryan Lewis, a SoulCycle instructor, about how he creates values-based relationships for his classes. We also talk with Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile, recent graduates from Harvard Divinity School, about similar groups that are serving these unaffiliated individuals.
6 minutes | 4 years ago
“I Felt the Spirit Stir My Heart to Act”:
1 in 4 American Christians identifies as Pentecostal. Often characterized by a direct connection to God and the Holy Spirit, Pentecostal beliefs motivated our guest, Tanya Lane, a writer and interfaith activist, to march through a desert on behalf of people very different from herself. She talks with us about that experience and the values underlying Pentecostal Christianity.
5 minutes | 5 years ago
Hope in the Midst of Turmoil: A Reflection During Ramadan
This month, we offer a special short episode reflecting on the troubling and violent events this past summer—from Orlando to Medina. Jenan Mohajir, an educator and IFYC staff member, talks about how her Ramadan this year, overlapping with many of these incidents, was marked by both undeniable anguish and a renewed commitment to connect with those under threat.
14 minutes | 5 years ago
A Catholic Response to the Refugee Crisis
How does a religious or nonreligious group respond to a major world event like the current refugee crisis? We talk with Bill Canny, the head of refugee support at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, about how Catholics serve people fleeing conflicts across the globe. We also hear a story from student Aneta Krzycka about an unlikely connection made between an American Catholic and a Libyan Muslim. takingrefuge.org
12 minutes | 5 years ago
Interfaith on the Menu:
Food—growing it, cooking it, serving it, and eating it—is definitely not off the table when it comes to thinking about engaging with different religious and nonreligious groups. In this episode, we talk with Jeff Aeder and Stephen Kreisler of Milt’s BBQ, one of the few Kosher BBQ restaurants in the country. They explain how Milt’s keeps kosher while also building community among a diverse culinary clientele. We also chat with Fred Bahnson, the director of the Food, Faith, & Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest Divinity School, about how growing a vegetable garden provides an entrée into understanding religious values.
20 minutes | 5 years ago
From the Spirit World
Followed by millions across the world, yet often overlooked in the United States, shamanistic practices express a diverse set of beliefs about the spirit world. We talk with Bonnie Glass-Coffin, a scholar of shamanism, about the core concepts of this practice and how those concepts connect deeply to interfaith cooperation. Olivia Phanchan, a social work specialist, talks with us a revelation she had while working with an elderly Hmong group in Wisconsin.
22 minutes | 5 years ago
Christian Environmental Activism:
Climate change and environmental degradation have been listed as a priority by political leaders, national security experts, and even Pope Francis. But what can young religious and ethical leaders do to address this issue? Ben Lowe, a writer and staff member at the Evangelical Environmental Network, talks with us about how his evangelical Christianity fuels his environmental activism and what interfaith groups can do to make an impact on climate change
23 minutes | 5 years ago
The Unknown Civil Rights Hero: Pauli Murray
Pauli Murray’s legacy of civil rights activism is often overlooked in history books. As the first female African-American Episcopal priest, she influenced everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. On this episode, we talk with Barbara Lau, the director of the Pauli Murray Project, about Murray’s trailblazing religious achievements, her advocacy for racial and gender equality, and the work going on in our present time to continue her legacy. For more information on the interfaith legacy of Pauli Murray check out this Sojourners article by Common Knowledge co-host Carr Harkrader.
20 minutes | 5 years ago
Art and Empathy: A Conversation with Rohina Malik
Issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity can often seem difficult to discuss or fully understand when not tied to our daily lives and concerns. Rohina Malik, a nationally-recognized playwright and performer, talks with us about how theatre can spotlight these issues in an approachable and empathetic way. Her one-woman show, Unveiled, looks at the lives of five Muslim women from differing backgrounds and how they challenge, confound, and exceed the stereotypes placed on them by others. More about Rohina:http://rohinamalik.weebly.com/ More about Unveiled:http://rohinamalik.weebly.com/unveiled.html
13 minutes | 5 years ago
Measuring Success in Interfaith Cooperation
How is data useful for the work of interfaith cooperation? On this month’s episode of Common Knowledge we talk with members of IFYC’s Assessment Team about how they utilize data to promote interfaith engagement on college campuses and what they see as major trends regarding religious attitudes for college students today.
23 minutes | 6 years ago
Intersections: Race, Religion, and a Conversation on Charleston
On this episode we talk to Jen Bailey, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the founder of Faith Matters Network, an interfaith organization in the South. We hear her reaction to the recent murders at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. She also discusses the history of the A.M.E. Church in the United States and how FMN utilizes storytelling to promote interfaith action
22 minutes | 6 years ago
HIndus in Contemporary America
Varun Soni, the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, joins us this month on Common Knowledge as we talk about Hinduism in the United States. He chats with us about growing up Hindu as a boy in Orange County, California and discusses the challenges and opportunities of overseeing one of the most religiously diverse student bodies in the nation. We also share a story from Kristi Del Vecchio, a young interfaith activist, about how a Hindu concept radically changed how she thinks about food. To read the blog post we talked about, click here!
23 minutes | 6 years ago
Islam and Interfaith Engagement- Common Knowledge #8
In this episode, focusing on Islam and interfaith engagement, we chat with Mustafa Abdullah, an IFYC alumni and current Program Associate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. We’ll learn how interfaith work has played a part in his development as a civic activist and how he uses those skills in his work with the ACLU today. Also Randa Kuziez, an IFYC staff member, will share a story about how a lost Qur’an and some bad luck led to a meaningful interfaith moment.
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