We are living through a difficult moment. Our forums for public dialogue are often dominated by the raging and self-righteous vocal minority, and choosing to speak from a public platform can be analogous to throwing yourself to the wolves.
The Sacred podcast, hosted by Director of Theos think tank Elizabeth Oldfield, exists to create a forum for richer and more meaningful conversations with those different from ourselves; and in so doing to promote understanding, empathy and a model for more constructive public dialogue.
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 @theoselizabeth.
The Sacred is taking a sabbatical
To everything there is a season and The Sacred needs a season change. The podcast is not ending but it is pausing so that we can reflect and refresh, and pop up again with new life and energy. We expect to be back in February 2021, please keep an eye on our social channels for updates (@sacred_podcast).
Meanwhile, we would love to hear from you. We have created a questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JFLSFLS that will take just a few minutes to fill in where you can give us feedback about the show and take part in our reflection process. We’d also love a smaller group of listeners to gather for a virtual focus group where we can really discuss how the podcast can be most fruitful in its second season. If you would be up for giving up an hour or so to sit down with the team, please indicate that on your questionnaire and we may well be in touch.
#79 Rachel Clarke
Rachel is a doctor with a specialism in palliative care. Before going to medical school, she was a television journalist and documentary maker. She is the author of Sunday Times bestselling books ‘Your life in my hands’ and ‘Dear Life’, which is about her experiences working in a hospice. Her next book ‘Breathtaking’, about her experience on hospital COVID–19 wards, will be out next year.
In this episode she speaks about unsuccessful attempts to become a Christian, her deep faith in humanity, feeling like a fraud as a journalist, and why we should all have more conversations about death.
#78 Krithika Varagur
Krithika is a columnist at the Wall Street Journal in New York and a former foreign correspondent based in Indonesia. She is a National Geographic Explorer and her first book ‘The Call: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project’ was launched in April.
In this episode she speaks about growing up in a Hindu home, being humble and doing your research on covering religion, and why it’s vital that journalists take faith seriously.
#77 Helen Lewis
Helen Lewis is a journalist, staff writer at The Atlantic and former deputy editor at The New Statesman. She is the author of ‘Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights’.
In this episode she speaks about feminism, her parents Catholicism, navigating online backlash, and why she looks forward to the day when British media is more representative.
#76 Jules Evans
Jules is a writer, speaker and practical philosopher. He’s a research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London. He’s also the founder of the London Philosophy Club and co-founder of the first Stoicon, festival of Stoicism. He’s also the author of ‘Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations’, ‘The Art of Losing Control’, ‘Holiday from the Self’ and most recently ‘Breaking Open: finding a way through spiritual emergency.’
In this episode he talks about his boarding school hedonism, near-death experiences, foray into charismatic Christianity and why he thinks our society needs more space for ecstatic experiences.
#75 Sophia Smith Galer
Sophia Smith Galer is currently working as the BBC World Services’ first ever visual journalist in faith and ethics. In this episode Sophia speaks about her experience as one of the first journalists in the UK to be experimenting with Tik Tok, why good religion reporting is so vital, and why journalism and opera singing have a surprising amount in common.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Always enlightening and humanising.
Grateful for this wee podcast with a big heart. Elizabeth is so interested in the people she interviews, and accomplished in setting aside her own agenda. We always find out something new about our shared and varied human experiences.
I only wish the interviews were longer.
I couldn’t recommend more
I’m always excited to dig into a new instalment of The Sacred. As a former Dawkins fan girl it’s hard to properly state the impact this podcast and Elizabeth’s compassionate, interested and gently prodding interviews have had on me. Unpretentious and emotionally intelligent conversations with people whose viewpoints on all and sundry vary wildly. Brilliant.
Really makes you think!
I discovered this at the start of lockdown and it is hands down my favourite. I love the space that is created to really try and understand someone in their own terms without feeling the need to argue them down or agree with them. When I’ve been tempted to skip an episode (because I really do disagree/object to the person featured) I’ve always been glad I persevered and chastened by the fact I’ve been challenged to think when listening to their ideas- which is the whole point.