While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In the “How God Works” podcast, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out – one that combines cutting edge neuroscience with ancient wisdom.
He’ll speak to leading scientists, spiritual teachers, and religious leaders to explore what we can learn from faith practices ranging from meditation and prayer to psychedelics and fire-walking. He’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs -- including none at all.
By working across boundaries that usually divide people – science versus religion, one faith versus another – we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.
As a society that fears death, we tend to avoid the subject. But the key to having a positive end-of-life experience might come in doing just the opposite. On this episode, we’ll hear from philosopher Simon Critchley, Boston-area chaplains Ruth Delfiner, Sarah Byrne-Martelli, and Maude Quinn, and Threshold Choir singer Leigh Davis about what makes a good death, and the many rituals, spiritual or secular, that ease our transition out of this world.
Simon Critchley is the author of many books about death, including The Book of Dead Philosophers and How to Stop Living and Start Worrying. Find out more about his other work, including his most recent book, Bald, on his website.
In addition to her work as a chaplain, Sarah Byrne-Martelli is the author of Memory Eternal: Living with Grief as Orthodox Christians, due out this summer.
Threshold Choir Song Credits:
Rest in each breath
Words and Music by Annie Garretson for Threshold Choir
Sung by Dorothy Calvani, Leigh Davis, Winnie Lee & Marcia Picciotto
Calming, Resting, Breathing
Words and Music by Patricia Hallam for Threshold Choir
Sung by Leigh Davis, Mckendree Key & Georgia Elrod
Words and Music by Helen Greenspan for Threshold Choir
Sung by Pittsburgh Threshold Choir