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Writer Julian Barnes asks what the world would look like if paganism had won

Julian Barnes’ latest novel, Elizabeth Finch, asks the question, what if civilization took a wrong turn in the 4th Century, by choosing Christianity over Hellenistic and Roman paganism?

The importance of seeking beauty, wherever it can be found

Daniela Gesundheit is part of indie band Snowblink, and a cantor, the person who leads people in singing and prayer in a synagogue. But while Gesundheit kept those two worlds separate, she felt there were conversations happening within the Jewish tradition that were too big to be confined.

Kevin Kelly believes optimism — and technology — can help us solve the world's toughest problems

Despite the challenges we face in 2022 — declining environment included — Kevin Kelly, an author, futurist and founding editor of Wired magazine, says he has no doubts about the cover story that declared we the world was in the midst of The Long Boom.

Why plant-based 'pork' is giving some Jews and Muslims pause

The latest entry into the Impossible Foods world — Impossible Pork — may have wound up alienating part of its target market.

How a secret trove of letters helped 2 sisters learn about the father they never knew

Michèle Dawson Haber and her sister Ruti pored over letters, photographs and audio reels to painstakingly assemble a profile of their father, who died when they were very young.

Impossible pork and family secrets

Muslim writer Aymann Ismail tries Impossible Pork for the first time, after a lifetime of halal-living. Michele Dawson Haber and her sister Ruti grew up with a pretty great step-father, but never really knew her biological father. A stash of letters changed that.

My grandfather, the saint

Andrew Faiz is the grandson of a Presbyterian Pakistani saint - Vazir Chand. Most Presbyterians don't honour saints, yet for this specific Pakistani community, Andrew's grandfather has been given special reverence.

Sound Medicine: Bringing nature to Australian Indigenous women in prison

Indigenous people in Australia’s prison system experience a profound loss of connection to culture while incarcerated and isolated from the familiar sounds of home. A team of researchers worked with a group of incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to reconnect them to a sense of place — through sound.

How Canada's Drag Race helped this Black, queer choreographer make his mark

Toronto choreographer Hollywood Jade says LGBTQ performers, including himself, are finding more opportunities to be celebrated in mainstream media through series like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and its Canadian counterpart Canada’s Drag Race where he serves as resident choreographer.

Finding oneself through sound, dance and family

A documentary brings the sounds of nature into an Australian prison, a queer dancer tries to make space for other LGBTQ performers, and what it’s like when your grandfather is revered as a saint by his church.

Meet the Canadian hockey legend who defied danger to help Soviet Jews

Canadian hockey legend Sherry Bassin risked arrest by the KGB in the 1980s to deliver religious items to synagogue.

Top ten ways to get some rest: results from a world-wide study

Reading is the number one most restful activity, according to writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond. Her book, The Art of Rest, reveals the activities - other than sleep - that can most help you relax - even if it’s something you struggle with.

The Art of Rest & Smuggling Jewish religious items into the Soviet Union

Pairing science with psychology, Claudia Hammond wrote the book on rest - and why we need more of it. The previously untold story of Canadian hockey executive Sherry Bassin is recounted in a documentary by NPR's Gary Waleik.

What if the world stopped shopping?

From the Kalahari Desert to an island in Japan, writer J.B. MacKinnon has travelled the world to try and discover what may be inconceivable to many – what if, one day, the world stops shopping?

Beyond consumerism

J.B. MacKinnon has travelled the world to try and discover what might be inconceivable to many – what if, one day, the world stops shopping? Thad Russell’s parents built an off grid home, but their plan to live a more modest life wasn’t as nearly simple as they hoped.

Why it's not just your brain that makes you smart

Science journalist Annie Murphy Paul, author of The Extended Mind, wants to dispel us of our brain fixation. Meanwhile assistant professor Julia Kam, who runs Internal Attention Lab at the University of Calgary, emphasizes how important it is to let the mind wander.

Why Canada's 27,000 faith buildings are crucial for communities

Many of Canada's 27,000 faith spaces and buildings across Canada are in danger of closing. But some could be reborn and repurposed as community hubs.

'Can I get a honk honk?': The sound of worship in the pandemic

Over the last seven years, teams of faculty and student researchers at Michigan State University and Ohio State University have gathered and cataloged hundreds of audio recordings. The sonic archive documents the diversity of everyday religious life.

How religious practice continues to transform through the pandemic

From the sounds of drive-in church services to a look at repurposing church buildings, how religious practice and its spaces continue to shift during the pandemic.

'We all live in a city': Father-son pair of landscapers help build shelters in Toronto encampments

Henry Lee Heinonen and his father Eric have very different perspectives on how they see the world, but over the summer, they both concluded they wanted to help people living in Toronto’s homeless encampments.

More than just a number: what street addresses say about you

On the surface it might seem like an almost bureaucratic detail - a piece of information that helps the government to find you … when it’s time to pay your taxes. But your address can mean a lot more.. Deirdre Mask explores the link between where you are - and who in her book The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power.

What's the connection between knowing where you are and knowing who you are?

Deirdre Mask is the author of The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power. She says an address tells the world where to find you. But its meaning doesn’t stop there. Henry Lee Heinonen and his father Eric Lee are landscapers living in Toronto. As they went to work this past year, they saw more and more encampments springing up around the city and wanted to do something to help. They volunteered with the Encampment Support Network to build shelters for people without housing

She didn't want to come out to her grandmother. Getting engaged made it harder.

Erica Lenti hoped she could hide her sexual identity from her grandmother until Lenti either married or her grandmother died. Getting engaged meant she couldn’t hide it for much longer

'Instagram for Prisons': How a mom's daily pics kept her son alive

If it hadn’t been for his mom’s daily correspondence while he spent eight years in prison, Marcus Bullock may not be the dad and business leader he is today. He created an app that connects families with incarcerated loved ones.

Family bonds and unconditional love

If it hadn’t been for his mother’s daily correspondence while he spent 8 years in prison, Marcus Bullock may not have become the man he is today. Bullock created an app that connects families with loved ones in prison in a similar way. Erica Lenti’s grandmother didn't know she was gay. For years, Lenti chose not to tell her out of fear of rejection. She hoped to keep this information from her grandmother for as long as possible, but getting engaged made it so much harder.