Tapestry with Mary Hynes

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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.

Protecting nature, act of faith: Muslim women are leading the charge on climate activism

Memona Hossain has spoken to dozens of Muslim women around the world whose faith inspires their work as leading climate activists. Her field, Applied Ecopsychology, helps explain people’s deeply personal connections to the earth, and Hossain says spirituality is a crucial element.

How this woman reconnected with her Métis ancestry, and the land they live on

Jenna Vandal always knew she was Métis, but her family’s history was hidden from her. After years of hard work and dedication, she has reconnected with her heritage and the land, and found that the past contains a blueprint for reconciliation.

Women who find meaning and purpose on the land

You’re going to meet two women with profound connections to the land. Memona Hossain is a PhD student in Applied Ecopsychology. She has spoken to dozens of Muslim women around the world whose faith drives their work as climate activists. Jenna Vandal recounts the long, winding path to connecting with her Métis heritage.

Why is it so hard to say goodbye?

Researcher Adam Mastroianni has found that conversations tend to last a length of time that makes no one happy. He says it’s ok to say to goodbye when you want a conversation to end — but why does that feel so difficult to admit?

City-wide playtime should be a post-pandemic goal says design critic

Post-pandemic, design critic Alexandra Lange wants to see city-wide, street-based events given priority. Children need the freedom to play safely this summer — and beyond.

The joy of getting back out there

Post-pandemic, design critic Alexandra Lange says we would all benefit from city-wide, street-based events. And it might be worth asking what the kids would want. Meanwhile researcher Adam Mastroianni has found that conversations tend to last a length of time that makes no one happy.
Q&A

The Dawn Chorus blends birdsong with human voice in 'musical wake-up call'

Assistant professor of religion Alexander Hampton and opera singer Nicole Percifield teamed up at the University of Toronto to launch the Dawn Chorus project — incorporating birdsong recorded by students into a composition sung by Percifield, to celebrate and raise awareness of the wildlife existing within urban centres.
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The Dawn Chorus: tuning in to nature

Assistant professor of religion Alexander Hampton and opera singer Nicole Percifield teamed up at the University of Toronto to launch the Dawn Chorus project — incorporating birdsong recorded by students into a composition sung by Percifield, to celebrate and raise awareness of the wildlife existing within urban centres.

The 'Religions Geek' on how COVID has impacted religious awareness

Brian Carwana calls himself The Religions Geek. He’s the Executive Director of Encounter World Religions. And he says despite Canada’s rich religious diversity, much of the population remains “religiously illiterate” — a condition the pandemic has simultaneously exacerbated and alleviated.

The pastor's a wizard, and some worshippers look like cats: This is church in virtual reality

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned indoor gatherings into possible superspreader events, some people who are part of a religious community have had surprising success by breaking bread in virtual reality.

How COVID rewired religion

For churchgoers, COVID brought some big adjustments. Lockdowns and social distancing meant that many believers stayed at home — either sleeping in, or watching the service over Zoom. But a few pastors responded to the moment by seizing it. They built new churches in virtual reality. Plus: how the pandemic has shaped religious practices — for the worse, but also for the better.

A faith to call her own: writer Bunmi Laditan's search for connection with God

Bunmi Laditan is a writer and poet best known for her satirical Twitter account @HonestToddler. She retraces her spiritual path from her family’s Yoruba Christian faith to her conversion to Judaism and beyond, and shares heartfelt selections from her book, "Help Me God, I'm a Parent: Honest Prayers for Hectic Days and Endless Nights".

Russian missiles struck his seminary in Kyiv. That only strengthened this priest's faith

Weeks into the war, Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kyiv, where Reverend Ivan Rusyn is president. He says that while his faith in God has only gotten stronger, he has a different perspective on pacifism than he did before the war.

Where is God in a time of war?

Reverend Ivan Rusyn is the president of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kyiv. Russian missiles struck the seminary in early March, causing extensive damage. That only strengthened Rev. Rusyn's faith in God — but the war has shaken his perspective on pacifism.

The Big Dipper and the Dene traveller legend — how Indigenous teachings can change views of the night sky

Mi'kmaw astronomer Hilding Neilson and Dene Chief Fred Sangris have brought their Indigenous perspectives to the study of astronomy. Neilson says applying these different lenses when looking at the stars can help create a better and more inclusive field of study.

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