Religion and Philosophy

Brian Muraresku

Scholar Brian Muraresku makes the controversial argument that the famous Eleusinian Mysteries were fueled by a psychedelic beer.More

Kenan Kitchen

Religious groups have long had rules and traditions that become part of the fabric of a lifetime. Master food preserver Christina Ward set out to find those histories in her book "Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat."More

Left to right: Rylea Nevaeh Whittet as Maddy and Margaret Qualley as Alex in episode 101 of "Maid."

Stephanie Land’s 2019 book "Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive" detailed her personal experience struggling with precarious work as a housecleaner while raising a young child.More

Abstract dishes

Fasting is an ancient practice that’s experiencing something of a revival right now in health and fitness circles. But when John Oakes set out to explore the concept, he took it a lot deeper.More

A raven on a tree

Our producer Charles Monroe-Kane has a passion for ravens.  The raven has meaning for him from legend and art, to the point where he’s had one tattooed on his forearm.More

a crumbled up piece of paper

There are two sides to giving up. The virtue of sacrifice – and the sin of despair. So how do we decide which is which? That’s the question psychoanalyst Adam Phillips asks in his newest book “On Giving Up.”More

A mysterious door.

Turns out there is an emerging science of uncertainty — a new frontier in psychology, artificial intelligence, and surgery — where things can go very wrong when people are missing a crucial skill set: being unsure. Maggie Jackson explains.More

Stephen Alvarez — a National Geographic photographer and founder of the Ancient Art Archive — has spent years documenting ancient rock art around the world. He takes Steve Paulson on a long hike in the Cumberland Plateau, where they find an "unnamed cave" with 2,000-year old engravings.More

hands raised in worship

Beth Allison Barr is a Southern Baptist from Texas who was raised evangelical, married a pastor and had two children. She’s also a feminist professor of medieval history at Baylor University, and the author of a book that isn’t winning her many friends in the evangelical world: “The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.”More

John Onwuchekwa

Five years after opening its doors, the pastor of Atlanta’s Cornerstone Church, Reverend John Onwuchekwa, led the entire congregation of more than 400 people to officially leave the Southern Baptist Convention. His reason for leaving was tied to their long history of oppression and racism toward Black people. More

God and country

Donald Trump won 84% of the white evangelical vote in 2020. To shore up that base, he’s now moving beyond conservative Christian values, to Christian nationalism. That nationalism, journalist Jeff Sharlet argues, represents a real and present threat of "simmering violence."More

Anthony Bossis

Tony Bossis was one of the lead investigators on the 2016 study that found stress reduction in cancer patients after a single dose of psilocybin. He's fascinated by how the mystical experiences of the great religions map onto psychedelic experiences.More

Roland Griffiths

Roland Griffiths helped pioneer the use of psychedelics to treat people with cancer who are scared of dying. Then he got his own terminal diagnosis. He talked with Steve Paulson in January 2023 about his personal LSD journey when he "talked" with his cancer.More

Just over 200 years ago, a group of renegade German writers and philosophers came together in a small town and forever changed who we think we are. Andrea Wulf tells this story in her book “Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self.” More

Dacher Keltner

Psychologist Dacher Keltner says that awe is a unique experience, distinct from all other emotions, and it can make us feel better in a lot of ways.More

Rachel Harris

The news about psychedelics tends to focus on clinical trials and lab research. But there’s a long tradition of underground guides working with plant medicines who refer to "unseen beings" and plants as "teachers." Psychologist Rachel Harris talked with many women elders in the psychedelic underground. She calls them "spiritual warriors."More

Charles Raison

Psychedelic therapy has shown great promise for treating depression, but it's still unclear why exactly it works. Psychiatrist Charles Raison wants to know if it's the drug or the trip that makes psychedelics so potent. Is it biology or consciousness?More

19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels scroll on their smartphones

China Mieville is a writer best known for speculative fiction, but he's also written a lot about Marxism, most recently in a history of the Communist Manifesto called “A Spectre, Haunting."More

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