What is the World Made of?

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Season 18: Episode 23

All through the ages, the question has been asked by everyone from the toddler to the philosopher:  What is the world made of?  What is the stuff of the universe?  On this week's show, we delve into fire, earth, and water.

Michael Winter starts us off with a story about fire. You get too close to it and it might change who you are. One minute, the Newfoundland author was heaving a pile of garbage into a raging incinerator and the next, well, he was going down the chute.

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We'll also hear from Hassan Ghedi Santur with his reflections on what it means to go back into the earth - literally, into the earth - when life is over. Hassan recently produced a two-part radio documentary about returning to his homeland of Somalia. It's called Things We Lost in the War.

Water is part of what we are, so how do we live with its growing status as a commodity? We'll hear more from Stephen Bede Scharper, a professor of religion and environmental studies at the University of Toronto. Water runs through both of these disciplines like a river. Stephen's new book is called For Earth's Sake.

Finally, when news broke this week that the Pope would resign, it wasn't even clear that the right verb was being used. When you understand your post to have been bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit, how do you give notice?

As the story unfolds over the next few weeks, here's the question we're going to explore: what makes a true spiritual leader?  Does the position call for a moral paragon?  A CEO who can run the business and be accountable?  Someone who can keep tradition alive?  Or someone who can forge new paths?   

In this day and age, what is a spiritual leader for? 

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