Our communities are more religiously diverse than ever. What should you know about the dynamic world around you? Common Knowledge shares fresh perspectives from leaders across a spectrum of religious and secular backgrounds.
info_outline The Things That Divide Us 05/10/2018
The Things That Divide Us Whether it’s a discussion in a college classroom or an argument around the table, divisions in our society seem both more apparent and more intractable than ever before. Yet, even as divisions grow, we struggle with addressing these societal fault lines in productive ways. In this episode, Carr and Prerna talk about the moral and historical roots of political and religious divides in American life and on college campuses and how people can rethink the paradigm around seemingly unresolvable disagreements.
info_outline Where Do We Find a Communal Bond? 04/17/2018
Where Do We Find a Communal Bond? What bonds us together? In the present day, even when addressing issues meant to bring us together like interfaith cooperation, spaces and ideas of genuine unity can be hard to find. On this episode of Common Knowledge, Carr and Prerna discuss how two distinctive things—public schools and the food we eat—offer us examples of how genuine bonds can be formed even among stark difference.
info_outline What is Leadership? 03/07/2018
What is Leadership? When you think of a leader, what image comes to mind? On this episode of Common Knowledge, Prerna and Carr discuss the idea of leadership in an increasingly diverse America. From civic activism spurred by natural and man-made disasters, to new theories of leadership inspired by a mix of personal spirituality and societal change, our hosts examine the aspects and qualities of a new generation of leaders.
info_outline Identity: Moving Through the World in Challenging Times 02/01/2018
Identity: Moving Through the World in Challenging Times This past year, how we identify ourselves has been contested, challenged, and redefined by events and social movements. To start the new season of Common Knowledge, Prerna and Carr talk about the changing concept of identity. They share intimate examples of how their own identities have morphed over the past year and touch on everything from Hindu mommy bloggers to the surprisingly compelling language of sympathy cards.
info_outline The Case for Pluralism in a Divided Democracy 03/28/2017
The Case for Pluralism in a Divided Democracy We live in a religiously diverse democracy, yet our country today seems frustratingly polarized around lines of difference and not connection. This month’s episode of Common Knowledge features a speech from IFYC president and founder, Eboo Patel, tackling this issue head on. Given in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Eboo offers his thoughts on how pluralism and interfaith cooperation can be a spur to social action and offers a vision for how to engage, not vilify, our differences.
info_outline 2016: A Year in Review 12/28/2016
2016: A Year in Review For many folks, 2016 was a year of surprises, with both unexpected challenges and encouraging achievements. In a special New Year’s episode of Common Knowledge, Carr and Prerna share the writings, events, and people that inspired them during a tumultuous year. They also look to 2017 and discuss what they, as interfaith leaders, hope to see in the year ahead.
info_outline Small Community, Large Impact: A Personal Look at the Lucumi Tradition 12/09/2016
Small Community, Large Impact: A Personal Look at the Lucumi Tradition The values we share in interfaith spaces are often rooted in deeply personal beliefs and customs. We hear about one of those traditions today from Taryn Harris, a follower of the Lucumi tradition. Incorporating beliefs from Africa, Europe, and the Americas, the Lucumi community is a small but vibrant group in the United States. Taryn shares with us the story of her first experience with the tradition and how that encounter provided the foundation for her own interfaith commitment.
info_outline Unaffiliated but Not Unconnected: 10/31/2016
Unaffiliated but Not Unconnected: When does a spin class go from an excuse to lose a few pounds to a transformative shared experience? The answer might lie in what kind of community it creates. Among young people, 1 in 3 do not belong to a faith community according to the Pew Research Center. And yet, within this group, many are searching for forms of relationship related to their spiritual beliefs. We speak with Ryan Lewis, a SoulCycle instructor, about how he creates values-based relationships for his classes. We also talk with Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile, recent graduates from Harvard Divinity School, about similar groups that are serving these unaffiliated individuals.
info_outline “I Felt the Spirit Stir My Heart to Act”: 09/08/2016
“I Felt the Spirit Stir My Heart to Act”: 1 in 4 American Christians identifies as Pentecostal. Often characterized by a direct connection to God and the Holy Spirit, Pentecostal beliefs motivated our guest, Tanya Lane, a writer and interfaith activist, to march through a desert on behalf of people very different from herself. She talks with us about that experience and the values underlying Pentecostal Christianity.
