Religion

David Clarke / Flickr

Last week, the Pope released an encyclical asserting climate change is a moral issue. Father Bud Grant, Catholic priest and professor of environmental ethics at St. Ambrose University, says the message of the encyclical is one of interconnectedness.

"That word 'related' is one of the most frequently used words in the entire document. And that means that if we tug at the environmental thread, we tug at the economic thread and the spiritual thread. They're all wound up together in that seamless garment."

A tragic shooting last week in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church left nine people dead and added fuel to conversations over racial relations in the U.S. After the incident, some historically black churches in Iowa are reviewing security plans and changing the way they think about greeting newcomers.

fusky / Flickr

When Troy Van Voorhis became a chemistry professor at MIT, he started getting questions from his students: Did science eliminate the need for religion? Did you have to be an atheist to be a good scientist?

J. Stephen Conn

While many see the Ten Commandments as a simple and powerful set of laws to live by; they are also a lightning rod for controversy in this country.

In 2012, the Vatican accused Catholic nuns in the US of straying from church doctrine, but in a report released this week, the church now says it welcomes the efforts of the sisters.

Sonja Salzburg for Harvest Public Media

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it’s not the only food or drink made by a religious order.

Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason

Our country is very much identified as "one nation under God," however, the number of non-religious Americans has risen dramatically.

Photo by John Pemble

 

The social activist group Nuns on the Bus got a boost today for their 36 city tour to encourage voter registration.  They are launching the trip from Des Moines accompanied by Vice-President Joe Biden.  Speaking from the terrace of the State Capitol, Biden calls for the raising of the minimum wage.  “The middle class is in real trouble.  It was devastated by this recession.  It was already losing ground the previous ten years.” says Biden.

 

Wikimedia Commons

When Sister Simone Campbell first heard about Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget deal, she was less than impressed. “America was not founded on individualism, you can’t have a quilting bee alone. We need to encourage solidarity. He made it seem like it’s the responsibility of the poor to pull themselves up by the bootstrap, that’s not right.”

Wyoming_Jackrabbit / flickr

State money is helping to build a new Christian park in Sioux City. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Satanic statue will be erected outside a courthouse, next to the Ten Commandments.

Msgr. Richard Soseman / facebook / https://www.facebook.com/RRSoseman

Monsignor Richard Soseman grew up in the Quad Cities and served in a parish in rural Illinois, but for the last 6 years he’s lived and worked in Vatican City. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Monsignor Soseman about his life and work and his book, Reflections from Rome- Practical Thoughts on Faith and Family.

Geek2Nurse / flickr / derivitive work: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Increasingly, efforts in environmental preservation are coming from churches.  Join host Charity Nebbe for a talk with Sister Mary Beth Ingham, professor emerita at Loyola Marymount University.  They cover what the Franciscan tradition is in viewing nature and our role in keeping it healthy.  Also, hear about what some churches in Iowa are doing to keep green.

Monastery Candy

Feb 14, 2014
Monastery Candy

Iowa is home to many talented chocolatiers and a number of them live in a place that might surprise you. Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey is a cloistered monastic community of Trappistine nuns near Dubuque. 

Bill Read

The internet has changed how we find information, get news, connect with friends, and for many people it also has changed the experience with faith and religion.  Guests include Elizabeth Drescher from Santa Clara University, L. Edward Philips from Emory University, and author, editor, and lecturer Phyllis Tickle.

Daniel Hoherd

So far this year, Des Moines has reported eight home invasions; the number coming very close to the eleven home invasions reported over the course of the entire previous year (2013).

Yuval Peleg

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with University of Iowa archeologist and religious scholar, Robert Cargill. They discuss Cargill’s trip to Israel with UI students for an excavation of Tel Azekah, as well as his latest project - a six-part documentary called “Bible Secrets Revealed.” It begins airing this week on the History Channel, starting Wednesday November 13 at 9 p.m.

Carl Wycoff /

The Amana Colonies, also known as the Community of True Inspiration, was founded in the 1850s and residents lived communally in Amana's seven village until the "Great Change" of 1932. 

Who Was Jesus?

