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Sister Joan Chittister on Aging Gracefully, Einstein's God, and More
January 16, 2014
Summary: Joan Chittister's book on the elder years is not about how to age, but how to live. Also, WIlliam Lobdell on how covering the God beat made him lose his faith, and Einstein's vision of God.
Credit: Susan McKenna for the Westminister Town Hall Forum | flickr
Finding New Meaning in the Last Third of Life January 16, 2014
Sister Joan Chittier's book on aging is "a book for those who do not 'feel' old...but who one day realize with a kind of numbing astonishment that they have not managed to elude it." Now 77, Chittister says the later years of life can be a time to cultivate our wisdom, to revel in our freedom from a tight schedule, and most of all, to "melt into God."  We first aired our conversation in August 2008, and it’s one of our favorites.

Sister Joan Chittister, author of The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully
Credit: Harper
William Lobdell: How Covering the God Beat Made Me Lose My Faith January 16, 2014
For years, journalist William Lobdell prayed to be assigned to the religion beat at the Los Angeles Times. A devout Christian, he wanted to present a nuanced view of faith and belief to his readers. When he finally got his wish, his life changed--but not the way he expected.

The more he investigated, the more lies he uncovered: pedophile pastors, ostracized ex-Mormons, and bishops who hid the crimes of child molesters. Now a reluctant atheist, Lobdell explains how he learned to embrace a life without God. From 2009. 

William Lobdell, author of Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America and Found Unexpected Peace
Credit: Library of Congress | Wikimedia Commons
Einstein's Vision of God January 16, 2014
Most people have assumed that Albert Einstein, the enigmatic genius of modern science, was an atheist.  But according to one Einstein biographer, Walter Isaacson, Einstein was something of a man of faith—a faith stemming from his awe at the great order of the cosmos. For Einstein, the face of God was revealed in the smallest details of the universe, like the curve of a cosine and the absoluteness of a prime number. As he wrote in the summer of 1930,
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious…To sense that, behind anything that can be experienced, there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity teaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness."
Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe. Our interview first aired in 2008.