You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel?

Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting?

Each week, host Jason Gots surprises some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. Join us and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Maria Popova, Mary-Louise Parker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many more...

theologian Karen Armstrong on the lost art of getting outside of yourself

Think Again Podcasts

Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism—the world's scriptural belief systems take many different forms but all tend toward 'kenosis'—self-transcendence for the benefit of others. And all have been used and abused for less spiritual ends. Former nun and renowned theologian Karen Armstrong on the lost art of scripture.




I've spent more of my life than most people I know immersed by choice in what my guest today would call "scripture". I was never much of a Roman Catholic, in spite of being dragged weekly to church until I was about 13 and could no longer be dragged, and, in my boredom, sometimes believing I saw the statue of Jesus moving on the cross. But in late adulthood, the need for spiritual meaning gripped me tight and wouldn't let go. It led first into Judaism and Jerusalem, and then, for the past couple decades, mostly to Buddhist study and practice.

But I'm as troubled as all the Enlightenment thinkers I know by scripture-thumping orthodoxy and intolerance of any kind. Troubled watching my wife Demet's country, Turkey, split between retrograde, homophobic and misogynistic Islamism on the one hand and intractable secular nationalism on the other. Moses and I don't have much in common, but like him, I get tongue-tied talking about these things. Religious, or spiritual, or scriptural ideas and practices can be so essential and become so problematic at the same time.

My guest today is Karen Armstrong. On these subjects, she doesn't get tongue-tied. She's one of the clearest and most nuanced thinkers I know of on god, religion, and scripture. Author of THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE and THE CASE FOR GOD, recipient of the TED Prize, and a co-creator of the interfaith Charter for Compassion. Her new book is called THE LOST ART OF SCRIPTURE and I'm so happy it brings her to Think Again.

VPNs are a must for private browsing in 2020. Here are huge deals on 5 of them

With a virtual private network, you're accessing a separate server for your internet use, making it virtually impossible for hackers or malicious outsiders to track your online activities and hack your accounts.

Gear
  • In the U.S., only 5% of web users are protected with a VPN service.
  • These five deals provide protection and unrestricted web usage at top speeds.
  • All five VPN services are currently discounted as much as 97% off.
  • Keep reading
    Related Articles

    Deborah Levy – it's those thoughts that are slightly awkward that need an airing

    Playwright and novelist Deborah Levy on chaos and order in creative work. Also: marvelous digressions on the caterpillar and the octopus.

    Think Again Podcasts


    Keep reading

    Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter co-founder) – you, me, us: now and in the future

    Having helped transform how creative work is financed, Yancey Strickler has moved on from Kickstarter, the company he co-founded toward a kind of values reset that moves us away from a narrow, unsustainable, inhumane obsession with profit at all costs.

    Think Again Podcasts


    Keep reading

    Elif Shafak (writer) – the cemetery of the companionless

    Following the Booker shortlisting of her novel 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in This Strange World, British-Turkish author and activist Elif Shafak returns to Think Again to talk about forgotten lives, the nature of evil, and what we mean by progress.

    Think Again Podcasts


    Keep reading

    Connect with us

    How to listen

    You can listen to Think Again right here on site, or select your podcast app:

    Apple Podcast Spotify Stitcher RSS feed