I’ve talked about her radio show before, Interfaith Voices, which is wonderful and informative. But today as I listened to a recent podcast, I heard her challenge Ben Carson and Donald Trump on their bigotry, and was just inspired again by her intelligence, feistiness, and open-minded approach to religion and religious issues. Nuns are awesome, aren’t they? Truly, I admire her independence, her thoughtfulness, and her curiosity about the world and I always learn from her show.
Read her editorial here: No religious test for public office | National Catholic Reporter History nerds will note an allusion to my favorite Abraham Lincoln speech and a great rundown of religion in politics.
In one of those moments of life synergy and synchonicity, the podcast that popped up yesterday on my daily dogwalk was a great episode from Interfaith Voices. I’ve written about them before: Maureen Fiedler, the host, interviews a wide variety of religious leaders, scholars, and authors on relevant and current religious topics. Her questions are thoughtful and the show is always interesting. This time around, she interviewed Gerard Russell about the forgotten religions of the Middle East (which happens to be the subject of a new book he has written called Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms). They touched on the Druze, Alawites (who hold some fascinating, secretive beliefs), Yazidis, and Zoroastrians and the challenges each face in today’s world, particularly as a result of terrorism and conflict in the Middle East.
I was excited to hear more about Zoroastrians since they have been our current topic of discussion in class. The best fun fact? I’ve mentioned before that Zoroastrians see the world as taking part in a great battle between good and evil. Dogs, according to Zoroastrians, are most definitely fighters on the side of good: kind, virtuous, and loyal. Seems logical to me.
Just one of those benevolent, honorable, amazing creatures.
I encourage you to give the podcast a listen, and I will certainly be checking out Russell’s book.
I’ve been a whirlwind of activity this week and have not had much time to post. One super-nerdy thing I like to do when I am busy is look up podcasts related to what I’m teaching in class. That way I can walk the dog and learn a little more about my subject material. A podcast that I am fond of these days is Interfaith Radio, particularly their World Religions 101 series. The interview with Stephen Prothero about Yoruba really helped my ability to explain the key concepts of religion to my class. The series is based on his book, God Is Not One, which I’ve also checked out from the library, but have yet to work my way all the way through. If you are a podcast fan, I encourage you to check this series out.