The Sacred

The Sacred

A podcast about the things we hold sacred, and how to talk to people different from ourselves.

Sarah Eberle on what gardening teaches us and why nature is good for the soul

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

In the final episode of this series, Elizabeth speaks to Sarah Eberle, the most-decorated RHS garden designer. She has made RHS Chelsea Flower Show history by winning a Gold Medal in every category there is to enter. This year, Sarah turns her hand to the Psalm 23 Garden in the Urban Garden section for the Bible Society.

In this episode she speaks about why nature is sacred to her, what gardening teaches us about compassion and humility, the legacy of her unconventional schooling and her free-range childhood, and why gardening can bring people together across divides.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Jillian Richardson on the normality of loneliness and finding belonging outside religion

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Jillian is a loneliness expert, facilitator and events host. She is the author of ‘Un-Lonely Planet’.

She speaks about the drivenness of her East Coast American childhood, how she balances vulnerability in her public profile, the shame and rawness of talking about loneliness, and how her adventures in finding belonging in secular congregations eventually led her to join a church.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Tim Stanley on traditionalism, his journey to Catholicism and the role of a journalist

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Tim is a journalist, historian and broadcaster specialising in US history, politics and religion. He is leader writer for the Daily Telegraph, and contributing editor at the Catholic Herald. His new book ‘Whatever Happened to Tradition?’ is out in October 2021: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/whatever-happened-to-tradition-9781472974129.

In this episode he speaks about his Baptist, socialist and spiritualist childhood, his conversion from Marxist atheism to Catholicism at Cambridge, his vision for what conservatism offers society, and how he sees his role as a journalist.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Arifa Akbar on freedom, the ethics of writing a memoir and what we can learn from the arts

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Arifa is the chief theatre critic at The Guardian. She is a former contributor to The Observer and previously worked as the arts editor at Tortoise Media. She is also a trustee of the Orwell Foundation, and has been a judge for the UK Theatre Awards and the Women's Prize for Fiction among others. She is also author of ‘Consumed’ about the life and early death of her sister from tuberculosis.

Arifa speaks about why choice and freedom are sacred to her, her spiritual encounters with Islam, the delicacy of telling other people’s stories and the power of the arts.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Miriam Cates on conservatism, embracing complexity and the importance of family

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Miriam has been Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge since 2019. She was born and brought up in Sheffield, studied genetics at Cambridge and taught science before having children.

In this episode she speaks about her Christian faith, becoming a Conservative as an adult almost by accident, her unusual path to being elected as an MP and why she thinks we should talk more about family and parenthood.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Mike McHargue on science, re-discovering God and disability in public life

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Mike Mchargue, also known as ‘Science Mike’, is a podcaster of very long-standing. He was formerly co-host of 'The Liturgists' and host of ‘Ask Science Mike’ and he’s now host of 'The Cozy Robot Show'. He’s also the author of ‘Finding God in the Waves’ and more recently ‘You’re a Miracle and a Pain in the Ass’.

He speaks about the process of losing his childhood faith and subsequently finding his way to contemplative Christianity via science and an ecstatic experience, his sacred value of equity, how we as humans tend to process trauma when we leave a tribe, and why he thinks it’s really important for him to publicly identify as disabled.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

Sohrab Ahmari on converting to Catholicism, political theology and freedom as surrender

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Sohrab is an Iranian–American columnist, journalist, editor and author. He’s written or edited for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and First Things among others. He was born in Tehran and emigrated to the US in his early teens, converting in 2016 to Catholicism, which he recounts in his book ‘From fire by water.’ His most recent book is ‘The Unbroken Thread: discovering the wisdom of tradition in an age of chaos.’

He speaks about his experiences as what he calls a radically assimilated immigrant in the US, the lasting impact of that childhood under a conservative Islamic regime, his time as a committed Marxist, his conversion to Catholicism, and why he thinks liberalism is failing us.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sacred_podcast

New series coming soon

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

In this series we’ll be talking to Conservative MP Miriam Cates, journalist Sohrab Ahmari, ‘Science Mike’ Mike McHargue, writer Tim Stanley, theatre critic Arifa Akbar, loneliness expert Jillian Richardson and award-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle.

Tune in and join us for the next series of The Sacred. Episodes out weekly from Wednesday 4th August.

Sam Byers on the role of a novel, freedom and why we need both compassion and anger

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Sam is a novelist and author of ‘Idiopathy’, ‘Perfidious Albion’ and most recently ‘Come Join Our Disease’, which the Sunday Times has said confirms him as one of the most accomplished novelists of his generation.

In this episode he speaks about his sense that novels should tackle big ideas, his discomfort with the idea of freedom and our society’s diminishing sense of compassion.

Chris French on skepticism and the psychology of paranormal beliefs

Download it: MP3 | AAC | OGG | OPUS

Chris is Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths University, a fellow at the British Psychological Society and a patron of Humanists UK.

In this episode he speaks about what being a sceptic means to him, the difficulty of living out a fully materialist worldview, why even scientists have to take some things on faith and much more.

About this podcast

The Sacred is a podcast about our deepest values, the stories that shape us and how we can build empathy and understanding between people who are very different.

Each episode features a conversation with someone who has a public voice, from academics to journalists, playwrights and politicians. We ask them where they have come from, what they are trying to do and what might help heal our very divided public conversations.

The Sacred is hosted by Elizabeth Oldfield, former director of Theos think tank.

For more information about the people and ideas behind the podcast, visit https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/about/who-we-are or follow us on Twitter @theosthinktank, @sacred_podcast and @ESOldfield.

by Theos think tank

Subscribe

Follow us