Logo for How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

PRX

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 How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

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 How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

Finding Hope in Dark Times

Thumbnail for "Finding Hope in Dark Times".
December 31, 202334min 29sec

Surveys show feelings of sadness and despair peaked in 2023. So as we look to the new year, it's understandable why any of us might be feeling pessimistic, even hopeless. But these feelings aren't written in stone. We always have a choice. It's in these darkest of times, when all feels lost, that hope helps us find our way...not just to heal ourselves, but also the world around us.

On this episode, we'll talk with the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, about how he remains motivated and hopeful, even while covering some of the most tragic events in recent history. And he’ll offer a little advice for ways we can all rise above despair.

And we'll talk with Roshi Joan Halifax -- ecologist, civil rights activist, hospice caregiver, and founder of the Upaya Zen Center --  about the Buddhist-informed notion of wise hope, the equanimity it can bring, and the fierce compassion it can unleash.

Nicholas Kristof is the author of the forthcoming book Chasing Hope. Read his NYT columns here, and find out more about the cider he makes here.

Roshi Joan Halifax leads the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Learn more about her work on her website.