Faith And Reason 360
Fr360 podcast web

Faith And Reason® creates a space for dialogue that challenges faith and spirituality to act for justice in our world.

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    The First Christmas, Part 4, with John Dominic Crossan

    Despite being divergent parabolic overtures to two different Gospels, Matthew and Luke agree on the Virginal conception and Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus. As common data, are those claims historical facts or theological interpretations? What is the meaning and intention of each claim in its original context?

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    The First Christmas, Part 3, with John Dominic Crossan

    Crossan talks about the infancy story of Luke as parabolic overture to that gospel. Imagine Luke 3-24 as the finished Gospel according to Luke and the author starting to compose its parabolic overture. How was that overture necessarily and inevitably determined by the vision of the completed Gospel?

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    The First Christmas, Part 2, with John Dominic Crossan

    Crossan talks about the infancy story of Matthew as parabolic overture to that Gospel. Imagine Matthew 3-28 as the finished Gospel according to Matthew and the author starting to compose its parabolic overture. How was that overture necessarily and inevitably determined by the vision of the completed Gospel?

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    Implicit bias in the cancer care system, with Dr. Kristin Black

    Debo and Catherine Young sit down with Dr. Kristin Black to talk about the realities of black Americans' access to healthcare. There’s a widespread misconception that faith is not interested in fact and scientific research. Faith is always concerned with reality and truth. For faith to be active, faith has to know what the facts are. Science explores the natural world that God created

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    Preaching in the Aftermath of Suicide, with Dr. Jason Coker

    In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, Debo and David sit down with Reverend Dr. Jason Coker to talk about mental health. Dr. Coker recently released a new book, Faded Flowers: Preaching in the Aftermath of Suicide, about suicide and responding to pain as a church and as individuals. People deal with loss and pain in different ways, and Dr. Coker describes his own experience preaching in the aftermath of suicide.

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    Racism in Religion, with Rev. Peter Laarman

    Biblical tradition describes two very different Gods: a jealous God and a God of boundless love and kindness. Over the last 50 years, white American Christianity has been further degraded by the idea that God prospers people individually -- that it’s a transactional kind of religion. If you’re already at the point where you think of some human beings as less than, then you can easily find a way to make your God also think of some people as less than. This idea utterly contradicts the idea that God is supremely loving. You can’t have a God who consigns people to damnation on a count no fault of their own and a God who calls us by name.

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    Thinking of Health as a Justice Issue, with Dr. Stephen Farrow

    Debo and Catherine Young sit down with Dr. Stephen Farrow, Executive Director of the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute of Mississippi (NDORI), to discuss health as a justice issue and how social factors like income and education impact health. Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity and childhood obesity in the United States, and 1 out of 3 people in Mississippi are considered obese. When thinking about health and obesity, one must also consider how racial bias and structural racism play into health and economy. Access to healthcare, education level, economic achievement and quality of life in the workplace all affect health and diabetes.

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    Making Real Change Happen, with Dr. Corey Wiggins of Mississippi NAACP

    Debo and Catherine Young chat with Dr. Corey Wiggins, the Executive Director of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference. They touch on the importance of the vote to remove confederate emblems from the Mississippi state flag, and how that vote was followed with debates about issues like funding for public schools and universities. We must change the hearts and minds of our community and leadership in order to make real change happen. So, what happens next? What does change look like, and what can we do?

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    Improving Inclusion and Equity in the Workplace, with Normella Walker

    Debo and Catherine Young chat with Normella Walker, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Brigham Health Hospital. Walker talks about diversity in the workplace, as well as the importance of organizations’ roles in civic responsibility and social justice issues. If we’re going to see progress, we need to have leaders in place who value diversity and who will work to create change. How does white privilege apply to organizations when we talk about diversity and inclusion?

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    Looking at Systemic Racism through the Eyes of a Faith Leader, with Dr. Alice Graham

    In the third episode of the Born Black Faith & Reason series, Debo and Catherine Young talk with Dr. Alice Graham, the executive director of Back Bay Mission in Biloxi. Dr. Graham recounts her own experience growing up, as well as how she found herself living in Mississippi. Dr. Graham goes into detail about how there are racial inequities evident in things like education, lack of funding for transportation, and red lining of properties.

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    Educating People about Black History through Film, with Dr. Wilma Clopton

    Dr. Clopton goes into detail about several NMHS Unlimited documentaries, like “Did Johnny Come Marching Home” and “Elport Chess and the Lanier High School Bus Boycott of 1947.” Dr. Clopton references these films in regard to the miseducation of people, specifically when it comes to African Americans’ role in history and how systematic misinformation has been put into place to divide people.

