The Tikkun Phone Forum
Almost every Monday night between December 2008 and June 2010 the Tikkun Phone Forum introduced our readers and authors to each other, live.
Our managing editor, Dave Belden, interviews the author for about twenty minutes and then throws the call open to Q&A. We have audio here for these calls since March 2009.
The Phone Forum--free to all who dial in--has been our gift to our subscribers and members of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. And we hope it's also worked as an enticement to people to join us! We depend on your subscriptions and gifts for our survival. If you enjoy these recordings, please click here to subscribe, join or give. After a summer break in 2010 we suspended the program in order to focus on creating our new magazine website.
June 7: Paul Wapner: Humility in a Climate Age. The cover article of the issue. Wapner asks if the ambitious new environmental geo-engineering schemes to mitigate global climate change can be suffused with the more humble awareness of our place within nature's complexity that environmentalists have always taught. Listen to the discussion here.
May 24: Mark Hathaway: Spirituality in a Time of Crisis. Facing climate change, we must free ourselves from our false understandings of collapse. It's not self-sacrifice but liberation that the Tao and all deep spiritual wisdom offers us. Listen to the audio here.
May 17: Sharon Welch: The Machiavellian Dilemma: Paradoxes and Perils of Democratic Governance. Has the Obama presidency failed? No, says Sharon Welch, resistance to social and political change is not a sign of failure--it's inevitable, and can be overcome. Dr. Sharon D. Welch is provost of Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist), member of Global Action to Prevent War, and author of Real Peace, Real Security: the Challenges of Global Citizenship (Fortress Press, 2008). Listen to the discussion here.
May 10: Margaret Flowers: After the Reform: Aiming High for Health Justice. How to keep moving forward towards medicare for all. Dr. Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician who serves as the congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program and is on the board of Healthcare-Now. She is one of the "Baucus 8." Listen to the discussion here.
May 3: Tony Klug: See Are Israeli Policies Entrenching Anti-Semitism Worldwide? in the May June Tikkun. Critical discussions of Israeli policy are too often tarred as "Anti-Semitism" and shut down. In reality, holding Israel to an ethical standard is necessary to stem a rising tide of real anti-Semitism. Dr. Tony Klug is a veteran commentator on Middle East affairs. His Visions of the Endgame (Fabian Society, 2009--download the pdf here) outlines a strategy for Obama and the international community to bring the conflict swiftly to an end. An earlier pamphlet, How Peace broke out in the Middle East (pdf here), described an imagined future sequence of events as if they had taken place in the past, to indicate how Israelis and Palestinians could bring about peace by themselves. Listen to the recording here, and see a blog post about it here.
April 19: Judith Plaskow. See her article, "Sacred Pronouns," in the current Tikkun (get a single copy here, or subscribe here). Dr. Judith Plaskow is Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College. Her scholarly interests focus on contemporary religious thought with a specialization in feminist theology. Dr. Plaskow has lectured widely on feminist theology in the United States and Europe. She co-founded The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and co-edited it for its first ten years. She is Past President of the American Academy of Religion. Audio available here.
April 12: no Phone Forum: Tikkun production week.
April 5: Svi Shapiro: See his article, "Cash for Credits: Education in a Time of Hardship" in the current Tikkun (get a single copy here, or subscribe here). We must not allow education to become just another commodity. Svi Shapiro talks about the "hidden curriculum" in education -- what our children learn from all the relationships at schools, the way they are taught to cooperate or to compete, the way knowledge is valued (for pursuing a meaningful life or to parlay into money) and more. Listen to the talk and discussion here.
March 22: Graeme Wend-Walker - Reaching for the Moon: a children's book author challenges the separation of science and religion. Graeme Wend-Walker teaches children's literature and critical theory at Texas State University, San Marcos. His scholarly interest is in the way spiritualized literature speaks back to an academic interest in it. Listen to the discussion here.
March 15: Lauren Reichelt: Healing in Community. A poverty-stricken town racked by violent crime comes together to build a playground but ends up accomplishing much more. Lauren Reichelt is the director of Health and Human Services for a county in Northern New Mexico. She has served as a successful community organizer in Japan and the United States and is writing a book about organizing as a healing process. She is a frequent blogger on Tikkun Daily, Daily Kos and elsewhere. The audio of the interview is here.
March 8: Bruce Ledewitz: The Future of God -- and Secularism. Bruce Ledewitz is professor of law at Duquesne University Law School. He is author of American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics (2007) and Hallowed Secularism: Theory, Belief, Practice (2009). Click here to listen to the audio of the conversation.
