October 21, 2020
In this episode, we continue for the second part of our conversation with Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Writers engaged in justice work can help others expand their imagination for what is possible, yet they also need accountability, support, and spiritual growth. Where can these activists turn for mothering wisdom?
Listen to Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes and Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove discuss the global pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the need for spiritual mothers and fathers to guide and care for activists.
October 7, 2020
How can writers of faith participate in current justice movements? Where can activists on the frontlines of movements find the rest and relationships necessary for a sustainable writing life? And what role does community and accountability play in the lives of writers who address issues of injustice in their work?
In Season 2 of the Unlikely Conversations podcast, we are listening to activists and writers of faith who are using words to change the world. Our esteemed guests in this initial episode, Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, co-led a writing workshop in 2019 through the Collegeville Institute called Writing for Mystic Activists. It was a week-long retreat centered on writing as a contemplative practice for activists and clergy, an opportunity for 12 participants to connect with a long tradition of resistance writers.
July 15, 2020
How are common sacred stories about women like Queen Esther and Rahab taught differently in Christianity and Judaism?
This final episode in this season is a lively dialogue between Rabbi Jennifer Hartman and Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe. Together, they explore how they each teach and preach tricky holy passages in a way that keeps female characters complex and layered. Listen for how beautiful things can get when we dwell in the muck of messy human stories and allow women to be multi-faceted.
Note: this conversation uses adult language and addresses instances of sexual assault and stillbirth.
July 1, 2020
How do we teach toward curiosity? How can we educate ourselves and each other around misinformation of the other? How do we build relationships today so when crisis happens we are working out of the context of knowing and being known?
Claire Shea is principal at a Catholic middle school. She is also married to a Muslim. Aaron Weininger is a Jewish Rabbi. He is also openly gay. In this episode, Claire and Aaron talk about having tough conversations in their homes and families as well as in the public sphere. Starting in their homes has helped them prioritize relationships in doing courageous work in their communities.
June 17, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing grief on individual, communal, societal, and global levels. Faith communities are asking questions like: How can we create new ritual, often mediated through screens to grieve, celebrate and mark time? How can faith leaders continue to offer hope, comfort and presence while being physically separated? At the same time, our country is having heated conversations about whether faith communities can safely meet in person.
In this episode, which was recorded in late April, hear a conversation between two young faith leaders from the Hindu and Jewish traditions about spiritual practice during COVID-19. Neha Markanda is an executive known for global strategy, operational excellence and change management. She is also a founding teacher of HATS (Hindu American Temple School) and the Temple’s Board Treasurer. Rabbi Jennifer Hartman brings a passion for Jewish education and engagement to Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where she has served as Rabbi for over 6 years.
June 5, 2020
How can religious institutions fight against white supremacy and racism? Why do many avoid talking about race in faith communities?
In this episode, Fardosa Hassan and Genjo Conway – young faith leaders in the Muslim and Zen Buddhist communities respectively – have a frank conversation about race in interfaith spaces. This episode was recorded before the racist murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, but the themes speak prophetically to this moment.
May 20, 2020
How have interfaith relations shifted in the last century? Why is there still so much religious violence in the world? And how can we know if our lives have made a difference?
This episode takes a step away from the conversations between fellows to offer some history and context from two masters of multi-religious work—Rabbi Barry D. Cytron and Dr. Marty Stortz. Barry and Marty serve as co-directors of the Collegeville Institute’s Multi-Religious Fellows program and have dedicated their careers to civil discourse as spiritual practice. Don't miss their wide-ranging discussion on faith and politics, the need for honest conversation, and how Judaism and Christianity approach forgiveness and reconciliation.
April 22, 2020
In these days when young people are leaving organized religion in droves, how do our faith communities form, educate, and empower youth? And how can we build healthy, multi-religious relationships when, let’s face it, they can be hard and uncomfortable?
In this episode, listen to an unlikely conversation between Pooja Bastodkar and Andrea Roske-Metcalfe as they discuss the next generation in their respective Hindu and Christian communities. Pooja and Andrea are Twin Cities religious leaders in the Collegeville Institute’s Multi-Religious Fellows program who model friendship across religious boundaries.
April 6, 2020
We often inhabit spaces in person and online where we only interact with folks who primarily look and think and act and practice faith like we do. Unlikely Conversations is a new podcast from the Collegeville Institute that breaks through our echo chambers by exploring civil discourse as spiritual practice. In its first season, each episode features two participants in the Multi-Religious Fellows program at the Collegeville Institute. Tune in twice a month to hear host Ellie Roscher facilitate a lively discussion between diverse Twin Cities faith leaders as they tackle thorny topics like racial justice, youth spiritual formation, and religious stereotypes. The guests on Unlikely Conversations model how to have brave and hopeful conversations in an era of religious polarization.