6 Questions for Krista Tippett

6 Questions for Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett is the host and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning radio program On Being.

Photo Credit: Ann Marsden

1. Of all the people you’ve interviewed, who surprised you the most?
I can’t choose! I hope that with every interview, my conversation partner will surprise themselves by putting words around something important in a way they hadn’t before. And every moment of surprise is interesting, strange, and moving in its own way.

2. What guest intimidated you or were you most nervous to interview?
Desmond Tutu. What he has lived through, and brought wisdom to, is extraordinary. But he immediately put me at ease and had me smiling. He has the most infectious sense of humor—it’s a mark of his understanding of the nature of God.

3. How has your audience changed since you started the program?
I’m thrilled by how expansive our audience has become—a wild spectrum of humanity pondering meaning together. We have 18-year-olds and 80-year-olds and everything in between, crossing racial, social, and religious boundaries, as well as the boundary between belief and nonbelief. It’s countercultural in the best way.

4. You frequently interview scientists—how does science inform your spirituality?
Neuroscientists, biologists, and physicists are reframing the great questions of what it means to be human, as philosophers and theologians did in previous generations. Scientists nurture my reverence for mystery and for beauty and for the “spirit of inquiry” as a human adventure.

5. Over time, have your own spiritual views become more fixed, or do they grow more malleable?
I have become more comfortable with, delighted by, mystery. At the same time, I love the reality base of spiritual practice—the way our traditions and communities, at their best, equip us to live creatively and peaceably with what is.

6. In your book Speaking of Faith you write about “the discipline of listening.” How can people practice this in their daily lives?
Listening is a spiritual discipline—a spiritual technology. Move toward listening, which does need practice, with hospitality. It needs safe spaces, because really listening implies vulnerability. It is not necessarily about changing your mind, but it will transform the way you move through the world with others.

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