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    Experiencing Discrimination in the South, with Catherine C. Young

    Debo and David sit down with Catherine C. Young, Sr. Vice President of the Memphis Mid-South Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, to talk about systemic racism and the murder of George Floyd. Catherine starts off the conversation by highlighting the first time she experienced racism, as well as how she has faced discrimination in her life since then. Catherine goes into detail about how people of color view white privilege. She defines it as a recycling of wealth within the white community that results in white people being at the top, because they are given privileges that others do not have access to.

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    COVID-19 and the Logic of Downturn, Part 2, with Joerg Rieger

    In part 2 of our exploration of a world reshaped by COVID-19, Joerg Rieger emphasizes the importance of communities coming together to build power. He continues his call for us to see God amidst us as a working person. How has the image of the cross changed over time, and how does it relate to resurrection? What if we viewed the cross as a symbol of resistance?

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    COVID-19 and the Logic of Downturn, Part 1, with Joerg Rieger

    Theologian Joerg Rieger talks about why oppressed people have been hit hardest with COVID-19 and why people of faith and theologians should care. Joerg’s theory of the logic of downturn in regard to the broken system in the United States asks, "What if we thought about God from this perspective from the bottom up, or the perspective of an essential worker? How are we going to get out of this?"

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    Black in Mississippi, Part 3 — "Growing Up Black & Gay in the Church"

    David and Debo chat with Daniel Ball, with Freedom For All Americans, about the lack of protection for LGBTQ individuals in states like Mississippi and how religion has come to be seen as a tool that is used to weaponize and divide people. Daniel also goes into detail about alternative forms of spiritual healing and the importance of interfaith.

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    Black in Mississippi, Part 1 — "My Mother. My Hero."

    Our scholars and audiences seek understanding about the history and faith of religious people and culture—but not just for the sake of knowledge. Faith And Reason challenges faith to confront injustice in our world. Today, that means taking a critical look at the injustice right in our own backyard.

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    Out of Darkness, Let There Be Light, with Rabbi Marshal Klaven

    Join Debo and David Dykes as they visit Rabbi Marshal Klaven and learn about Hanukkah. Though it’s a minor religious holiday, Hanukkah has become enormously popular among American Jews. It’s a festival of light in the winter, it celebrates victorious underdogs, and it fits the “they tried to kill us / we won / let’s eat” rubric that animates Jewish holidays like Passover and Purim.

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    Jesus Vs. Caesar Part 5: Religious Truth & Interfaith Dialogue

    Featuring Dr. Joerg Rieger. What if we didn’t view religion as a sport, with a team that has to win, but instead as a language? Differences make a difference in how we move the world, so coming together to discuss different truths would benefit us and add to our knowledge of the world and the people around us.

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    Jesus Vs. Caesar Part 4: Jesus Vs. Caesar Part 4: Crucifixion, Charity, and Changing the Power Differential

    Dr. Joerg Rieger joins Debo and David to discuss how the cross and the resurrection of Jesus illustrate resistance, and why women were the only followers of Jesus who showed up when Jesus was crucified. They also talk about how malignant religion can support an economic system that will result in exploitation and suffering. What are some of the mechanisms that keep the “American Dream” in place?

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    Jesus Vs. Caesar Part 3: Religion, Materialism, and Rapture Theology

    Dr. Joerg Rieger sits with Debo, David and Ann to delve into the differences between "malignant religion" and "life-giving religion." What is the relationship Jesus had with materialism and to what extent is preaching the good news to the poor life-giving versus malignant?

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    Jesus Vs. Caesar Part 1: Emperor God or Servant God, with Joerg Rieger

    Dr. Joerg Rieger joins Debo, David, and Ann to explore the tension between the Christian perceptions of God: the kingly, dominant God of Caesar vs. the humble, human God of Jesus. When we talk about God, he says, which God are we talking about? If this God is one with Jesus, a working person and refugee who served the marginalized, what does it look like for us to be followers of Jesus today?

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    The Last Week, with John Dominic Crossan, David Dykes, and Ann Phelps: Intro

    In this special episode, hear the Intro of "The Last Week," a new audio series from Faith And Reason. This series features new dialogue with John Dominic Crossan based on material from his book with Marcus Borg, "The Last Week." Part meditation, part historical exploration, and part theology — our new audio series with Dr. Crossan, David Dykes, and Ann Phelps is perfect for individual study, especially during the Lenten season. "The Last Week" is available now at!