info_outline Hope in the Midst of Turmoil: A Reflection During Ramadan 07/21/2016
Hope in the Midst of Turmoil: A Reflection During Ramadan This month, we offer a special short episode reflecting on the troubling and violent events this past summer—from Orlando to Medina. Jenan Mohajir, an educator and IFYC staff member, talks about how her Ramadan this year, overlapping with many of these incidents, was marked by both undeniable anguish and a renewed commitment to connect with those under threat.
info_outline A Catholic Response to the Refugee Crisis 06/28/2016
A Catholic Response to the Refugee Crisis How does a religious or nonreligious group respond to a major world event like the current refugee crisis? We talk with Bill Canny, the head of refugee support at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, about how Catholics serve people fleeing conflicts across the globe. We also hear a story from student Aneta Krzycka about an unlikely connection made between an American Catholic and a Libyan Muslim. takingrefuge.org
info_outline Interfaith on the Menu: 04/19/2016
Interfaith on the Menu: Food—growing it, cooking it, serving it, and eating it—is definitely not off the table when it comes to thinking about engaging with different religious and nonreligious groups. In this episode, we talk with Jeff Aeder and Stephen Kreisler of Milt’s BBQ, one of the few Kosher BBQ restaurants in the country. They explain how Milt’s keeps kosher while also building community among a diverse culinary clientele. We also chat with Fred Bahnson, the director of the Food, Faith, & Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest Divinity School, about how growing a vegetable garden provides an entrée into understanding religious values.
info_outline From the Spirit World 02/12/2016
From the Spirit World Followed by millions across the world, yet often overlooked in the United States, shamanistic practices express a diverse set of beliefs about the spirit world. We talk with Bonnie Glass-Coffin, a scholar of shamanism, about the core concepts of this practice and how those concepts connect deeply to interfaith cooperation. Olivia Phanchan, a social work specialist, talks with us a revelation she had while working with an elderly Hmong group in Wisconsin.
info_outline Christian Environmental Activism: 12/14/2015
Christian Environmental Activism: Climate change and environmental degradation have been listed as a priority by political leaders, national security experts, and even Pope Francis. But what can young religious and ethical leaders do to address this issue? Ben Lowe, a writer and staff member at the Evangelical Environmental Network, talks with us about how his evangelical Christianity fuels his environmental activism and what interfaith groups can do to make an impact on climate change
info_outline The Unknown Civil Rights Hero: Pauli Murray 11/02/2015
The Unknown Civil Rights Hero: Pauli Murray Pauli Murray’s legacy of civil rights activism is often overlooked in history books. As the first female African-American Episcopal priest, she influenced everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. On this episode, we talk with Barbara Lau, the director of the Pauli Murray Project, about Murray’s trailblazing religious achievements, her advocacy for racial and gender equality, and the work going on in our present time to continue her legacy.
info_outline Art and Empathy: A Conversation with Rohina Malik 10/01/2015
Art and Empathy: A Conversation with Rohina Malik Issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity can often seem difficult to discuss or fully understand when not tied to our daily lives and concerns. Rohina Malik, a nationally-recognized playwright and performer, talks with us about how theatre can spotlight these issues in an approachable and empathetic way. Her one-woman show, Unveiled, looks at the lives of five Muslim women from differing backgrounds and how they challenge, confound, and exceed the stereotypes placed on them by others.
info_outline Measuring Success in Interfaith Cooperation 08/25/2015
Measuring Success in Interfaith Cooperation How is data useful for the work of interfaith cooperation? On this month’s episode of Common Knowledge we talk with members of IFYC’s Assessment Team about how they utilize data to promote interfaith engagement on college campuses and what they see as major trends regarding religious attitudes for college students today.