March 1: Bruce Peterson -- A Spiritual Perspective on Family Courts. Legal culture promotes combat. Stressed families deserve better than that. We must invent a new system. Read his article in the March/April Tikkun here. Listen to the interview with Bruce here and the Q and A afterwards here.
February 22: Chris Hedges -- Celebrity Culture and the Obama Brand. Pulitzer journalist Chris Hedges asks what our global celebrity President has done for us. Read his article in the Jan/Feb Tikkun here. Read about the debate between Chris and Rabbi Lerner here. Listen to the interview with Chris here.
February 15: Roger S. Gottlieb -- The Mystery of Forgiveness. Deep attractions to both forgiveness and revenge are, psychological researcher Michael McCullough tells us, hard-wired aspects of our brain and personality. Read Roger's article in the Jan/Feb Tikkun here. Listen to the interview with Roger here.
February 8: Harriet Fraad -- America's Two Depressions: One Economic, One Psychological & Spiritual. See our blog post here and her cover article for the Jan/Feb Tikkun here. Listen to the interview with Harriet here, and the Q and A afterwards here.
January 25: Josh Healey -- poet and activist. See his article "Justice in Jerusalem" in the January/February 2010 print issue of Tikkun--in which the poet disinvited from J Street's conference describes the generational divide in the Jewish Left. On Tikkun Daily see "J Street and the Poet" and "Josh Healey's take on J Street." Listen to the interview with Josh here.
January 18: Gary Dorrien -- Christian Socialism, Commonwealth Economics. Rauschenbusch, Niebuhr, and the current relevance of the Social Gospel. Social Gospelers were dismissed for speaking an optimistic language of progress and social evolution-but they were more right than their opponents. Read this story from the January/February 2010 issue of Tikkun here. Read Dave Belden's blog on the subject here. Listen to the interview with Gary here.
January 11: David Pinault -- Sunni-Shia Sectarianism and Competition for the Leadership of Global Islam: Muslims are seeking global versions of Islam to replace the local versions from which globalization has uprooted them. Read this story from the January/February 2010 issue of Tikkun here. Listen to the interview with David here.
Dec 14: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove on Christmas. Jonathan wrote the lead article in our guide to an alternative Christmas in the current Tikkun, which you can download along with our alternative Chanukkah guide, here. Jonathan is a speaker and author, most recently of the book God's Economy. He lives in a new monastic community that prays, eats, and lives together, welcoming neighbors and the homeless. He also blogs on Tikkun Daily. This one is not yet available in audio, but all the ones below are. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
Dec 7: Riane Eisler on the Roadmap to a New Economics: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism. Riane wrote the cover article of our current issue. She is a systems scientist and cultural historian, president of the Center for Partnership Studies, and author of the international bestsellers The Chalice and the Blade and The Real Wealth of Nations. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
Nov 30: Stephen Zunes on the Goldstone Report, Gaza, Israel and related topics. Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern studies at the University of San Francisco, a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus, and a longtime contributing editor at Tikkun. His article "Democrats' Attacks on Goldstone" is in the current issue and can be read online here. Professor Zunes is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
Nov 23: The Yes Men. The coolest guys with the most chutzpah will talk about the amazing pranks through which they reveal the true nature of such supposedly august institutions as the US Chamber of Commerce, the World Trade Organization and Dow Chemical. But go watch their movie first! It's on general release. It's reviewed here online by Michael Lerner, followed by an interview with the Yes Men, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
Nov 16: Robert James "Be" Scofield on MLK's God. MLK did not believe what you probably imagine he believed about Jesus and God. A diligent seminary student delving into newly published documents, Be Scofield has some interesting news about just how liberal MLK's theology was. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
November 9: Kim Chernin on her article The Long Path Out of Denial: Zionism, Heartache, and a New Vision of Israel and Palestine. In this article excerpted from her new book, Kim Chernin describes how, as a "naive Zionist," she took in the narrative and emotion of the Palestinian point of view, and learned to hold it simultaneously in her mind and heart with her Zionist point of view. Chernin is a much published and loved author of nonfiction and fiction. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
November 2: Michael Nagler on Mahatma Gandhi and Nonviolence. Michael is one of the best known American academics in the field of peace studies. He is professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education (www.mettacenter.org), and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future. In the Sept/Oct Tikkun he reviewed the major new biography of Gandhi by the Mahatma's grandson, Rajmohan. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
