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.
Around the world, gender diversity isn't the exception; it's fairly common. It’s also not a new invention. Many indigenous societies have long recognized a wide variety of gender expressions, and given leadership roles in spiritual life to gender fluid people. And while colonization has often influenced gender norms, leading to discrimination and violence, many of these traditions are still very much alive. Join Dave as he explores the history, present, and future of life beyond the binary.
Dr. Sharyn Graham Davies is Director of the Herb Feith Indonesia Engagement Centre at Monash University. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality and health in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about her work among the Bugis community of Sulawesi here.
Marca Cassity is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation and a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in LGBTQ and Native American trauma. A songwriter, performing under the non-binary version of their name Marx Cassity, their forthcoming album, which can be heard throughout this episode, is steeped in themes of queer and indigenous visibility and resilience.
This episode also benefited from the research of historian Gregory D. Smithers. We highly recommend his book: Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal & Sovereignty in Native America.
This episode mentions some forms of violence and trauma, and discusses the existence of ideas and terms that could bring up painful issues for many gender nonconforming people. If you or someone you know is struggling with notions of self-harm or suicidal ideation, please reach out for help. A list of resources for LGBTQ2S people is available here. The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)