In a country more religiously diverse than ever, it is critical for people to understand the vital and inspirational knowledge—the traditions, the values, and the history—of religious and non-religious identities. What is the common knowledge that we all should know? Common Knowledge is a regular podcast featuring interviews and stories from leaders around the interfaith movement focusing on what we call “interfaith literacy”—the knowledge necessary to be a leader in a religiously diverse world. Find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.
Hindus in Contemporary America
Varun Soni, the Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, joins us this month on Common Knowledge as we talk about Hinduism in the United States. He chats with us about growing up Hindu as a boy in Orange County, California and discusses the challenges and opportunities of overseeing one of the most religiously diverse student bodies in the nation. We also share a story from Kristi Del Vecchio, a young interfaith activist, about how a Hindu concept radically changed how she thinks about food.
Islam and Interfaith Engagement
In this episode, focusing on Islam and interfaith engagement, we chat with Mustafa Abdullah, an IFYC alumni and current Program Associate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. We’ll learn how interfaith work has played a part in his development as a civic activist and how he uses those skills in his work with the ACLU today. Also Randa Kuziez, an IFYC staff member, will share a story about how a lost Qur’an and some bad luck led to a meaningful interfaith moment.
Medicine and Interfaith Literacy
One of the most religiously diverse areas of American life is healthcare and medicine. In this episode, we hear from three people working at the nexus of medicine and religion. Christine Mitchell is a public health researcher who shares her experiences working as a chaplain at a cancer hospital. We also talk with Victoria Psomiadis, a student at University of South Florida medical school, about the importance of interfaith literacy in a doctor-patient relationship. And we hear from Aamir Hussain, a student at the University of Chicago medical school, about why he started a Spirituality and Medicine interest group for medical school students.
Interfaith Cooperation in Judaism
This month, we focus on concepts and stories that inspire Jewish interfaith work. We talk to Rabbi Josh Stanton about why he engages in interfaith activism and about the emergence of the new academic field of interfaith studies. Rachel Schwartz, an IFYC staff member, shares a story about how a trip to India offered her an unexpected insight into her own Jewish faith.
Sikhism and Storytelling (with Valarie Kaur)
In this episode, we talk with filmmaker and storyteller Valarie Kaur. We discuss the importance of storytelling in the interfaith movement and how Sikhs engage with interfaith work. We also hear from Maneshwar Singh, an interfaith leader at Loyola University whose passion for Sikh devotional music offered an entry point into the interfaith movement.
Mormonism and Interfaith (with Joanna Brooks)
In this episode, we talk with Joanna Brooks, a professor and author of the memoir The Book of Mormon Girl. We discuss the diversity within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how Mormons engage with interfaith work. We also hear from Keryn Wouden, a Mormon interfaith activist about how the interfaith service she was doing with a friend was tested by a deep disagreement over political views.
Evangelicals in Interfaith (with Rachael McNeal)
Evangelical Christians represent a significant portion of American religious life, yet they are often overlooked for their contribution to the interfaith movement. In this episode, we talk with Rachael McNeal, an interfaith activist and evangelical, about how being an evangelical inspires her own interfaith work. We also hear a story from Better Together director William Campbell about how his mother, an atheist, had a surprising impact on his own experience with evangelism.
Atheism, Humanism, & Interfaith (with Chris Stedman)
This episode, we talk to Chris Stedman, author and Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, about what it means to be both an atheist and an interfaith activist. Prerna Abbi, a secular Hindu, tells us about how an encounter in middle school involving PB&J sandwiches influenced her view of religion.
What Is Interfaith Literacy? (with Eboo Patel)
In our first episode, you’ll meet our hosts, Cassie and Carr, unpack the big idea that is interfaith literacy with Eboo Patel, and hear the story of a Christian minister from Chicago who learned a profound pastoral lesson from Buddhist monks in Thailand.