Reading Our Times is the podcast that explores the books and the ideas that are shaping us today. It is hosted by Nick Spencer, Senior Fellow at the think tank, Theos.
We’re going to be talking to some of the world’s leading authors about issues like meritocracy, justice, populism, human rights, the brain, liberalism, and religion.
Above all, we'll be exploring what these books have to say about the times we live in and about the people we are.
So listen with us, and we’ll introduce you to authors, books and ideas that illuminate ourselves and our world today.
For more information about the people and ideas behind the podcast, visit https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/about/who-we-are or follow us on Twitter @theosthinktank and @theosnick.
What will the world look like in 2050? In conversation with Hamish McRae
What will the world be like a generation from now? Warmer and more crowded, certainly. But… richer? More peaceful? Healthier? Better educated? On Mars? Or at war? Predicting the future is risky but also, arguably, necessary if we hope to navigate the path before us.
In this episode, Nick Spencer talks to Hamish McCrae about his book The World in 2050: How to Think About the Future
What is the soul? In conversation with John Cottingham
Whatever else has happened to religious practice over the last 40 years, it doesn’t seem to have affected the way we talk about, or believe in, the soul, with as many people doing so today as they did 40 years ago. But what we mean by the ‘soul’ is far from clear. Is it a thing, a process, or just a figures of speech?
In this episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Prof. John Cottingham about his book In Search of the Soul.
What do men want? In conversation with Nina Power
Even allowing for the fact that relationship between the sexes has never been easy, we surely live in strangely anxious times when it comes to such matters, with accusations of misogyny and toxic masculinity rife. Are men a problem? How do men and women differ? And what, if anything, do we want or need from each other?
In this episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Nina Power about her book What do men want?: masculinity and its discontents.
Where does science end and pseudoscience begin? In conversation with Michael Gordin
Anti-vaxxers, creation science, astrology – for supposedly rational times, irrational and pseudoscientific beliefs appear to be doing quite well. Why? Which pseudosciences are flourishing, and for what reasons? And where even is the border between science and pseudoscience?
In this episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Prof. Michael Gordin about his book On the Fringe: Where Science meets Pseudoscience.
How did we get into this mess? In conversation with Helen Thompson
We live in strange, unsettling, perhaps even exceptional times. How did we get here? In particular, how have our dependence on energy, our need for economic growth and our distrust in politics combined to shape our unstable 21st century.
In this episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Prof. Helen Thompson about her book Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century.
Where did religion come from (and where is it going)? In conversation with Robin Dunbar
The more religion dies, the more it stays alive, predictions of its imminent demise being as popular now as they were a hundred years ago. Why? Where did religion come from? Why is it so deep rooted in human nature? And where, if anywhere, is it going?
In this episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Prof. Robin Dunbar about his book How Religion Evolved and why it endures.
This podcast just keeps on giving. I love the ideas and books. this podcast is very good in getting to the heart the facts. Nick Spencer is up there with the best
This is an outstanding podcast. Nick Spencer brilliantly and competently engages discussion with many leading thinkers about their work. A must listen!
A superb podcast which encourages the listener to engage with topics in an accessibly cerebral manner.