Oct 17, 2013
Adam Groffman

Reza Aslan's latest book "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" challenges long held assumptions of the historical figure.   Host Ben Kieffer speaks to Aslan about the historical Jesus as well as Aslan's own faith journey.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

In 2010 three Iowa Supreme Court Justices lost their election for retention.  The defeat sparked major changes which increased transparency and public outreach at the state’s highest court.  Today Sarah Boden fills in for Ben Kieffer and discusses this new era of transparency with Todd Pettys of the University of Iowa's College of Law.

Jeremy Wilburn / flickr

How sexually active is your teen? It turns out that 34% of Iowa high school students are currently sexually active. So what do you know about the sex-ed being taught at your kids’ school?

In the first part of our program, host Ben Kieffer learns about a nationally recognized sex education program that many Iowa schools use, which focuses on the financial impact of having a child. Then we broaden the discussion to find out what’s being taught in Iowa’s public schools and Catholic schools. What’s appropriate? What’s effective at preventing teen pregnancy?

Emily Woodbury / IPR

Prison inmates have a lot of time to think. Some offenders take comfort in their faith, for others it’s a time to explore a new belief system. Today on Talk of Iowa: spirituality behind bars.

Host Charity Nebbe finds out what the Department of Corrections does to meet the spiritual needs of inmates, and she listens to stories from those who have worked in Iowa Prisons, including a pastor, a rabbi, an imam, and a Native American spiritual guide. A former offender joins the conversation as well, to speak to her experience finding religion while incarcerated.

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

Jul 18, 2013
Baylor University Press

A listen back to a riveting River to River from the 2012 election season. 

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

Dana Meinch

Where can you find community and acceptance if you are gay or lesbian and a deeply believing Christian? That’s the question journalist Jeff Chu asks in his new book "Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America." Host Ben Kieffer speaks with Chu about his year-long,  28-state journey he took across the U.S. in exploration of how different Christian denominations discuss homosexuality and interact with gay and lesbian members of their congregations.

Above the Din of War

Apr 4, 2013
Peter Eichstaedt

"River to River" sits down with journalist Peter Eichstaedt to talk about his new book "Above the Din of War" which examines the results of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the Afghan people.

Benjamin Thomas / flickr

He read all 32 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica. He outsourced his life to India. After that he lived for one year according to all the moral codes expressed in the Bible. Today on River to River, a conversation with author A.J. Jacobs. We’ll find out about his year of living biblically and his latest lifestyle experiment - exploring different ways to reach peak health.

Flickr / www.CAFE56.net

This past Thursday, 8:00 pm Vatican time, Pope Benedict XVI retired from the papacy.  Benedict XVI is the first pope to retire in almost 600 years.

Today on “Talk of Iowa,” we sit down with Catholics from around the state to discuss the changes and challenges that have rocked the Church in recent years.  We also ask, "What is the future of the Catholic Church both in Iowa and abroad?"

Wikipedia / World Vital Records

Queen Salome Alexandra once ruled Judea. She is the only woman whose name is written on the Dead Sea scrolls. But her story has been largely lost to history. Charity Nebbe uncovers the story of Queen Salome Alexandra with Kenneth Atkinson of UNI's Department of Philsophy and Religion.

And we also celebrate the food of Hanukkah with Rabbi Yossi Jacobson of the Chabad emissary in Des Moines who also runs Maccabee's Kosher Deli.

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

Gilad Rom / Flickr

Superman, Spiderman, the X-Men, and many other superheroes have been fighting for truth, justice and the American way for decades. Many of the men who created these characters were Jewish and, in his new book, philosopher Harry Brod explores how Jewish culture is reflected in the lives of our favorite superheroes. Then, comic book artist Phil Hester joins the conversation to talk about his work.

Religion In Iowa

Oct 26, 2012
NASA

This week’s Being in Iowa series has taken us to Hindu and Sikh Temples, examined the faiths of Mormons and Quakers, and talked with those who choose not to believe. Ben Kieffer and wraps up the series with a conversation about faith in some of Iowa’s smaller religious communities. Iowans tell their stories of coming to faith and moving away from it, and how those journeys have impacted lives.

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