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Beliefs Podcast

Bishop John Michael Botean and the Romanian Catholic Church

By Jonathan Woodward — March 13, 2020
Bishop John Michael Botean is the head of the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St. George’s in Canton, Ohio. Botean’s diocese, which permits priests to marry, is the only one of its kind outside of Romania. This week on Beliefs, host Bill Baker interviews Botean at his cathedral in Ohio. 

How to be uncomfortable: Faith and toxic perfectionism

By Jonathan Woodward — March 6, 2020
Jana Riess is a senior commentator and author of the popular column Flunking Sainthood for Religion News Service. Sharing her personal experience with writing critical commentary on an aspect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ teachings, Riess stumbled into a strong backlash and an opportunity to re-think her opinion. Then she did […]

Satanic pregnancies and other misconceptions

By Jonathan Woodward — February 28, 2020
Spiritual advisor to President Trump Paula White was recently filmed in her church giving a sermon that employed idiosyncratic and fiery rhetoric. What is the new language of spiritual warfare? Where is it coming from, and where is it taking us?  Andre Gagne is Associate Professor in the Theological Studies Department of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. His […]

The voice of the Bible: Narrator Stephen Johnston

By Jonathan Woodward — February 21, 2020
Stephen Johnston has narrated and sold more translations of the Bible than any other person in history. After he graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in radio and television, he planned on becoming a news announcer. However, in 1976, he was approached about narrating the New Testament on cassette. The rest is scripture. Johnston has […]

Into The Dark – A Conversation with Thanatologist Rev. Mary Bredlau

By Jonathan Woodward — February 14, 2020
The Rev. Mary Bredlau officiates 350 to 500 funerals a year. For Bredlau, an Episcopal priest and former Roman Catholic nun, there’s nothing more important than this painful ministry. Bredlau is a thanatologist, certified by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. Beliefs producer Jay Woodward sat down with her in her adopted hometown of […]

Fighting apathy and sustaining congregational leadership

By Jonathan Woodward — February 7, 2020
Author and minister Rebekah Simon-Peter presents a bold vision for houses of worship seeking to embody the spirit of Jesus. Her ambitious model for deepening the spiritual engagement of entire congregations informed her recent book, “Dream Like Jesus.” Her message is one of big, bold visions of empowerment, strength and dynamic worship. Beliefs host Bill […]

A Yogi for the West: Paramahansa Yogananda & the Self-Realization Fellowship

By Jonathan Woodward — January 31, 2020
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival in America of Paramahansa Yogananda – widely considered to be the father of yoga in the West. Yogananda devoted his life to traveling and speaking across America, bringing a message of spirituality and unity between religions. He introduced millions to the practice of meditation and Kriya […]

Harrowing Legacy: Auschwitz, 75 Years Later

By Jonathan Woodward — January 25, 2020
On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in Southwest Poland.  Over 1 million Jews and tens of thousands of others were killed at this sprawling complex of 48 concentration and extermination camps.   The Museum of Jewish Heritage has mounted a groundbreaking memorial, bringing together more than 700 original objects and […]

Hinduphobia: Fighting bias both home and abroad

By Jonathan Woodward — January 17, 2020
Often, amid the Western media political stories of Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim discrimination in India, a background picture of Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bias lurks. Many Hindu-Americans are caught between narratives, feeling themselves misunderstood or poorly depicted in these stories. To understand this dynamic, Beliefs producer Jay Woodward talked with Hindu-American scholar, activist and writer Indu […]

Adapt or die: Religious evolution and human history

By Jonathan Woodward — January 10, 2020
  On Beliefs this week, our guest discusses the ways that religion has both served, and failed, people throughout history. Since retiring from a career in international financial consulting based in New York City, Robert Henrey has devoted time to writing and travel, as well as to community involvement. An ordained Catholic deacon, he served […]

Considering circumcision in the 21st century with Mohel Rabbi Dr. Leslie Solomon

By Jonathan Woodward — January 3, 2020
The practice of circumcision is mandatory for Jews, almost universally practiced by Muslims, and adopted as common practice in many other communities, both religious and secular. In the Jewish tradition, circumcisions are performed by a mohel. To discuss the ritual and significance of circumcision, Beliefs producer spoke with Dr. Leslie Solomon. In addition to being […]

Dispatches from Nativity Church in Bethlehem in the West Bank with Fr. Issa Thaljieh

By Jonathan Woodward — December 20, 2019
Nativity Church in Bethlehem in the West Bank is the oldest Christian church in the world and believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. For a glimpse into the Holy Land at Christmas, Beliefs host Bill Baker speaks with Greek Orthodox Priest, Father Issa Thaljieh, of Nativity Church to get the history and feel of […]

Investigating the untold stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church

By Jonathan Woodward — December 12, 2019
On Beliefs, we like to share the work of those who work with Religion News Service and other organizations to educate and report on religion, ethics and belief. One such person is Michael O’Loughlin, who joins us from Chicago. Michael is the journalist behind the new podcast miniseries from America Magazine, called “Plague: Untold Stories […]

Food, ritual & humankind: Why and how food becomes sacred

By Jonathan Woodward — December 6, 2019
We are entering the holiday season, and while that means many different things to many different people, there is one universal commonality: food. Ritual, food and worship are deeply intertwined and make up a critical part of the story of faith and observance. This week, Beliefs producer Jay Woodward speaks with food anthropologist and archaeologist […]

Guru Nanak and the origins of Sikhism

By Jonathan Woodward — November 29, 2019
This November marks the 550th birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. The belief system he developed is based on oneness, open-hearted love and justice. To reflect on the birth of this remarkable prophet, Beliefs sits with Simran Jeet Singh – author, scholar, Religion News Service contributor and Senior Fellow at the Sikh Coalition. […]
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