Face-to-Face with our Future

In a new installment in the special series A Prayer for Salmon, producer Judy Silber brings the story of the renewal of a lost ritual — the War Dance. Then, we look at Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s unique faith identity and spiritual journey with British philosopher and biographer Ray Monk.

A Prayer For Salmon: War Dance on Shasta Dam

The special series A Prayer for Salmon continues this week. The episode begins as Northern California’s Winnemem Wintu tribe faces a turning point in 2004 as the government plans to raise the Shasta dam accelerate. The tribal leaders make a difficult decision to revive an ancient practice: the War Dance.  We hear how the Chief works with members to create new rituals and how the community remains determined to create a ceremony that reflects their spiritual obligations and beliefs that honor the salmon. With prayer, fasting, songs, and regalia, the tribe generates global attention as they declare war against the U.S. in the name of the Salmon, leading to an unexpected message from an ally from Down Under.

A Prayer For Salmon Cont.

J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb (originally broadcast March 2017)

This week we revisit a 2017 interview that explores the spiritual journey and faith identity of Robert Oppenheimer. The renowned physicist who loved poetry and philosophy was the wartime head of the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. It was there, on July 16, 1945, that he and his fellow scientists conducted the Trinity Test – the first detonation of a nuclear bomb. To Ray Monk, a British philosopher and the author of Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center, Oppenheimer was also a secular Jew, a student of the Bhagavad Gita, and at times, a puzzlement. Tune in for a deeper look at Robert Oppenheimer’s religious identity, and how it may have influenced the events before and after the creation of the Atomic Bomb.

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