Interviews with Christian intellectuals, faithful thinkers, and other human beings writing well.
Christian Humanist Profiles 248: Valerie Tiberius
Philoctetes is not the best-known Sophocles tragedy, but its questions stick with me. When the title character insists on his dignity as a man of war, he runs afoul of the Odysseus of Sophocles, who could not care less about the wounded warrior’s sense of being wronged, so he enlists Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, who insists that abstract virtues of war must govern everything that concerns the struggle. I won’t spoil the ending of Philoctetes today, but I will say that conflicting values have not become any less interesting in the two and a half millennia since. Dr. Valerie Tiberius has brought that conversation off the mythological battlefield and into the very real tensions between money and reputation and peace of mind and different kinds of abstract principles in her recent book What Do You Want out of Life, and Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome her to the show.
Christian Humanist Profiles 247: The Secret Gospel of Mark
What’s on the table when we claim that a newly-discovered text came from a Biblical author? To answer that question might take an investigation that spans the Roman Empire, desert monasteries, New York City apartments, the academic publishing industry, and the libraries and universities that change hands during wars and elections and all sorts of other events that intervene between us and that glorious first century. Such a story is before us today, and Geoffrey S. Smith’s and Brent C. Landau’s recent book The Secret Gospel of Mark is going to show us just how complicated and sometimes how weird the world of textual criticism can be. Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome them to the show.
Christian Humanist Profiles 246: Matthew Milliner
Tell me where you spend your Sunday mornings, and then where your grandmother spent her Sunday mornings, and I’ll venture a guess at what you think Christian art looks like. In the realm of Christian art that involves basilicas and mosaics the icon holds a special place: by some accounts mainly a window through which one looks upon divine reality, the artistry of the icon nonetheless promises a different view of the world we inhabit, and the Virgin of the Passion, if Matthew Milliner is right, seeks nothing less than to set the world’s eyes back on the Christ who saves by suffering and whose passion does not begin on a cross but in his very infancy. His book Mother of the Lamb: The Story of a Global Icon, from Fortress Press, tells the story of that icon, beginning as it does with an artist who departs an imperial city and continuing in our day as his work journeys everywhere people call out to the heavens. Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome Matthew to the show.
Christian Humanist Profiles 245: Ben Witherington & Jason Myers
“I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom.” When I first read those words from St. Paul, they inoculated me against certain kinds of inquiry. St. Paul must not have been an orator the way we think of orators, because he didn’t rely on eloquence when he spoke. His education, therefore, must have been irrelevant to his epistles. And certainly we won’t learn anything by attending to the rhetorical form when we take on his writings. But here’s some good news for you, listeners: Ben Witherington and Jason Myers are here to get those ideas off the table. The second edition of their book New Testament Rhetoric demonstrates that not only Paul but all sorts of New Testament writers exhibit familiarity with and formation through ancient canons of rhetoric, and Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome them to the show.
Christian Humanist Profiles 244: Paul Blaschko
The one who saves his life will lose it. The one who sows to the spirit will reap life. I am the way and the truth and the life. Life is like a box of chocolates. Ways of life and forms of life and such matters concerning life have occupied sages and philosophers and poets and preachers as long as human beings became word-slingers, and yet attempting the good life seems to require that each generation start anew somehow, to shape lives and to seek life for the first time every time. Meghan Sullivan and Paul Blaschko’s recent book The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning grew out of a redesigned introduction to philosophy class that deliberately sets that shaping and seeking of a good life at the project’s center, and we’ll talk about that at some length before too long. For now Christian Humanist Profiles is happy to welcome Dr. Paul Blaschko to the show to talk about that journey and that book.
Christian Humanist Profiles 243: Bren DuBay
Somethin’s brewin’ on the podcast. I wonder what it could be? If you’ve seen the stage musical version of “The Cotton Patch Gospel” you know what and whom we’re talking about, but just in case you’ve never heard that musical, or if you’ve not read The Cotton Patch Gospels, or if you have no idea about anything I’ve mentioned up to this point, you’re just the person to have a seat and chat with us. Clarence Jordan, Georgia Baptist preacher and the best kind of trouble-maker, was preaching and starting up Koinonia Farm and drawing the wrath of the KKK and publishing a new version of the Bible and keeping entirely busy in the middle twentieth century, and we’re here to talk some about what he said and what he wrote, compiled in the recent Plough Publishing House book The Inconvenient Gospel. Joining me is Bren Dubay, who runs Koinonia Farm today (and who no doubt will correct that verb as soon as I shut up here), and Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome her on the show.
I stumbled upon this podcast by happy accident. The intellectual presence of the hosts, deep reading of the material,and skillfull questioning coupled with the intellectual stature and depth of the guests is truly remarkable. I come from the tradition of faithful listening of "On Being" with Krista Tippet listening and find the Chrisian Humanist podcast has developed many of the same ideas and topic areas, but at a truly "live option" level, that not only engages the spirit, but the mind as well. Thank you - well done!
Gracious, Disciplined, Enlightening Interviews with Some of the Best Writers
These interviews are conducted in a way that lets the personality and thought of great writers shine through in an invaluably accessible way. The delight and insight are the products of the considerate engagement of the interviewers with the work of the writers--a truly rare gift.