On Being

On Being is a conversation about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit.

Recent Episodes

Sherwin Nuland — The Biology of the Spirit (Encore).

Sherwin Nuland — The Biology of the Spirit

Dr. Sherwin Nuland died this week at the age of 83. He became well-known through his first book, How We Die, which won the National Book Award in 1994. But pondering death was for him a way of wondering at life. He reflected on the meaning of life by way of scrupulous and elegant detail about human physiology.


[Unedited] Sherwin Nuland with Krista Tippett

[Unedited] Sherwin Nuland with Krista TippettThis unedited conversation with Sherwin Nuland comes from the produced show " Sherwin Nuland — The Biology of the Spirit."

The late surgeon Sherwin Nuland held a deep sense of wonder at the human body's capacity to sustain life and to support our pursuits of order and meaning. He followed the emergence of brain science with great fascination, and came to believe that the human spirit arose in an evolutionary way, as an accomplishment of the human brain.

See more at www.onbeing.org/program/biology-spirit/184

Bobby McFerrin — Catching Song (Encore).

Bobby McFerrin — Catching Song

He is a genius of improvisation; a genre-bending vocal magician and conductor. And he sings the territory between music, mystery, and spirit. Who better to contemplate the human voice — its delights, its revelations, and its mystery — than Bobby McFerrin?


[Unedited] Bobby McFerrin with Krista Tippett

[Unedited] Bobby McFerrin with Krista TippettHe is a genius of improvisation; a genre-bending vocal magician and conductor. And he sings the territory between music, mystery, and spirit. Who better to contemplate the human voice — its delights, its revelations, and its mystery — than Bobby McFerrin?

See more at http://www.onbeing.org/program/catching-song-bobby-mcferrin/249

Paul Elie — Faith Fired by Literature (Encore).

Paul Elie — Faith Fired by Literature

Art, life, and religious faith converge in Paul Elie's unusual biography of the intersecting stories of four literary Americans of the 20th century: Trappist monk Thomas Merton, social activist Dorothy Day, and fiction writers Walker Percy and Flannery O'Connor. "Certain books, certain writers," Elie says, "reach us at the center of ourselves."