Week of July 22

Monday, July 22
"The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection," said Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest, teacher and closeted gay celibate. He has been called a psychologist of the soul. Born in Holland in 1932, Nouwen wrote thirty-nine books about spirituality. He taught at Yale, Harvard and the Menninger Clinic, one world's leading psychiatric hospitals. Concerned about people whom society had rejected, Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life working with mentally challenged people at the Daybreak L'Arche community north of Toronto. A profile by Michael Higgins based on Nouwen's writings, interviews with those who knew him, and archival recordings of Nouwen himself. Part 3 airs Monday, July 29.

Tuesday, July 23
When Albert Schweitzer died in 1965, the doctor from Alsace-Lorraine was held up to the world over as a paradigm of goodness. He was a European who sacrificed a life of comfort to tend to the sick, deep in central Africa. But IDEAS contributor Megan Williams finds that Schweitzer was also - and remains - as controversial as he was inspiring. His legacy of the well-intentioned Westerner doing good deeds in a far-off land continues to pose uncomfortable questions about the role of medical aid in developing countries today, its long-term usefulness and its inherent traces of colonialism.

Wednesday, July 24
World religions and ancient mythology are replete with snake imagery and folklore. Whether we fear them, love them, pray to them, keep them as pets or eat them to increase virility, snakes have fascinated humans for millennia. IDEAS contributor Hassan Ghedi Santur discusses the mysterious evolutionary history of snakes and their fearsome reputation. Along the way, he confronts his own case of ophidiophobia - you guessed it: the "abnormal fear of snakes."

Thursday, July 25
From the 19th century freak show to the East African black market in body parts to the modern cinema, the image of the albino has seized the popular imagination. Garth Mullins is a person with albinism and at six feet, four inches tall, he stands out in a crowd. But recently Garth didn't stand out...instead, he blended in at an Albinism conference with a pale majority who looked a lot like him.

Friday, July 26
These evocative stories from the Ahtahkakoop, a Plains Cree nation in central Saskatchewan, create a world where the buffalo once reigned supreme, animals protected each other, and the Creator gave the world colour and life. Dramatized, cast and recorded in the community. CBC Radio's Legends Project compiles traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada's Inuit and First Nations, gathered in communities across the country. To find out more, visit the Legends Project website.

Ideas in the Afternoon - Monday, July 22
Depression. It has been called the mean reds. The blue devils. The black dog. And through history, treatments for depression have varied wildly. In the Middle Ages, depressives were caged in asylums. In Victorian England, wealthier patients were sent to seaside resorts for a change of air. In 1938, electroshock therapy was used. No wonder then, when the age of the antidepressant arrived, it was considered a triumph for psychiatry. Prozac came onto the market in 1987, followed quickly by many similar drugs. And since then, the number of people afflicted with depression has soared. However, in recent years, the antidepressant has come under siege. It is ineffective, even dangerous, some psychiatrists and patients now say, claiming it is not the panacea we thought it would be. In this three-part program, Rethinking Depression, IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell explores the short and troubling history of the antidepressant.

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