Author │ Radio Show Host │ Journalist
“It’s always been very important to me to enlarge imaginations about how this part of life we call religious and spiritual actually works in real, far-flung, 21st-century lives.”
Peabody Award winning broadcaster Krista Tippett grew up in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and spent most of the 1980’s in divided Germany. She was The New York Times
stringer in Berlin and also reported for Newsweek
, The International Herald Tribune
, the BBC, and Die Zeit
. Later she served as a special political assistant and chief Berlin aide to the U.S. Ambassador to West Germany.
She wrote her first book, Speaking of Faith
(Penguin, 2007) in part to answer the question she is often asked—how she went from that mode of geopolitical engagement to becoming a religious person and student of theology. When she emerged from Yale with a Master of Divinity in 1994, she saw a black hole where intelligent journalistic coverage of religion should be. As she conducted a far-flung oral history project for the Benedictines of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, Tippett began to imagine radio conversations about the spiritual and intellectual content of faith that would enliven and open imaginations and public discussion.On Being with Krista Tippett
(formerly Speaking of Faith
) is public radio’s weekly program about “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas.” The show is produced and distributed by American Public Media and is currently heard on over 200 public radio stations across the U.S. and globally via the web and podcast. With Speaking of Faith
and its newest incarnation, On Being
, Tippett has inspired a new mode of intelligent, in-depth discussion about faith, ethics, religion, and meaning in everyday life.
“We aspire to create hours of radio that are beautiful, intelligent, nourishing, edifying, trustworthy, quiet, and hospitable. They are also challenging, but not in a way that puts people on the defensive or invites posturing. We invite listeners—and give them tools—to open their minds, to see differently, and to start new conversations within themselves.”
Tippett takes a narrative approach to religious and philosophical conversation. She draws out the intersection of theology and human experience, of grand religious ideas and real life. A weekly national program since July 2001, her radio show is about drawing out compelling and challenging voices of wisdom on the most important subjects of 21st-century life. Topics range from “Einstein and the Mind of God” to “The Spirituality of Parenting” to “Diplomacy and Religion in the 21st Century.”
The new name of her radio program is highly indicative of Tippett’s goals and philosophies. The word “being,” she says, “is an evocation of the primary biblical name of God. ‘I Am Who I Am’ can better be translated, I remember my teacher of Hebrew pointing out, as ‘I Will Be What I Will Be.’…[“Being”] points at ‘religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas’ as endeavors at the heart of human life—not confined to Sunday mornings or Friday evenings, not on the sidelines of real life, but at the essence of who we are and whatever we do.” For Tippett, “being” represents questions like “What kind of person will I be? What constitutes a worthy life? How can I be of service?”
Tippett’s second book, Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
(2010), argues that science and religion, far from being mutually exclusive, are complementary realms of inquiry. Tippett initiates profound and often moving conversations with experts in a variety of disciplines: well-known physicists, a Darwinian scholar, respected surgeons, a widely-recognized psychologist. Tippett’s goal, as her listeners know, is to understand how religious revelations, diverse spiritual practices, and cutting-edge advances in science and medicine can inspire and improve the way we live our lives.
Her latest initiative, the Civil Conversations Project
, is a series of radio shows and online tools for healing our fractured civic spaces. In conversation with Tippett, guests like Terry Tempest Williams and Vincent Harding ask: how can we bridge the gulfs between us caused by disagreements around politics and morality?
Tippett lives in Minneapolis, MN, and is currently at work on a new book slated for publication in 2014.
Selected Lecture Topics
- Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit (Penguin, 2010)
- Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It (Penguin, 2007)
- The Mystery and Art of Living
- Einstein's God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit
- Religion, Media and Public Life in the 21st Century
- The Adventure of Civility
2008 Webby Award, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences for excellence in electronic media
2007 George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in radio broadcasting
2005 Webby AwardMedia
"An Evening With Krista Tippett" presented by WHYY FM radio, Philadelphia:
Krista Tippett's TED Talk on the subject of compassion:To learn more about Krista Tippett and her radio show, go to being.publicradio.org.