Friday, May 24, 2013

Krista Tippett (CCL 2013) - Resource Guide

We are thrilled to have Krista Tippett, NPR radio personality and journalist, visiting campus this September 24th and 25th for the annual Christian Culture Lecture. Her talk is titled "Civic Healing and Christian Virtue in the 21st Century." Tippett is an ideal fit for the lecture, as she presses us to think about the role religion and spirituality can and do play in public life.
"It's always been very important to me to enlarge imaginations about how this part of life we call religious and spiritual actually works in real, far-flung, 21st-century lives."

To help spread the good word and familiarize folks with her work, we're offering this brief resource guide.

Ways to become familiar with Tippett's work...
  • Listen live to her weekly radio show, "On Being", which focuses on "religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas." In the South Bend area, turn to 88.1 WVPE on Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. 
  • Or, if you don't fancy an early start to your Sunday, listen online to her radio show via NPR's website. You can also find transcripts of the individual shows/interviews since 2001.
  • Read her two books, Speaking of Faith and Einstein's God (reading questions for the former below). 
  • Check her out on TED: "Reconnecting with compassion". Or, watch the video below.

READING QUESTIONS (Speaking of Faith): 
  • What does she mean when she says "faith is as much about questioning as it is about certainties. It is possible to be a believe and a listener at the same time" (3)? 
  • There seem a number of places, particularly as she speaks on social justice, reform, and the role religion plays in fostering such realities, that Tippett's book seems to dovetail with James Carroll's lecture from last year (3-7). Did you have any responses to these? 
  • Do you agree that "a fundamentalist temptation, both secular and religious, accompanies twenty-first-century tumult and runs across the spectrum of our beliefs" (15)? In other words, she takes care to take that word, 'fundamentalism', out of the strict confines of religion and to introduce its errors to a broader, even secular, context. 
  • Tippett reveals a frustration with the connection between politics and religion, or, more specifically, the limits of politics (9). Does this resonate for you? especially today? in what ways? 
  • In what ways does Tippett's biographical chapter, "Remembering Forward," set up the rest of her book? What purpose does it serve--for her? for the reader?
  • She spends a great deal of time detailing the ways in which science and faith are not--as much of our contemporary chatter would presume them to be--in opposition to one another. Instead, she details the overlap in their "ways of looking." What were your responses to these pages (esp. 75-102), these points? 
  • Tippett could have been a HUST major, it seems. She has read and makes reference to early Christianity and the Bible, the Jacob of Jabbok story that so entrances Martin Luther (59), Galileo, Voltaire and Leibniz (81), Julian of Norwich (113), the Benedictines (123), Augustine (132), and many other examples. How did your knowledge (or lack thereof) of these references affect your reading? 
  • Much of this book takes a first person, narrative approach--what Tippett calls a "narrative theology" (133). What were your responses to this style? 
  • The 2008 paperback version of the book also offers a reader's guide with "Questions for Discussion" in the back of the volume. 

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