The Sacred

The Sacred

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

#67 Alistair Burt

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Alistair is a British politician who served as MP for his native Bury North in Greater Manchester from 1983 until 1997 and for North East Bedfordshire from 2001-2019, when he was one of the 20 Conservative MPS to have the party whip withdrawn by Boris Johnson. He was Minister of State for the Department of Health in 2015-2016 and Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 2017-2019.

In this episode Alistair speaks about the dangers of polarisation, his Christian faith and why he thinks being a moderate isn’t just a cop out.

The Sacred Reflections: Democracy and Non-Violence

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Our next episode of The Sacred Reflections is with Shadi Hamid. Shadi, who was our guest on episode 31 of The Sacred, is a political scientist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in their Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy.

In this episode he speaks to Elizabeth about how this pandemic is revealing our individual and national characters, and how full obedience to an enforced lockdown would feel almost impossible for the American public character. This episode also features a short reflection from Iona on the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

We would love to hear how you are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what you hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com and we may use your reflections at the end of an episode. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

#66 Glynn Harrison

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Glynn was former Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Bristol where he was also a practising psychiatrist. He is a past President of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology and acted as an advisor to the WHO. He is also the author of ‘A Better Story: God, Sex and Human Flourishing’ and ‘The Big Ego Trip: Finding True Significance in a Culture of Self–esteem’.

In this episode he speaks to Elizabeth Oldfield about his career in psychiatry, his concerns about the self–esteem movement and what Christians can learn from the sexual revolution.

During the pandemic we are releasing short extra episodes called ‘The Sacred Reflections’ in response to the strange times we are living through. Former guests are returning to reflect on how they are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what they hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values.

We would love to hear your responses to these same questions. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

The Sacred Reflections: Free-Thinking

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Claire Fox is the director of the Academy of Ideas and a writer, broadcaster and panellist on the BBC’s “Moral Maze.” She has also served as an MEP for the Brexit Party, a position which ended in January. She was our guest on episode 14 of The Sacred.

In this episode Claire speaks about the importance of free–thinking at this time and how you can have different views to someone while still having something in common with them. We apologise for the lower sound quality at the beginning of the episode (the downside of recording remotely) but it improves after a couple of minutes. This episode also features a short reflection from a listener on the sacredness of her own space.

We would love to hear how you are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what you hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com and we may use your reflections at the end of an episode. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

#65 Rainn Wilson

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Rainn Wilson is an American actor, comedian, writer, director and producer. He is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the American version of The Office. In 2008 he set up the creative agency Soul Pancake which makes content on a range of platforms and explores life’s big questions.

In this episode Rainn speaks about how he grew up and returned to the Baha’i faith, the existential crisis he experienced after finding fame and riches, why he believes creativity is an expression of the divine, and his experience of the love of God.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing short extra episodes in response to the strange times we are living through. Former guests will be returning to reflect on how they are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what they hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values.We would love to hear your responses to these same questions. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

The Sacred Reflections: Altruism

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Chine McDonald is the former media and PR lead and now head of community fundraising and public engagement for Christian Aid, one of the world’s largest and best known non profit organisations. She was our guest on episode 25 of The Sacred.

In this episode Chine talks about how we have more in common than what divides us and how kindness becomes central in times of crises. This episode also features a short voice memo sent in by Andrew about using our lives as a means to others’ ends.

We would love to hear how you are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what you hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

#64 Satbir Singh

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Satbir is the CEO for The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and previously spent time developing campaigns and political strategies for the people’s movements and working as an advisor to the UN and the World Bank. He studied at Oxford, SOAS and as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia.

In this episode he speaks about his mobile childhood, how his mother’s Sikh faith has formed him, and why rabble rousing and reconciliation are both necessary for change.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing short extra episodes in response to the strange times we are living through. Former guests will be returning to reflect on how they are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what they hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values.We would love to hear your responses to these same questions. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

The Sacred Reflections: Knowledge

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Teresa was our guest on episode 22 of The Sacred. She is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Oriel College.

In this episode Teresa talks about how Oxford is being affected by the pandemic, whether acknowledging uncertainty is a form of knowledge, and if wisdom and knowledge are the same thing. This episode also features a short voice memo sent in by Tom, one of our listeners.

We would love to hear how you are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what you hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

#63 Bim Afolami

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Bim Afolami is Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden since 2017. Before he became an MP he worked as a corporate lawyer in the city.

In this episode Bim speaks about what he means by one-nation conservatism, his Nigerian heritage giving him a sense of the importance of politics, and his sacred value of equality of opportunity.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing short extra episodes in response to the strange times we are living through. Former guests will be returning to reflect on how they are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what they hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values.
We would love to hear your responses to these same questions. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

The Sacred Reflections: Learning

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Sarah was our guest on episode 49 of The Sacred. She is a DPhil researcher in the Department of Politics in Oxford and the Head of Content at The School of Life.

In this episode Sarah talks about adapting to life in lockdown and how her sacred value of learning is guiding her through this time. This episode also features a short voice memo sent in by Tom, one of our listeners.

We would love to hear how you are processing this season, if this crisis has crystallised or even changed what you hold sacred, and what it might tell us about our collective sacred values. You can send us your thoughts in a voice note to 07778160052 or you can email us at sacredpodcast@gmail.com. Please keep your responses to under a minute and a half if you can.

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

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