Episode 22 – Parliament of World Religions

 

The first weekend of November, I attended the Parliament of World Religions – one of the largest, if not the largest, interfaith conferences in the world. The conference has happened in Chicago, Cape Town, Barcelona, Melbourne, and this year was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In this episode of my Faith Deficit podcast, I reflect on what it means to gather over 220 distinct religions and thousands of open-minded people together to discuss ecology, women in leadership, Indigenous issues, acts of service, the Golden Rule, faith, love, and much more.

The podcast can be found here, and I’ve taken a number of pictures that I wanted to share below. Enjoy, and thanks for listening!

                    

  

Episode 18 – Chris McCron

Christopher McCron is a writer who tackles the challenges that artists encounter during the creative process. He discovered Secular Humanism and his atheistic worldview during his undergrad at the University of Guelph. Read Christopher’s work at https://steemit.com/@chrismccron and chrismccron.com.

In this episode, Chris and Josh talk about faith, atheism, and stereotypes, along with the reason the show exists in the first place.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.

Episode 16 – Ashley Botting

My guest today is Ashley Botting. Ashley is an alumna of Toronto’s Second City Mainstage, and has starred in The Second City Guide to the Symphony, Cam Baby, and One Night Only. Ashley has been a talking-head on CTV News Channel’s Straight Talk segment with Sandie Rinaldo. She is also a regular panelist, writer, and guest host on CBC Radio One’s quiz show, Because News. As a writer, she has penned episodes for PBS’ Odd Squad, Nickelodeon’s upcoming Zoofari and pieces for NOW Magazine, The Toronto Star, TheLoop.ca, and was shortlisted for The CBC Canada Writes: Bloodlines prize. She’s won three Canadian Comedy Awards and been nominated for three Dora Awards.

On this episode, we discuss our similarities: our challenges with faith, our experiences growing up with one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent, and our experiences with improvisation.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.

Episode 15 – Austin Gentry

My guest today is Austin Gentry. Austin graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in Religious Studies and Interpersonal/ Organizational Communication and is also a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. He attends The Summit Church, located in Durham, NC, pastored by JD Greear. Austin just released his new book – 10 Things Every Christian Should Know For College. This book is a replete guide for not merely surviving in college, but more importantly, thriving in college.

In this conversation, we discuss Austin’s Christian upbringing, the expectations of the Christian faith, and what it’s like being a Christian at college.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.

Episode 14 – Darren O’Donnell

My guest today is Darren O’Donnell. Darren O’Donnell is a novelist, essayist, playwright, director, designer and performer. His books (published by Coach House Press) include: Haircuts by Children and Other Evidence for a New Social Contract (2017), Social Acupuncture (2006), which argues for aesthetics of civic engagement, and Your Secrets Sleep with Me (2004), a novel about difference, love and the miraculous. His stage-based works include White Mice (1998), [boxhead] (2000), and All the Sex I’ve Ever Had (2012), all produced by Mammalian. Darren was the 2000 winner of the Pauline McGibbon Award for directing and has been nominated for a number of Dora Awards for his writing, directing, and acting, winning (with Naomi Campbell) for their design of White Mice. His play [boxhead] was nominated for a Chalmers Award and he received a Gabriel Award for excellence in broadcasting for his CBC radio piece Like a Fox. Under his directorship, Mammalian won the 2010 Mayor’s Arts Award for Youth, and his Mammalian Protocol for Collaborating with Children was awarded the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children Supporter Award in 2012. Darren has an MSc. in urban planning, a BFA in acting and studied shiatsu and traditional Chinese medicine at The Shiatsu School of Canada. Follow Darren on Twitter: @darrenodonnell Instagram: @o.darren Periscope: @darrenodonnell Snapchat: photoshine

In this episode, we discuss Darren’s work in theatre, his unusual casting choices, and how a psychotic breakdown when he was younger lead to a spiritual awakening.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.

Episode 13 – Bani Dugal

My guest today is Bani Dugal. Ms. Dugal is the Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the UN. As part of the community of international NGOs at the UN since 1994, she is currently the Vice Chairperson of the NGO Working Group on Security Council. She has served as President of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, as co-facilitator of the NGO Working Group on UN Access, co-facilitator of the GEAR campaign (Gender Equality Architecture Reform), Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, and Chair of the Global Forum of the NGO Committee on UNICEF and member of the Steering Committee of the NGO Committee on UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls, Convenor of the NGO Committee on UNIFEM and Convenor of the Advocates for African Food Security. Prior to relocating to the U.S. in 1988, she practiced law before the Supreme Court of India.

In this conversation, we discuss Ms. Dugal’s incredible upbringing in India, her transition to the Bahá’í faith, and her meditations on a united and peaceful world.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.

Episode 12 – Micah Barnes

Our special guest today is Micah Barnes. Micah is a former member of A Cappella group The Nylons, best known for their covers of pop songs such as The Turtles’ “Happy Together”, Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”, and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. As a solo artist, Micah had the #1 international club hit “Welcome To My Head”. Micah is now a top jazz vocalist and a vocal coach, and has a series of critically acclaimed solo recordings including his most recent “New York Stories”  which pays homage to the rich musical history of the Big Apple.

Josh and Micah discuss his profound personal and musical journey and how his long relationship with René Highway – brother of acclaimed playwright Tomson Highway and a Canadian dancer and actor of Cree descent who sadly passed in 1990 – influenced his spirituality.

You can download this interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here.