Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason

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  • Pema Chödrön

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 12 - 8/4/06

    Ani Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and author whose teachings and writings on meditation have helped make Buddhism accessible to a broad Western audience. She currently directs the Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, the first Tibetan monastery in North America for Western monastics and lay practitioners. Born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, Chödrön was raised in a Catholic family in New Jersey. After earning a master's in education from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaching elementary school in California and New Mexico for nearly a decade, Chödrön discovered Tibetan Buddhism in 1972 while on a trip to the French Alps. In 1974, she began a 13-year tenure with the meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of the Shambhala school of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, and became one of his foremost students. She was ordained as a nun in 1974, at the age of 38.moreless
  • Margaret Atwood

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 11 - 7/28/06

    Margaret Atwood is one of Canada's most successful and prolific contemporary writers. Noted for her stylistic precision, caustic humor, and feminist concerns, Atwood has published more than 40 books of fiction, nonfiction, criticism, and poetry over the past four decades. With her first novel, The Edible Woman (1969), about a young woman in 1960s Canada sent into a tailspin by her impending marriage, Atwood introduced the themes of gender relations and women's social roles that would inform much of her work. Her most famous novel, The Handmaid's Tale (1985), projected those topics into a dystopian future in which women are thoroughly subjugated by a totalitarian theocracy, and "handmaids" are forced to breed children for the state. The book won both the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction.moreless
  • Richard Rodriguez

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 8 - 7/16/07

    Acclaimed journalist and essayist Richard Rodriguez writes about the intersection of his personal life with some of the most vexing cultural and political problems facing America. The son of Mexican immigrants to California, Rodriguez grew up in a home where his parents clung closely to their native culture and only Spanish was spoken.moreless
  • Anne Provoost

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 7/14/06

    Belgian writer Anne Provoost is the author of a series of provocative novels that examine topics as varied as right-wing extremism, sexual abuse, and God through the eyes of young protagonists. Her debut novel, My Aunt Is a Pilot Whale, published in 1991, was the first book on sexual abuse of children written for a young audience in the Low Countries. The novel, which tells the story of a young girl's sexual abuse at the hands of her father and her eventual rescue by a sympathetic cousin and a well-meaning adult, was awarded both the Belgian Book Lion Prize and the Interprovincial Prize for Children's and Youth Literature.moreless
  • Jeanette Winterson

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 4 - 7/7/06

    Born in Manchester, England, in 1959, novelist Jeanette Winterson was adopted as an infant by working-class Pentecostal parents and raised in the small English mill town of Accrington. By the age of 12, she was reciting the Bible by heart and preaching sermons on street corners. By 16, she was an outcast from the church, having fallen in love with another teenage girl and left home.moreless
  • Mary Gordon

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 2 - 6/30/06

    Author Mary Gordon is widely regarded as one of the leading chroniclers of contemporary Catholic life in America. Her literary oeuvre - novels, short stories, essays, and personal memoirs - paints a rich picture of the complexities of faith, morals, politics, and religious and cultural heritage in the modern world. With The Shadow man: A Daughter's Search For Her Father (1996), Gordon turned her attention to her own family, examining the mysterious and complicated life of her father, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who died when she was 7, leaving behind a web of lies and half-truths about his past. She has received the Lila Acheson Wallace Reader's Digest Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a three-time recipient of the O. Henry Award for best short story.moreless
  • Salman Rushdie

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 1 - 6/23/06

    Salman Rushdie is a celebrated novelist, short-story writer, and essayist who gained international notoriety in 1989 when Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini demanded his execution for his portrayal of the prophet Mohammed in the novel THE SATANIC VERSES. The book was banned in more than a dozen countries, and Iran's Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of everyone involved in its publication. Within a few years, the book's Japanese translator had been stabbed to death, its Italian translator had been stabbed, and its Norwegian publisher had been shot.moreless
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