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Summer Religion Reading Recommendations
July 27, 2018
We talk with three authors of new and forthcoming books about how the poetic language of faith connects us and draws us in to spirituality, yet leaves the door open for questions.
(Courtesy of
The lost art of ‘speaking God’ July 27, 2018
Are we losing the language we share to describe our faiths and religious traditions? Author Jonathan Merritt - a contributor to The Atlantic and religion and culture commentator, says he was struck by how few people “speak God” anymore - and how that can prevent people from expressing their faiths. It launched him on an unlikely journey to understand the very words he uses himself to understand and explore his faith and resulted in his new book.

Jonathan Merritt, The Atlantic contributor and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing--and How We Can Revive Them
(Courtesy of Penguin Randomhouse)
A modern Muslim woman walks into a bookstore - and finds a spiritual path July 27, 2018
Language can lead us to find new spiritual understandings. For one woman, it was the writings of Sufi mystics that took her from her corporate job to becoming an advocate for understanding about Islam and global women’s rights. Daisy Khan is a well-known leader in the Muslim community and she’s the founder and executive director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality. She’s also worked on inter- and intra- faith issues as the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

Daisy Khan, author of the new memoir Born with Wings: The Spiritual Journey of a Modern Muslim Woman

Listen to a web bonus from our conversation.
Courtesy of Mark Schaefer
Getting comfortable with doubt – for faith’s sake July 27, 2018
Faith traditions come with all sorts of special vocabulary to try to articulate our rituals and our intangible beliefs. But Rev. Mark Schaefer says it seems there’s one word that people of faith increasingly try to avoid at all costs: uncertainty. Schaefer is the university chaplain at American University in Washington DC and before that served for years as AU’s United Methodist Chaplain. He says in that time he saw many of his students struggling with doubt - thinking that they were doing something wrong or weren’t faithful enough if they showed any signs of questioning. But Schaefer says uncertainty and doubt are crucial to a well-examined spiritual life.


Rev. Mark Schaefer, university chaplain at American University and author of the forthcoming book The Certainty of Uncertainty
Commentary: Unplugging from guilt July 27, 2018
Host Amber Khan shares some reflections from her recent summer vacation, in which her family underwent their annual ritual of disconnecting from devices and daily routines. But this year, she felt like retreating from her news consumption was abdicating a responsibility to pay attention.

Amber Khan, host