Evolving Faith: Remembering Anne Rice and a Season of Caroling

We remember Interview with a Vampire author, Anne Rice – revisiting previously unheard conversations that explore her spiritual evolution and how her art became a medium for confronting doubt. Then we dive into the sounds of the season with America Media Podcast Producer Maggie Van Dorn whose new podcast Hark! that takes a closer look at the evolution and musical backstory of some of the season’s most popular carols.

Anne Rice: Called Out of Darkness (part one)

On December 11th, 2021, best-selling vampire novelist Anne Rice passed away suffering complications from a stroke. The 80-year old writer and public figure was a pioneer in bringing the undead to life with her 1976 debut novel Interview with a Vampire. The central character Louis became a proxy for her own struggles with faith and existential questions. Raised in a traditional Roman Catholic home, Rice spoke openly about her disagreements with the church and growing doubts, and her own evolution. We begin this week’s episode with guest interviewer Mark Oppenheimer talking to Rice.

Anne Rice: Called Out of Darkness (part two)

In 2009, Interfaith Voices founding host Sr. Maureen Fiedler interviewed Anne Rice about her spiritual memoir and public return to the faith of her childhood. In this conversation, Fiedler explores how the vampire author was now focused on a new narrative adventure – writing a fictional series chronicling the life of Jesus. While this period of religious affiliation was short-lived for Rice, this conversation offers unique insight into how her lived experience of being in community with people of faith evolved over time.

More than a Song? Hark! Podcast Explores the History and Evolution of Caroling

If you have ever wondered about the backstory of holiday carols and Christmas hymns – you are not alone. America Media podcast producer Maggie Van Dorn joins the program to talk about what she learned hosting Hark!, a five-part limited-run series that explores the context and music backstory of some of the season’s most popular songs. From the pagan era, pre-Christian roots singing at Winter Solstice festivals to the 1644 English Puritan ban on “wasteful” festivities like caroling – Van Dorn describes why the sounds of the season are an entry point to exploring culture and art with curiosity.

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