Active Listening – Can You Hear Me Now? – 021

021-active-listening-Irenicast-conversations-on-faith-and-culture-an-irenicon-886x260Ever ones to speak, the team takes on the topic of active listening this week. Jeff, Mona and Allen discuss the elements of good listening, the habitual quirks of bad listening, and offer ideas concerning the cultivation of listening as both art and skill. The latest installment of Knowin’ Jemonen follows the discussion and reveals the co-hosts’ favorite works of fiction. Read More

Deconstructing Your Faith – Guest Host Adam Loveridge – 020


With Mona and Allen on assignment this week Jeff brings in guest host Adam Loveridge for a discussion on deconstructing your faith.  Adam shares insights from his journey away from Evangelicalism and what things were important for rebuilding.  They then walk through the deconstruction process, from the tearing down to the rebuilding.  The conversation also explores leadership structures, the importance of community and how to do interact with people from your previous context.  Adam and Jeff conclude the conversation on deconstructing your faith with a round of Judging a Book by Its Cover (Movie Edition). Read More

Mental Health and the Church – Guest Host Dylan Van Lant – 019


Sans Mona this week, Jeff & Allen bring in guest host Dylan Van Lant.  After sharing interesting stories from their honeymoons, Dylan starts the conversation on mental health and the church by sharing his history with depression.  The conversation touches on the taboo stigma of mental health in certain segments of the church, the role of a pastor in counseling and the underlying pressure within certain churches to present yourself as having it all together.  The trio ultimately concludes that the best kind of support for mental health and for the church is a healthy, accepting, and empathetic community.  The episode then concludes with a getting-to-know-you segment called 2 Truths and a Lie. Read More

Heaven and Hell – Get the Hell Outta Here – 018


This week’s listener-requested episode goes after the issues surrounding the afterlife, particularly heaven and hell. Jeff, Mona, and Allen discuss the historical and cultural context behind “hell” passages in the Bible, why they lead us to rethink concepts that have been around since the Middle Ages, speculate about the this-worldly nature of a future heaven, and then disagree about how all of this relates to the here-and-now. Their discussion is topped off with an old-fashioned round of Wacky News. Read More

Criminal Justice and Restoration – Why the Lock Up Should Be on Lockdown – 017


Criminal justice is a complex topic with many ethical streams. This week the team takes on a bird’s eye view of justice in the prison industry, capital punishment and immigration, to name a few, and hidden factors many might not think of in these issues. They explore what it might mean to seek restorative justice, both in the ways we challenge our systems and in how we treat others. The episode ends with a new round of Famous Christians for 100, where they try to guess who said what in the media recently. Read More

On the Nature of Beauty – Beauty within the Beast – 016

016-nature-of-beauty-irenicast-conversations-on-faith-and-culture-an-irenicon-886x260The team takes a bit of a break from heavier topics this week to discuss the nature of beauty, and what it means to describe and participate in beauty. The conversation veers philosophical as Jeff, Mona and Allen discuss wonder, love and transformation, and ultimately where God might be in relation to it. They wrap up with a silly game similar to Scattergories, which is much more difficult to play over the air than they imagined. Read More

What is Sin ? – Dun Dun Duuunn – 015


Sin is a difficult subject when viewed from Biblical, cultural and philosophical perspectives. What is sin exactly and what does it have to do with us?  The hosts attempt a real discussion of the idea of sin while being honest about their personal reservations. They propose different avenues for rethinking the word sin in light of its historical baggage and look for ways that are life giving, honest and compassionate. The episode winds down with a lighthearted game of Name That Sound. Read More

Homosexuality and the Church – Interview with Jim and Richard – 014

Concluding our series of episodes on gender and sexuality Jeff sits down for an interview with a gay couple, Jim and Richard.  Jim and Richard share their individual stories of coming out and how they met.  They also discuss how they’ve remained in the faith despite their experience with people’s reactions to homosexuality and the church. Read More

Homosexuality and Christianity – Somewhere Over the Rainbow – 013


After catching up on their past two weeks of life filled with grilling and hammocks, Jeff, Mona and Allen begin an in-depth conversation about homosexuality and Christianity. They touch on historical attitudes toward sex, what the Bible says about “homosexuality” in its cultural context, present-day issues, and what the stakes are for us today. After an arousing conversation, they play Jesus or Jay-Z: the Sequel and try to guess whether song lyrics are Christian or secular. Read More

Genderqueer People of Faith – Interview with Nathan – 012


In this interview, Mona talks to Nathan, who self-identifies as a gay, queer, Catholic divinity student.  Nathan shares their story about being a part of the community of genderqueer people of faith and not fitting into a gender binary – including gender performance, coming out, internalized homophobia, and what faith and the belief in the Image of God has meant for their life.  They discuss ways to the church can be more responsive and loving toward trans and genderqueer people. Read More

Gender Roles And Binaries – Take Off That Apron Bobby! – 011


Kicking off a four part series on gender and sexuality, the team begins with an in-depth discussion on gender roles and binaries, and sexism in the church and society.  They talk about why we might need to revise our thinking on legacies, and maybe, just maybe, why we might need to move past the binary view of gender altogether.  They conclude the episode with a ridiculous game of Would You Rather that includes a brief foray into the benefits of time travel, polka music and heavy breathing.
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Listener Feedback – The EPICsode – 010

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Entering their tenth episode, the Irenicast team celebrates with a not-so-rapid-fire round of listener generated topics. They talk about everything from hell, virginity, and tithing, to breakfast cereals, music, and toiletries.  Following their responses to listener feedback they oblige the call for more IreniHacks! Read More

All About Mindfulness – Finding Peace in a World of Mass Distraction – 009

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To break up the pattern of heavier topics, this week Jeff, Mona & Allen have a discussion on mindfulness.  The team shares their experiences and frustrations with trying to remain present in the midst of loaded schedules, unlimited distractions and nagging insecurities.  The conversation is followed by a game of 20… uh, 10 Questions.

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Racism and Dialogue BONUS Episode – Interview with Mariama White-Hammond – 008.5

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In this bonus episode we continue the conversation on racism and dialogue. Mona interviews Mariama White-Hammond, a community organizer and minister in Boston. Mariama shares insights from her personal experiences and her understandings on issues of racism in context of greater US society and civil rights history. Mona and Mariama engage in a heartfelt conversation about what it might mean to live and dialogue in fearless, interconnected ways.

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Racism and Dialogue – “But I Don’t See Color?” – 008

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Never ones to shy away from a difficult topic, this week the hosts enter into an important discussion on racism and dialogue used in conversations about race. The conversation opens up into an honest look at the history and realities of racism, and ways in which we are all complicit in systems of inequality.  After exploring such complexities, Jeff, Mona and Allen shift into a lighter conversation about IreniHacks!, their favorite life-hacks. Read More