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Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters--and How to Talk About It [Paperback]

By Krista Tippett (Author)
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Item description for Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters--and How to Talk About It by Krista Tippett...

The host of public radio's Speaking of Faith explores the role of faith in today's world, drawing on her life experiences and her in-depth conversations with such figures as Elie Wiesel, Karen Armstrong, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Reader's Guide available. Reprint.

Publishers Description
An intimate, thought-provoking, and original appraisal of the meaning of religion in our time- from the creator and host of public radio's "Speaking of Faith"
Krista Tippett, widely becoming known as the Bill Moyers of radio, is one of the country's most intelligent and insightful commentators on religion, ethics, and the human spirit. With this book, she draws on her own life story and her intimate conversations with both ordinary and famous figures, including Elie Wiesel, Karen Armstrong, and Thich Nhat Hanh, to explore complex subjects like science, love, virtue, and violence within the context of spirituality and everyday life. Her way of speaking about the mysteries of life-and of listening with care to those who endeavor to understand those mysteries-is nothing short of revolutionary.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Pages   251
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.24" Width: 5.72" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2008
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
Age  18
ISBN  0143113186  
ISBN13  9780143113188  

Availability  45 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2017 06:45.
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More About Krista Tippett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for -thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.- She is the host of the public radio program and podcast On Being and Curator of the Civil Conversations Project (

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Reviews - What do customers think about Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters--and How to Talk About It?

Stupid and Shallow  Jun 4, 2008
Stupid and shallow, just like it's author. If you'd like to take me to court over this review, go right ahead so I can happily explain to everyone why I said that. Hopefully you won't be a coward and hide in radio station while I explain how stupid, ignorant, and bigoted you are.
Insightful Exploration of Faith  May 28, 2008
I read Speaking of Faith without having been familiar with Krista Tippett or her radio program. From that perspective, I found it to be a very interesting exploration of the nature and role of faith and religion in today's society. It seemed to provide a relatively balanced perspective on the issue of dealing with faith on the individual level. Most of all, I could identify with the author's perspective of being a rational, intellectual person who, at various points in her life, struggled to reconcile faith and reason. In short, I found the CONTENT of the book to be interesting and insightful.

However, I did not find the book to be easy to read. The last four chapters (which contain most of the "philosophical" content) are loosely organized in a manner explained in chapter two. Unfortunately, I found that they all felt basically the same and I had a hard time remembering what one had said over another. In addition, the overall writing style is similarly loose, like a stream of consciousness, which makes it very difficult to keep up with the thesis of any given portion of narrative.

Overall, I think it is worth reading the book, if only to open your mind to some possible new interpretations and perspectives on faith. But be prepared to make some margin notes or something, otherwise it may all start to turn into a jumble of noble postulations that don't all stick.
Speaking of Faith Has its own Vocabulary  Feb 15, 2008
Krista Tippett's spiritual memoir Speaking of Faith traces her experiences first as the granddaughter of an evangelical Christian preacher in Oklahoma, as a young skeptic who turned her faith over to the world of politics during her years as a diplomat in East Germany, and as a woman of faith who sees the important places of religion and spirituality as well as politics in public discourse about how we form our lives personally and as a nation.

Tippett is creator and host of the weekly American Public Media radio program Speaking of Faith, which consists of conversations with persons of various beliefs--Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist...--about the intersection of faith in their daily lives. She is a seeker and a listener, and she has a wonderful gift of including all voices in the conversation and finding a way of conversing that respects the integrity of each faith at the same time it finds some point of entry for listeners who stand outside that belief system. Tippett brings her diplomacy skills to the table here to great effect.

Her book traces her journey from a household influenced by her evangelical Baptist grandfather in Oklahoma, to her life as a diplomat moving between the Germanies of the Cold War in the belief that politics alone could heal divisions, to her return to the US with the belief that politics and faith have equal roles in the conversation about how we live our lives and how we interact with others. Tippett says her experiences made her "a crusader against insufficient questions and answers that stand in, prematurely and destructively, for both justice and mystery."

Tippett's book will leave you with a beautiful new vocabulary:

Humility: As I watched my children move through the world, I began to imagine what Jesus meant by humility. The humility of a Hilda, moving through the world discovering everything anew, is closely liked with delight. This original spiritual humility is not about debating oneself; it is about approaching everything new and other with a sense of curiosity and wonder. It has a quality of fearlessness, too.....

Kindness: Kindness--an everyday byproduct of all the great virtues--is at once the simplest and most weighty discipline human beings can practice. But it is the stuff of moments. It cannot be captured in declarative sentences or conveyed by factual account. It can only be found by looking attentively at ordinary, unsung, endlessly redemptive experience.

Truth: There is a profound difference between hearing someone say this is my truth. You can disagree with another person's opinions; you can't disagree with his experience. What I heard invariably shed some light on an experience of mine, or lit up some corner of another faith that had been closed to me, mysterious and even forbidding. I could never again dismiss one of those traditions of my conversation partners wholesale, because it now carried the integrity of a particular life, a particular voice.

This book read like an extended prose poem. To underline a significant passage would be to underline every line of it. The book refuses sound bytes; it won't be typecast any more than Tippett will typecast her radio guests. To read this book is to read all of it and to walk away understanding this:

"Our public life would not be polarized but enriched and gentled if we began to ask religious people to be genuinely religious--that is, to say,to the core of their traditions, which have mercy and humility from and center, and demand 'faithfulness' as much in how we treat those with whom we disagree as with the positions we hold.
A real discovery  Feb 15, 2008
I've never been compelled to write an this site review of a book before, but I count on them so much when I'm shopping that I thought it was worth my time to write. This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I had never heard of Krista Tippett and when I picked up the book in an airport I was afraid it was going to be preachy -- exactly the opposite of what it turned out to be. I bemoan the fact that in our culture it's difficult to talk about religion without being pegged as "one of those people," and yet Krista Tippett manages not only to do so successfully, but also to make the point that indeed it's vital to try.

This is a thinking person's book. I dog-eared something nearly every five pages and am looking forward to going back and thinking further about the big ideas introduced here. I am so curious to see how this book fares over time, and how exciting to me that it was released during an election year. Religion and politics. I have always believed they shouldn't mix, and now I'm starting to think that it's inevitable that they do.

I'm definitely going to check out the radio show next. This book is a real discovery.
Krista engages the mind and the heart on the subject of faith.  Dec 14, 2007
For full disclosure, I never miss listening to the podcast of Speaking of Faith because I find Krista Tippet's conversations of theology and human ways of faith endlessly fascinating.

I was not disappointed with this book either. As I read her own faith journey, I highlighted a quote that might work on my email sig. Then down the page another, and another, and longer quotes and prayers. Nuggets of gold to turn over in my mind.

I loved her portrayal of Luke Timothy Johnson, who as a monk inhabited his faith with song, prayer and practice, before going to Yale for a PhD, where the intellectual concept reigned that if only we could get the history right everything else would fall into place. She contrasts East Germans before the wall fell, where spiritual quest was discouraged but was concentrated and rich behind closed doors, to the heartbreak of Palestinians who find their hopes betrayed in endless war and where youth feels empowered by a radically superficial version of Islam. She considers how religions formed during times of war all betray angry killing between injunctions of peace. And points out that Islam is 700 years younger than Christianity and 700 years ago Christians were fighting each other and the outer world in bloody battles. The Spanish Inquisition was not videotaped on YouTube and sent around the world.

I highly recommend the book. It will make you think, make you care and will lead you to look at where you can bring kindness into the world.

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