Eco-Spirituality, Hava Nagila: The Movie, and more

Here’s what’s happening on today’s edition of Interfaith Voices: there’s a new way of understanding the Earth and our place in it. It’s a story that goes back 14 billion years, and connects us to the entire cosmos–plants, animals and stars.

When it comes to caring about the environment, we don’t have an apathy problem–we have a story problem. The narrative we tell ourselves about where we come from is often disconnected from the story of plants, animals and oceans. And it’s removed from the grand narrative of the cosmos: the planets, the stars and space.

There’s a more compelling way of understanding our origins. It’s a story that goes all the way back to the beginning, some 14 billion years ago when everything we see around us erupted from a brilliant big bang. Some, like the late theologian Thomas Berry, call it “The New Story.”

Later, it’s a story that’s often been told: in the first 300 years of Christianity, the Christian faithful were beheaded, burned at the stake, or thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. But this tale of persecution turns out to be mostly false. It’s a myth that’s been kept alive to inspire the faithful, and has justified Christian violence from the Crusades through modern times.

And, in our last segment: you might think of it as an old anonymous folk song, but its beginnings go back not much more than a century. Hava Nagila, Hebrew for “Let Us Rejoice,” began as a Hassidic nigun, or wordless melody. It was sung in nineteenth-century Ukraine, and then made its way to pre-state Israel, then to suburban America. Like the Jewish history itself, it contains both great joy and deep sorrow.

Featured speakers:

Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis, co-founder of Genesis Farm;
David Loy, social activist and Zen Buddhism teacher; Candida Moss, author of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom; and Roberta Grossman, director and producer of Hava Nagila: The Movie.

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