Interviews By Topic

Ways to help Jay

In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page. More

Wheelchair

Writer Haddayr Copley-Woods says she's been trying to figure out how to deal with unsolicited help since she was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For the helpers, it’s a nice thing to do. For her, it’s patronizing.More

gift giving

Is it actually possible to give a truly selfless gift? Anthropologist David Graeber says it's not only impossible, the entire concept of a "free gift" is a capitalist construct shaped by impersonal market economies.More

Cash

Journalist Anand Giridharadas says that sometimes, major philanthropic gifts are a lot less altruistic than they may appear.More

give the gift of a clean kitchen

During the holiday season, you’ve probably been spending a lot of time thinking about gifts for others. But what are you giving yourself? Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn has an idea -- find ways to give yourself more time. More

Anger on the brain

Other than getting angry, is there a better way to respond to people who’ve treated you badly? A smarter way to deal with injustice? Richard Davidson thinks so. He says what we need is to learn how to love.More

Cristen and Caroline of "Unladylike"

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin traced the history of feminist anger and power in their new book, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.”More

Fight like a girl

Throughout history, there’s been a general, unspoken agreement that getting angry, especially for women, is something to be avoided. But what if getting angry was actually productive?More

lightning strike

Elizabeth Krohn says she left her body, went somewhere else, met and talked to God. And then came back to dream the future. What does her experience tell us about where religion comes from?More

Heart Wall

Writer Alice Walker has been thinking about how anger co-exists with peace. She spoke with Shannon Henry Kleiber about her new book of poems, “Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart,” and how she works on healing herself when she’s been hurt by others.More

"Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson

Human rights attorney Bryan Stevenson works to challenge excessive punishment and mass incarceration, and wrote a book about his experiences called "Just Mercy." He recommends a novel that reminds us of the importance of compassion, mercy, and connection with others in our lives — values that he feels we lack when it comes to considering our criminal justice system.
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"Winter World" by Bernd Heinrich

How does a hummingbird survive in subzero winter temperatures? Why endure them at all? Author T.C. Boyle couldn’t understand why the small bird would be anywhere near his mountain writing retreat, but he found the answer in Bernd Heinrich’s “Winter World.”More

Kambui Olujimi: The Drop, from the series InDecisive Moments, 2017. Glass, approx. 30 x 20 x 20 inches. Courtesy the artist.

It’s hard to wrap your head around climate change. How do you really take in the concept of planetary change over decades or even centuries? Visual artist Kambui Olujimi explores different ideas about time in his one-man show “Zulu Time.”More

Trees

Botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger tells Anne that the lives of trees and human beings are inter-related all the way down to the molecular level.More

earth

Historian Iain McCalman’s Dangerous Idea? The Anthropocene — the idea that humans have fundamentally changed our global climate. It’s scary, but we’re also seeing people come together in unprecedented ways to solve planetary problems.More

Crossing the plains of the Gnostic Gospels

The religion scholar Elaine Pagels introduced the world to the ancient Gnostic Gospels. 25 years later, she's finally ready to talk about how her own grief — after the deaths of her young son and husband — shaped her religious imagination.More

"The Tradition" book cover design by Phil Kovacevich and art by Ralphi Burgess. (Copper Canyon Press)

The poet Jericho Brown grew up in a black church in Louisiana. He left that church years ago, but his poems keep returning to worship and the Bible — and to religion.More

The spiral of the edges of belief

Religious historian Jeffrey Kripal believes that anomalous experiences — near-death experiences, telepathic dreams and other primal spiritual encounters — are the deep roots of religion. You might call it "religion before it becomes religion."More

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