October 26: Conrad Miller on his article in the current Tikkun "Today's Synthetic Foods: Shrinking Our Brains, Testicles, and Livers?" Dr. Miller is a board-certified emergency medicine physician. On GMO foods, see his book The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About (2008) and http://www.crestofthewave.com/book/. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
October 19: Ofer Sharone, whose article "Self-Blame and Self-Help" is extremely relevant to a time of high unemployment. Inspired by the self help gurus to think we can create our own reality, what do we do but blame ourselves when we can't get a job? Ofer Sharone, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has some different self-help advice: help yourself by understanding social and economic forces and making common cause with others to transform the system. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
October 12: David Theo Goldberg and Saree Makdisi on the Trial of Israel's Campus Critics. David Theo Goldberg directs the system-wide University of California Humanities Research Institute (www.uchri.org) and is a professor of comparative literature and criminology, law, and society at UC Irvine. Saree Makdisi is a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
October 5: Samantha Kirby and Eboo Patel wrote "Hungry for Change: Interfaith Service in Action" in the current Tikkun, about Muslim and Jewish students who organized a fast-a-thon on their U.S. college campus during the holy month of Ramadan to promote understanding and service. Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core. He writes "The Faith Divide" blog for the Washington Post. His book Acts of Faith was a bestseller in 2007. Samantha Kirby is an executive associate at the Interfaith Youth Core. A native Californian, she studied religion at Northwestern University. Samantha simultaneously entered our Under 25 Writing Contest and, because she wrote one of the five best essays out of more than forty we received, she had the highly unusual distinction of two articles printed in one issue of Tikkun! Her essay on the challenges of interfaith social change work is here. You can listen to the interview here.
9/30/09: Many thanks to Daniel O'Leary who just joined us as a web editorial intern, working at long distance from Chicago, for editing and posting the last two forums, and taking on to do future ones.
September 21: Sunny Schwartz on Restorative Justice in San Francisco's County Jail 7. There are two articles in the current Tikkun about Schwartz's amazing, hopeful work, which could transform America's prisons into places where people learn how not to be violent. See her own website for more. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
September 14: Murli Natrajan on Progressive Hinduism. In his article in the current Tikkun, "Searching for a Progressive Hinduism: Battling Mussolini's Hindus, Hindutva, and Hubris," Balmurli Natrajan lays out the history and frightening power of the Hindu fascists. Natrajan is also blogging on Tikkun Daily, drawing the ire of the Hindu Right and explaining progressive Hinduism to us. Murli Natrajan teaches at William Paterson University of New Jersey, where he is also director of the Gandhian Forum for Peace and Justice. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two
Summer break: August 10 - Sept 7.
August 3: Michael Eigen's article "Out of the Spiritual Closet" appears in the July/August Tikkun. Eigen is a psychologist in New York City whose books include Flames from the Unconscious: Trauma, Madness and Faith, Feeling Matters, The Sensitive Self, and The Psychoanalytic Mystic. You can listen to the interview here, or the Q&A—part one, and part two.
July 27: Daniel Brook. We expect that "The Planet Saving Mitzvah: Why Jews Should Consider Vegetarianism" will become a classic for Jews, but also for many others. The article is not yet available online. With magazines in dire financial trouble, we have to keep some of our best articles off the web, to encourage people to buy the magazine on bookstalls or online here. Please buy the magazine and join us for our discussion, though no doubt you will get much from the interview and discussion even if you haven't read it. You can click here to listen to the interview, or here for the discussion.
July 20: Rafael Reuveny also differed from Tikkun's Editor in his article in the May/June issue "Healing and Reality in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Reuveny argued that Israel was NOT a colonial power in its foundation, but became one after the 1967 occupation. Michael Lerner wrote that "The use of the term "colonialism" about Israel freezes discussion among people who'd otherwise listen, without adding necessary analytical clarity." But Reuveny argued that analyzing the similarities between Israel's "colonialism" after 1967 and that of the classic colonial powers could be of great assistance in working out how to proceed to decolonization by Israel today, especially in persuading the U.S. to practice "tough love" towards Israel. Click here for the interview, and here for part one of the Q and A, and here for part two of the Q and A.