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    The Stages of Spiritual Maturity Part 3: Growth on the Threshold, featuring Richard Rohr

    In Part 3 of our series featuring audio from Father Richard Rohr’s lecture “The Human Spirit,” Ann and Debo discuss Rohr’s next stage of human development: the realization that my thoughts and feelings are who I am.” This can cause us to become too locked in and certain in our beliefs, but there is freedom in remaining teachable. Spiritual maturity happens when we are open to challenging our convictions. Rohr says that “growth only happens on the threshold.” When we come to the edge of our comfort zone, don’t retreat - push on.

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    Hastening Change in the Church, with Barbara Wendland

    In this episode of Faith And Reason 360 we are honored to welcome author, scholar, and scribe of the popular monthly newsletter “Connections” Barbara Wendland. Join us as Barbara discusses the need for a radical update of creed, attitude, and structure in the Christian church, whose practices, Wendland says, are outdated—and this behind-the-times attitude, though revered as traditional by many, comes at the expense of Church success. The world has changed dramatically since the 3rd century; is the Church ready to catch up?

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    A Christian Nation For Whom?: Exploring Brueggemann

    No small critic of imperialism and nationalism, Walter Brueggemann heavily influences this episode. He argues that the U.S. was not founded to be a Christian nation — but one where churches co-exist, not co-opt, the secular democracy.

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    The Merits of Unselfish Fulfillment

    Noorain Khan, program officer at the Ford Foundation, discusses her experiences as a Muslim-American woman navigating a roiling political and social landscape, the importance of intersectional representation in all fields, and how altruism is a catalyst not only for social change but also for deep personal fulfillment.

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    Our "Father" and Our Fathers

    Debo Dykes and Ann Phelps host a roundtable discussion with guests Rev. Dr. Jason Coker, field coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi and David Dykes, Executive Director of Faith And Reason, about the beginnings of our faith formed by family and the image and language of God created for and by white men.

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    God Amidst Our Planetary Crisis

    As fires rage in California and hurricanes menace the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, hosts Ann Phelps and Debo Dykes talk with guest Frederica Helmiere about the environment and what lessons Christians can learn from their interaction with the natural world.

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    Race, Faith & American Poverty

    Debo and Ann talk to the Rev. Dr. Jason Coker, field coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi (CBF MS) in light of recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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    Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time

    Ann and Debo revisit an archived Marcus Borg lecture to dissect Borg's ideas on how one can practice Christianity but reject literalism and beliefs that don't fit a modern understanding of justice.

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    Love Thy Neighbor: The Church & LGBTQ

    Hosts Debo Dykes and Ann Phelps speak with Rob Hill, a former Methodist pastor and the current director of the Human Rights Campaign Mississippi. Rob's unique perspective offers a new understanding of ministry's role in creating safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ people.

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    Music of the Movement

    Hosts Debo Dykes and Ann Phelps speak with composer and worship leader Mark Miller about how spiritual music brings people together, empowers communities, and inspires all of us to lives of justice and mercy.

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    Reclaiming Resurrection

    Hosts Ann Phelps and Debo Dykes have a deep discussion with renowned historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan about the history of the concept of Resurrection. While Dr. Crossan raises provocative questions about our common understanding, there can be deeper meanings that are even more profoundly relevant today.

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    Women's Voices in Religion, Journalism, and the Workplace

    In honor of International Women's Month, we welcome Ann Phelps, Interim Director of Religious Life at Millsaps College, Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief of the Jackson Free Press in Jackson, Mississippi, and Kate McNeel, Chief of Staff, Telecommunications Industry Business at SAP and the founder of LeanIn Mississippi.

    Together, the panel shares their perspective on women making their voices heard across different sectors of society including the Church, newsmedia, and the corporate workplace.

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    Black Women in Historical Justice Movements, ft. Dr. Keri Day

    In our second podcast episode, Faith and Reason's Debo Dykes has a spirited conversation with Dr. Keri Day about Black women's modern and historical efforts for human rights and equality.

    Dr. Day is an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics & Director of the Black Church Studies Program at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University. She is a published author of several books, including "Unfinished Business: Black Women, The Black Church, and the Struggle to Thrive in America."

    Intersectionality, Black Lives Matter, racial injustice, reproductive justice, and how the lives of Black women profoundly affect justice for everyone—come to light in an impactful conversation serving as a perfect bridge between Black History Month and Women's History Month.

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    Roe v. Wade 44th Anniversary ft. Sarah Weddington

    Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued Roe V. Wade, shares the inside story of her experiences arguing the case and what's changed for women's rights since the 1973 decision. She is joined by a panel of women sharing their own unique perspectives: Melissa Weininger, Claire Villareal, Amy Harris, and Muffie Moroney.

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