Tapestry explores spirituality, religion and the search for meaning. Find space for your soul every week.

Updated: Fridays
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How we gather

One in three Canadians do not belong to a faith community. But we all seek meaning and a sense of purpose. In this episode, we explore some of the unorthodox places where people find fulfilment.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

How Michael Schur's The Good Place tackles moral philosophy with a healthy dose of optimism

Michael Schur has given a lot of thought to the meaning of life. He's the creator of NBC's The Good Place, a sitcom that is equal parts escapism and ethics lesson. Schur also co-created Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, two TV shows with an unmistakable optimism and a certain affection for the human race.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:24]

Finding Hope in the Climate Crisis

Novelist Margaret Atwood and ecological activist Vandana Shiva have been outspoken advocates for the environment for decades. They don't sugarcoat the enormity of the climate crisis humanity faces, but they do manage to find hope.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]


David Cain proposes a new tradition - "The Depth Year" - where you don't start anything new, but focus instead on what you've already begun. Martin Worthy shares memories about his life-long friend, writer and musician Paul Quarrington. And you'll hear an extraordinary performance of Quarrington's story "The Conversion", recorded just five months before he died.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Tapestry Holiday Special

Season greetings from the team at Tapestry

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[mp3 file: runs 00:01:44]

Why religion?

Religion scholar Elaine Pagels describes spiritual experiences she has had that defy explanation. Steven Newcomb explains why the Catholic Church needs to revoke a series of 15th century papal bulls. And Rignam Wangkhang brings you the art of kora, a Tibetan walking practice, from Kathmandu.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

When no option is a good option

Lisa Tessman is a moral philosopher with an interesting argument. She says doing the right thing is sometimes impossible - and it's good to acknowledge that. And Tapestry producer Arman Aghbali talks to Sara King-Abadi about the 'imposter syndrome' they share when it comes to their Iranian heritage.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

The Goddess

Can seeing God as a feminine figure change how you understand the divine? Carol P. Christ thinks so. Later, Rabbi Rayzel Raphael says in dark times, finding light means accepting - not skirting - those feelings of despair.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Lessons for caregivers

Author Mike Barnes talks about what it's like caring for his mother, who suffers from dementia. White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman explains why doctors have a skewed idea of caregivers - and what it might take to change that. And Rose Andrews says after her husband Gerald suffered a brain hemorrhage, doctors told her to take him off life support. Instead, she's spent the last 20 years helping him recover.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:53:25]

Relationships with robots

What's so human about comedy? And what's the point of having AI learn to mimic- and possibly even surpass - human efforts? Comedian and PhD Candidate in Humour Studies Christopher Molineux weighs in. And .. Fed up with dating, artist Fei Liu is making a robot boyfriend as part of a project called "Build the Love You Deserve."

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

A case against forgiveness

Following a sexual abuse allegation, the burden is often on the women to forgive their abusers for any wrongdoing. Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg and journalist Kaya Oakes say that it's time for the men to make amends before they start expecting any clemency.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Change of Mind

Eleanor Gordon-Smith, a philosophy Ph.D. student at Princeton University, explains why changing people's minds has less to do with reason and a lot to do with egos. And the story of how one woman's picture perfect image of Canada was shattered - only to be rebuilt, from the unlikeliest of places.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

How Indigenous elders made Regina home for a Rwandan refugee

In her documentary, Tina Pittaway tells the story of a young woman from Rwanda who came to Canada with high hopes. This refugee discovered Canada isn't exactly the place on the postcard.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:23:51]

Why your approach to changing people's minds is all wrong

Eleanor Gordon-Smith, a Ph.D. student in philosophy at Princeton University, says if you think reason changes minds, you're wrong. Turns out everything that makes you human goes into how you make decisions - and how you can influence others.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:55]

Lightening the load

Omid Safi, Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, says our concept of success needs an overhaul - and the teachings of Islamic mystics offers a new way forward. Lorenzo Lewis explains the idea behind an initiative to get black men talking to their barbers about mental health.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Ink and Identity

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, director of Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos and Angry Inuk, explains why deciding to get traditional Inuit face tattoos was emotionally fraught. Memphis Cadeau, co-owner of Grim City Tattoo Club in Hamilton, Ont., opens up about how tattoo removal and therapy are more similar than you might think.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Should I stay or should I go?

Why one lifelong Catholic abandoned the church in the middle of mass - and is now grappling with where to turn to next. The other, a convert and a lesbian, says leaving 'wasn't even a question.'

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]

Debunking cultural myths

How the world we imagine isn't quite how we know it to be. A talk with the Sikh Captain America and a look at the cooperative's role in world history.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:44:58]

How are you doing...really?

We live in challenging times. From climate change to mass shootings, it's easy to feel despair. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and a leading figure in the campaign to end the death penalty, is feeling it herself. And if you are too, Prejean has some advice for you.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:40:32]

Your own hands

What happens when we get out of our heads and into our hands?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]

Three unlikely places to find transformation

One man's journey from pastor to salesman. How jam changed three people's lives. The sweet solidarity of a night of interfaith comedy and Margaret Atwood on The Handmaid's Tale, thirty-three years later. In this episode, we're opening the Tapestry vault to bring you some of our most memorable stories of personal transformation and reflection with guest host Yassin Alsalman.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]

Fatherhood in diaspora

Guest host Yassin 'Narcy' Alsalman explores what it means to be a father when you're far from home and all that you hold dear. Yassin speaks to his father about his traumatic youth in a turbulent Iraq, and also talks to filmmakers Jihan "Jiji" Kikhia and Sol Guy about retracing their own father's stories.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:49:52]

Narcy in the Dot: Noah '40' Shebib and Suzanna Shebib

"You know, the city is going through a lot and there's lots happening in the world right now, and I think it's a pretty confusing place. So I feel a responsibility to like, push forward narratives I think are positive and helpful. And especially to the young people in this city." - Noah '40' Shebib

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[mp3 file: runs 01:06:43]

Narcy in the Dot: Kardinall Offishal

"The music industry, just being honest, - is gonna sound crazy, maybe not - it's fundamentally the exact opposite of how I choose to live my life. And it's so super difficult to exist in a place where the values, the morals, the people, the practices, goes against everything that you believe in." - Kardinal Offishal

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[mp3 file: runs 00:32:36]

Narcy in the Dot: Witch Prophet

"Does nobody know that there's actually so many female rappers, and so many queer female rappers in Toronto?" - Witch Prophet

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[mp3 file: runs 00:26:31]

The redemptive power of hip-hop

Guest host Yassin Alsalman, a.k.a. Narcy, explores how hip hop can change lives and nourish the soul. Feature conversations with Toronto hip-hop legend Kardinal Offishall, Witch Prophet and OVO music producer Noah '40' Shebib and his sister Suzanna Shebib.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:52:54]

Sin, spiritual experiences and survival

This week, Tapestry is revisiting four stories about sin, spiritual experiences and survival with guest host Christa Couture.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]

Rethinking disability

"I've accepted my disability, but lately I've wondered: could I also celebrate it?" Guest host Christa Couture explores loving her differences on the summer edition of Tapestry.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]