The Sacred is a podcast about our deepest values, the stories that shape us and how we can build empathy and understanding between people who are very different.
Each episode features a conversation with someone who has a public voice, from academics to journalists, playwrights and politicians. We ask them where they have come from, what they are trying to do and what might help heal our very divided public conversations.
The Sacred is hosted by Elizabeth Oldfield, former director of Theos think tank.
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, @sacred_podcast and @ESOldfield.
Jenny Odell on attention, where we put it, how it forms us and how it can polarise society
Jenny Odell is an American multi-disciplinary artist, former art teacher at Stanford University and author of the New York Times best selling book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.
She spoke about attention, where we put it, how it shapes and forms us, and how it could be the key to understanding our increasingly polarised societies.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2022/06/08/jenny-odell-on-attention-where-we-put-it-and-how-it-forms-us
Kate Maltby on her Jewish heritage, identity issues and the power of live theatre
Kate Maltby is a columnist for The i Paper, theatre critic and senior research associate at Jesus College Cambridge.
She spoke about her Jewish heritage, the power and (almost) sacredness of live theatre and of dealing with identity issues.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2022/06/01/kate-maltby-on-her-jewish-heritage-identity-issues-and-the-power-of-live-theatre
Francesca Stavrakopoulou on vegetarianism and studying theology as an atheist
Francesca is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter, and a patron of Humanists UK. Her latest book is called God: An Anatomy.
She spoke about her vegetarianism, her experience of growing up in a single parent household with not a lot of money and studying theology as an atheist at the University of Oxford.
Christie Watson on humour, compassion and why nursing and writing belong together
Christie is an award-winning novelist, memoirist and professor of medical and health humanities at UEA. She was a registered pediatric nurse for 20 years spending most of her career in pediatric intensive care and as a resuscitation officer.
She speaks about humour as an antidote to darkness, why nurses’ stories are so rarely told, how she found meaning in the practice of care, and why compassion is what we should be judged on.
Danny Kruger MP on conservatism, Christianity and why running a charity is hard work
Danny Kruger MP is a Conservative Member of Parliament for the Devizes constituency in Wiltshire. He and his wife founded and ran Only Connect, a charity that works with men and women in prison or recently released, with the aim of helping them live crime-free lives. Prior to this he worked as a speechwriter for the Conservative party, for a think tank, and as a journalist.
He speaks about his conservatism, his conversion to Christianity in his 20’s, and why he thinks running a charity is harder than being an MP.
We recorded this while Danny was driving, so you may hear a faint ticking noise from his indicator.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2022/05/11/danny-kruger-mp-conservatism-christianity-and-why-running-a-charity-is-hard-work
Frank Cottrell–Boyce on wonder, forgiveness and the writer's calling
Frank Cottrell-Boyce is a screenwriter and novelist. He is best known for his screenplays for 24 Hour Party People, Welcome to Sarajevo and others, his award–winning children’s books, including Millions, and for being the writer of the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, one of many collaborations with his friend, Danny Boyle.
He speaks about his sacramental faith, the place of forgiveness in society, and what he sees as the writer's calling.
We had a few sound issues with this recording but we hope you agree it is still well worth listening to.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2022/05/04/frank-cottrellboyce-on-wonder-forgiveness-and-the-writers-calling
Thought provoking and soulful, exploring themes and ideas rarely touched on elsewhere. Thank you.
A treasure trove of voices
I love being introduced to the voices of so many people whose work maybe new to me. Along with this, the podcast shows new aspects of more familiar people and brings them into full colour where previously I may have seen them only in the monochrome hues of their public personas. A great podcast, highly recommended. Thank you Elizabeth and team
Absolutely love your podcast. Thank you.