July 13: Mark LeVine's editorial, "Obama in Cairo," in the July/August Tikkun took the President to task for being too easy on "the autocrats and occupiers of the region" and not promising to withdraw U.S. funding from them. In his own editorial, Michael Lerner acknowledged that his friend LeVine made good points, but he differed from him in emphasizing "that we at Tikkun were very much heartened by [Obama's] speech." We discussed the issues on the Phone Forum with Mark LeVine July 13: click here for the interview and here for the Q and A. Mark LeVine is a professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and author, most recently of Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 (Zed Books, 2009), and Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam (Random House/Three Rivers Press).
July 6: Aaron Roland: In two segments: click here to listen to the interview, and here to listen to the Q and A (note that the first speaker on the questions is a questioner, not Dr. Roland). Dr. Roland wrote "The Health Care Battle Lines" in the current Tikkun, to explain the ideas, interests and terminology at play in the struggle going on right now in Congress. This is the critical domestic political issue of the summer. Join us to discuss the issues with Dr. Roland. Moving from Yale Law School and legislative politics to a career as a family physician, Dr. Roland's twenty years on the front lines of medicine has led him back to political advocacy.
June 29: Life After Torture. Click here to listen to Lynn Feinerman, San Francisco Bay Area independent media professional, whose company, Crown Sephira Productions, has emphasized ecology, peace, and social justice. Ms. Feinerman wrote "Life After Torture and Torment" in the May/June 2009 Tikkun: a powerful argument that we cannot stop torture by our government until we fully face and understand the torture already done in our name. Her recent writings have appeared online at Common Dreams and UFPJ.
June 22: Obsessed with Defamation and Slander. Click here to listen to Imam Zaid Shakir, scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute, where he teaches courses on Arabic, Islamic law, history, and Islamic spirituality. Shakir wrote an eponymous article in the May/June 2009 Tikkun in which he rebuts the charges of "Islamofascism" made by the widely disseminated "Obsession" DVD and in much commentary about Islam as a whole.
June 15: The Nuclear Weapons in Today's World. Click here to listen to Tad Daley, a Writing Fellow with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the 1985 Nobel Peace Laureate organization.
June 8: Peter Gabel, Tikkun Associate Editor. Click here to listen to Peter Gabel, Professor of Psychology and Law as well as Associate Editor of Tikkun. Gabel discusses the historical trajectory of American law and its adversarial nature, and his vision for its future.
June 1: What To Do When the Bailout Fails. Click here to listen to David Schweickart, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He holds Ph.D.s in mathematics and philosophy. His most recent book is After Capitalism (2002; Chinese translation 2005; revised edition forthcoming). You can read his article for the May/June 2009 issue of Tikkun here.
May 18: Why Capitalism Shouldn’t Be Saved. Click here to listen to John Sanbonmatsu, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He is the author of The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory and the Making of a New Political Subject. You can read his article for the May/June 2009 issue of Tikkun here.
May 11: Understanding the Paradox and the Need: Taking on Hunger and Obesity in America. Click here to listen to Debra Kozikowski, co-founder of RuralVotes, a rural advocacy organization based in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. See www.ruralvotes.com. Ms. Kozikowski co-authored an article with Miryam Ehrlich Williamson, the author of Blood Sugar Blues (2001), the first book to show how the USDA’s food pyramid contributed to the epidemic of diabetes and obesity. The article can be read here.
May 4: Roger Gottlieb on Poisoned Profits. Click here to listen to Roger Gottlieb, professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts. His recent books include A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet’s Future and The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. His review of Poisoned Profts: The Toxic Assault on Our Children by Philip Shabecoff and Alice Shabecoff can be read here.
April 20: Nichola Torbett, founder of the Seminary of the Street. Click here to listen to Nichola Torbett, the national organizer of the Network of Spiritual Progressives from 2006-2008. Nichola talks about about her current project. See www.seminaryofthestreet.org.
April 13: Veterans Against the War in Afghanistan. Click here to listen to Bill Distler, army veteran and anti-war organizer in Bellingham, WA, on the differences between Iraq and Vietnam War vets, and why his group wrote to President Obama that the Afghanistan war must end.
April 6: A Night at the Movies. Click here to listen to David Sterritt, master film reviewer, on the state of the movies today.
March 30: The Inherent Radicalism of the Ten Commandments. Click here to listen to Glen Stassen, leading evangelical academic and progressive activist, Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary.
March 23: Rethinking American Capitalism. Click here to listen to Thad Williamson, leadership studies professor at the University of Richmond, on the state of the economy, the meaning of leadership and much else.