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Krista Tippett

Program Date February 18, 2017


Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and 2013 National Humanities Medal recipient Krista Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices of our time for her public radio program and podcast, On Being, thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom—from scientists to theologians to poets and activists. At The Richmond Forum, Tippett will distill the insights gleaned from these luminous conversations about what it means to be human and spiritual.


In 2014, broadcaster Krista Tippett received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for "thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence."

The Peabody Award-winning Tippett grew up in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and spent most of the 1980s 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, 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.

The show she created, initially called Speaking of Faith and later renamed On Being is now heard on over 330 public radio stations and downloaded by millions as a podcast. From physics to parenting, from civil society to aging, from yoga to neuroscience, and from the environment to the economy, Krista and her guests trace the ancient, animating questions of human existence: What does it mean to be human? What matters in a life? What matters in a death? How to love? How to be of service to each other and to the world? They explore these questions in all the richness and complexity with which they are finding expression in 21st century lives. Her new book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living continues the conversation of her award-winning radio programs of what it means to be human.

"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." —Krista Tippett

Tippett's second book was the New York Times bestselling Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit, drawn from her interviews with scientists. Her latest initiative, the Civil Conversations Project, is an emergent series of conversations, public events and resources, offering ideas and tools for healing our fractured civic spaces. In 2013, Tippett created an independent non-profit production company, Krista Tippett Public Productions, to be more nimbly responsive to the public life impact of On Being and the Civil Conversations Project and the evolving 21st century longing to reconnect inner life with outer presence in the world.


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