22 episodes

Not-so-casual conversation about calling, culture, and other things that make for lives worth living.

Hosted by Dr. David Henreckson, director of the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University.

Call & Character David Henreckson

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Not-so-casual conversation about calling, culture, and other things that make for lives worth living.

Hosted by Dr. David Henreckson, director of the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University.

    On Grief, Loss, and Tenderness: Greg Boyle

    On Grief, Loss, and Tenderness: Greg Boyle

    Our guest today, Fr. Gregory Boyle, is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.

    A native of Los Angeles and a Jesuit priest, Father Boyle served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles, which also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city.

    Father Boyle witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called “decade of death” that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1000 gang-related killings in 1992. In the face of law enforcement tactics and criminal justice policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, he and parish- and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treat gang members as human beings.

    Fr. Boyle is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. And his new book, The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness, was published by Avid Reader Press in 2021.

    • 27 min
    On the Art of Dying Well: Lydia Dugdale

    On the Art of Dying Well: Lydia Dugdale

    The marginalization of death—its hiddenness—is strange and of course ultimately a fool’s errand. This past year and a half, living through a pandemic, has forced us to confront realities that many of us have spent years avoiding. Death is our neighbor. And yet many of us aren’t equipped to talk or think about its presence.

    Our guest today, Lydia Dugdale, has written a bracing yet beautiful book, The Lost Art of Dying: Reviving Forgotten Wisdom. She is an associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia University. Prior to her 2019 move to Columbia, she was Associate Director of the Program for Biomedical Ethics and founding Co-Director of the Program for Medicine, Spirituality, and Religion at Yale School of Medicine.

    • 36 min
    On Community Organizing: Alexia Salvatierra

    On Community Organizing: Alexia Salvatierra

    In many churches and faith communities, “faith” as a theological concept is a private matter—n practical attitude of belief or trust in God that stands independent of the pursuit of justice in society. In fact, the very idea of social justice is sometimes viewed with suspicion. Conservative churches worry that calls to social action are replacements for theological reflection or serious personal faith commitments. And progressive churches worry that those who are suspicious of “social justice” are simply content with the unjust status quo, and unwilling to put their faith into action.

    Our guest today, Alexia Salvatierra, complicates this divide, and argues that grounded, serious theological reflection goes hand in hand with the pursuit of justice in the world. 

    • 37 min
    On Christian Nationalism: Andrew Whitehead

    On Christian Nationalism: Andrew Whitehead

    Today's episode is a conversation with Dr. Andrew Whitehead, a professor of sociology at IUPUI. We’ll be discussing a recurring topic here on the podcast—Christian nationalism in the United States. Like our previous conversations with Jemar Tisby and Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Whitehead asks us to consider the substance and motivations for Christian nationalism in recent years, and whether there is a healthier way to think about living well together in a pluralistic society.

    • 36 min
    On Marilynne Robinson: Justin Ariel Bailey and Jessica Hooten Wilson

    On Marilynne Robinson: Justin Ariel Bailey and Jessica Hooten Wilson

    We’ve reached the end of our second season of Call & Character, and to wrap things up, we brought back two former guests—Justin Ariel Bailey and Jessica Hooten Wilson—to discuss the novels of Marilynne Robinson. We hope you enjoy what turned out to be a lively back and forth. 

    If you enjoy our conversation today, check out Jessica’s article on Robinson in Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal (https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/oconnor-or-robinson-the-gargoyle-and-the-cathedral/).

    • 50 min
    On Anti-Racism and Public Theology: Ekemini Uwan

    On Anti-Racism and Public Theology: Ekemini Uwan

    (Our guest today is an upcoming speaker in Valparaiso University’s Pathways to Purpose lecture series.) Ekemini Uwan is a public theologian who received her Master of Divinity degree in 2016 from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. She is the co-host of Truth's Table podcast alongside Michelle Higgins and Dr. Christina Edmondson. In 2018, Christianity Today named her among "10 New or Lesser-Known Female Theologians Worth Knowing.” And in 2021, she earned the IMPACT Award from The Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience for work on Truth’s Table. Learn more at: www.sistamatictheology.com, and follow her on Twitter: @sista_theology.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Arky11 ,

Great interviewer

Dr Henreckson is a great interviewer. He listens to his guests while guiding the conversation so that the podcast does not lose focus.

JoolsGR ,

Excellent interview

What a great first episode with Kristin Kobe’s DuMez!

Josh H 17 ,

Great conversation!

If future episodes continue in the vein of episode 1, I’m sold. Really excellent interview that covered a lot of ground for half an hour (which is good news for me—I tend to prefer my podcasts on the longer side). Looking forward to more!

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