info_outline Intersections: Race, Religion, and a Conversation on Charleston 07/20/2015
Intersections: Race, Religion, and a Conversation on Charleston On this episode we talk to Jen Bailey, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the founder of Faith Matters Network, an interfaith organization in the South. We hear her reaction to the recent murders at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. She also discusses the history of the A.M.E. Church in the United States and how FMN utilizes storytelling to promote interfaith action
info_outline HIndus in Contemporary America 06/15/2015
HIndus in Contemporary America Varun Soni, the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, joins us this month on Common Knowledge as we talk about Hinduism in the United States. He chats with us about growing up Hindu as a boy in Orange County, California and discusses the challenges and opportunities of overseeing one of the most religiously diverse student bodies in the nation. We also share a story from Kristi Del Vecchio, a young interfaith activist, about how a Hindu concept radically changed how she thinks about food.
info_outline Islam and Interfaith Engagement- Common Knowledge #8 04/23/2015
Islam and Interfaith Engagement- Common Knowledge #8 In this episode, focusing on Islam and interfaith engagement, we chat with Mustafa Abdullah, an IFYC alumni and current Program Associate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. We’ll learn how interfaith work has played a part in his development as a civic activist and how he uses those skills in his work with the ACLU today. Also Randa Kuziez, an IFYC staff member, will share a story about how a lost Qur’an and some bad luck led to a meaningful interfaith moment.
info_outline Medicine and Interfaith Literacy 11/24/2014
Medicine and Interfaith Literacy One of the most religiously diverse areas of American life is healthcare and medicine. In this episode, we hear from three people working at the nexus of medicine and religion. Christine Mitchell is a public health researcher who shares her experiences working as a chaplain at a cancer hospital. We also talk with Victoria Psomiadis, a student at University of South Florida medical school, about the importance of interfaith literacy in a doctor-patient relationship. And we hear from Aamir Hussain, a student at the University of Chicago medical school, about why he started a Spirituality and Medicine interest group for medical school students.
info_outline Interfaith Cooperation in Judaism 09/23/2014
Interfaith Cooperation in Judaism This month, we focus on concepts and stories that inspire Jewish interfaith work. We talk to Rabbi Josh Stanton about why he engages in interfaith activism and about the emergence of the new academic field of interfaith studies. Rachel Schwartz, an IFYC staff member, shares a story about how a trip to India offered her an unexpected insight into her own Jewish faith.
info_outline Sikhism and Storytelling (with Valarie Kaur) 05/08/2014
Sikhism and Storytelling (with Valarie Kaur) In this episode, we talk with filmmaker and storyteller Valarie Kaur. We discuss the importance of storytelling in the interfaith movement and how Sikhs engage with interfaith work. We also hear from Maneshwar Singh, an interfaith leader at Loyola University whose passion for Sikh devotional music offered an entry point into the interfaith movement.
info_outline Mormonism and Interfaith (with Joanna Brooks) 04/02/2014
Mormonism and Interfaith (with Joanna Brooks) In this episode, we talk with Joanna Brooks, a professor and author of the memoir The Book of Mormon Girl. We discuss the diversity within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how Mormons engage with interfaith work. We also hear from Keryn Wouden, a Mormon interfaith activist about how the interfaith service she was doing with a friend was tested by a deep disagreement over political views.
info_outline Evangelicals in Interfaith (with Rachael McNeal) 01/27/2014
Evangelicals in Interfaith (with Rachael McNeal) Evangelical Christians represent a significant portion of American religious life, yet they are often overlooked for their contribution to the interfaith movement. In this episode, we talk with Rachael McNeal, an interfaith activist and evangelical, about how being an evangelical inspires her own interfaith work. We also hear a story from Better Together director William Campbell about how his mother, an atheist, had a surprising impact on his own experience with evangelism.
info_outline Atheism, Humanism, and Interfaith (with Chris Stedman) 11/21/2013
Atheism, Humanism, and Interfaith (with Chris Stedman) This episode, we talk to Chris Stedman, author and Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, about what it means to be both an atheist and an interfaith activist. Prerna Abbi, a secular Hindu, tells us about how an encounter in middle school involving PB&J sandwiches influenced her view of religion.
info_outline What Is Interfaith Literacy? (with Eboo Patel) 10/17/2013
What Is Interfaith Literacy? (with Eboo Patel) In our first episode, you’ll meet our hosts, Cassie and Carr, unpack the big idea that is interfaith literacy with Eboo Patel, and hear the story of a Christian minister from Chicago who learned a profound pastoral lesson from Buddhist monks in Thailand.