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Welcome To Valhalla

Heathenry, a modern movement drawing on pre-Christian pagan religions, has become associated with the violent, racialized politics of the alt-right. …

Stealing the Canon

Literary canons have come under fire for perpetuating privilege and exclusion. But some artists — including William Shakespeare and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda — show us how canons can …

Climate of Denial

Human-caused climate change is real and growing in impact. Yet many Americans see climate change as a belief that they can opt out of. Two belief structures are to blame: American …

Progressive Souls, Part 2

Religious people have played an important role in progressive politics in the US for its entire history. Contemporary leftists should look to build …

Progressive Souls, Part 1

Religious people have played an important role in progressive politics in the US for its entire history. Contemporary leftists should look to build …

The Myth of Modernity

Many think modernity is about the rise of science, the spread of democracy and capitalism, or the decline of religion or superstition. But those stories ignore the bigger picture about …

Spiritual Machines

Ever since early scientists began experimenting with immortality elixirs in the middle ages, religion has been influencing transhumanism. Now, we’re beginning to see transhumanism …

Shifting Blame

We claim to judge people for what they intentionally do, but accidents often influence our judgments. In our justice systems, people can be harshly and unfairly blamed for bad luck—but in …

Nothing Matters

Between the Buddhist doctrine of ‘emptiness,’ the Jewish idea of Ayin, and the quantum mechanical zero-point energy of a vacuum, it turns out there’s quite a lot to be said about Nothing.

Tomorrow, Today

World’s fairs were created to celebrate industry, technology, imperialism, western supremacy, and progress; but they also led to unexpected critiques …

Apocalyptic Politics

Evangelical voters made up a significant portion of Donald Trump’s base in the 2016 presidential election. Their political agenda may not be peace or …


Cannibalism has been used for centuries to define the lowest form of humanity, but the story isn't as straightforward as it may seem. Turns out, there may be a logic - or even a love - to …

Child's Play

We shouldn’t be dismissive of the popularity of children’s literature among adults, as it is often in these works of fiction that powerful themes …

Forbidden Fruit

Contemporary diet culture is only the latest manifestation of a long history of religious fervor about food.


  • Isabel Foxen Duke, health coach

Enlightened Cynicism

Trust in government, media, organized religion, businesses and even democracy is at historic lows. But what if the answer to declining faith in institutions isn’t more hope, but more …


Total faith in meritocracy leads to the dangerous belief that all social winners and losers are wholly deserving. Instead, we need an economy of …

Secular Salvations

The decline of organized religion in the West has opened up new paths for individuals to pursue what once was once understood to be salvation.


21st Century Citizenship

What does it mean to be a citizen in America in 2017?


  • Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and University …

Mirror Image

16th-century glass mirrors and 21st-century camera phones actually share a lot in common; they both are technologies that shaped new forms of the …

White Balance

Understanding race in America requires understanding its relationship to class.


  • Joshua Bennett, writer and poet
  • Julian Bourg, Professor of …


Efficiency has moved from a technique for measuring machines to a widely held moral value. But at what cost?


  • Jennifer Alexander, Associate …

Generation Why?

Who gets to define generational cohorts and do they obscure more than illuminate?


  • Neil Howe, author of Generations
  • Tony Tulathimutte, author …

Seriously Funny

What happens when politics becomes comedy and the jester becomes the king?


  • Emily Nussbaum, television critic for The New Yorker
  • Avi …

The Shape of History

The way we think about history can affect our belief that we can change it.


  • Jo Guldi, Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University and

Introducing Ministry of Ideas

Introducing Ministry of Ideas, a podcast that explores the ideas that shape our lives.

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Start listening to Welcome To Valhalla
Start listening to Welcome To Valhalla