Transmission

40 Episodes
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By: Daniel Wolpert and Mark Van Steenwyk

Transmission explores radical spirituality in a time of growing alienation, deadly pandemics, environmental degradation, and rising fascism. It is a collaboration between the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing and the Center for Prophetic Imagination.

Episode 207: Discernment vs Decision-Making (part 3)
#207
Yesterday at 4:00 PM

In this series we explore the difference between discernment and decision-making, not just in our personal lives, but in the socio-political "sphere" as well. Discussing the difference between process and content, we'll challenge the over-emphasis on "good ideas."


Episode 206: Discernment vs Decision-Making (part 2)
#206
Last Wednesday at 4:00 PM

In this series we explore the difference between discernment and decision-making, not just in our personal lives, but in the socio-political "sphere" as well. Discussing the difference between process and content, we'll challenge the over-emphasis on "good ideas."


Episode 205: Discernment vs Decision-Making (part 1)
#205
Last Monday at 4:00 PM

In this series we explore the difference between discernment and decision-making, not just in our personal lives, but in the socio-political "sphere" as well. Discussing the difference between process and content, we'll challenge the over-emphasis on "good ideas."


Episode 204: The Scales of Justice (part 3)
#204
05/28/2021

In this episode, we conclude our three-part series on the nature of justice in an unjust society. How do we define "justice" in our society? How is it determined and enforced? And how do our concepts around justice (and the institutions built to nurture justice) actually maintain an unjust balance of power?


Episode 203: The Scales of Justice (part 2)
#203
05/26/2021

How do we define "justice" in our society? How is it determined and enforced? And how do our concepts around justice (and the institutions built to nurture justice) actually maintain an unjust balance of power? In this, the second part of the series, we ask: "Is God a criminal or a cop?"


Episode 202: The Scales of Justice
#202
05/24/2021

How do we define "justice" in our society? How is it determined and enforced? And how do our concepts around justice (and the institutions built to nurture justice) actually maintain an unjust balance of power?


Episode 201: Christianity and Colonization
#201
05/21/2021

Scholarship abounds concerning the Christian rationalization for colonization and conquest in the past. Is Christianity inherently oppressive? Will it inevitably sow seeds of colonialism? And how does mainstream theology still reflect the logic of colonization and domination? The second part in a series.


Episode 200: Christianity and Colonization (part 1)
#200
05/17/2021

Scholarship abounds concerning the Christian rationalization for colonization and conquest in the past. Is Christianity inherently oppressive? Will it inevitably sow seeds of colonialism? And how does mainstream theology still reflect the logic of colonization and domination? The first part in a series.


Episode 199: How much is enough? (part 2)
#199
05/12/2021

What is "enough?" Do I have enough money? Enough comfort? Have I achieved enough? Am I getting paid enough? When is "enough" enough?


Episode 198: How much is enough? (pt 1)
#198
05/10/2021

What is "enough?" Do I have enough money? Enough comfort? Have I achieved enough? Am I getting paid enough? When is "enough" enough? 7 Jordan Rosh and 6 others 1 Comment Like Comment Share


Episode 197: Jesus Hates Capitalism (part 3)
#197
05/07/2021

Capitalism vexes our Lord Jesus. And so, in this series, we discuss the economic vision of Jesus, how capitalism dehumanizes and exploits, and how to resist. In our third (and final) episode of this series, we explore the logic of consumption and the way internalized capitalism messes us up.


Episode 196: Jesus Hates Capitalism (Part 2)
#196
05/05/2021

Capitalism vexes our Lord Jesus. And so, in this series, we discuss the economic vision of Jesus, how capitalism dehumanizes and exploits, and how to resist. In this episode, we focus on the question: "what is work?"


Episode 195: Jesus Hates Capitalism
#195
05/03/2021

Capitalism vexes our Lord Jesus. And so, in this series, we discuss the economic vision of Jesus, how capitalism dehumanizes and exploits, and how to resist.


Episode 194: What keeps us safe? (part 2)
#194
04/21/2021

Join us as we continue our discussion on public safety. The police exist "to protect and to serve." Protect what? Serve who? As police violence continues, unabated, former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder. Yet the system itself remains unindicted.


Episode 193: What keeps us safe? (pt 1)
#193
04/19/2021

The police exist "to protect and to serve." Protect what? Serve who? This week we discuss the role of the police and the challenge of "public safety" in the wake of the murder of Daunte Wright and in anticipation of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.


Episode 192: Change (Part 3)
#192
04/16/2021

Today we finish our three part series on change by discussing the way fascism arises as a response to needed change. Octavia Butler famously wrote: "All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change." Change happens, despite any attempts to halt it. But change is hard to generate, nigh impossible to muster when we need it. For those of us committed to the struggle for liberation, change feels cruelly elusive. How do we nurture positive change? How do we respond to negative change?


Episode 191: Change (Part 2)
#191
04/14/2021

Octavia Butler famously wrote: "All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change." Change happens, despite any attempts to halt it. But change is hard to generate, nigh impossible to muster when we need it. For those of us committed to the struggle for liberation, change feels cruelly elusive. How do we nurture positive change? How do we respond to negative change? Today we explore how our late modern consumer capitalist society sells change to us: from planned obsolescence to hyper-fluidity, how might we put down deep roots?


Episode 190: Change (pt 1)
#190
04/12/2021

Octavia Butler famously wrote: "All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change." Change happens, despite any attempts to halt it. But change is hard to generate, nigh impossible to muster when we need it. For those of us committed to the struggle for liberation, change feels cruelly elusive. How do we nurture positive change? How do we respond to negative change?


Episode 189: Hope Amidst Vast F*ckery (Part Three)
#189
04/09/2021

We complete our discussion of the Spiritual Life as a response to everything messed up in the world. How do we hold the tension of being grounded in the life-giving Spirit while also being real about the fallen world?


Episode 188: Hope Amidst Vast F*ckery (Part 2)
#188
04/07/2021

We continue our discussion of the Spiritual Life as a response to everything messed up in the world. How do we hold the tension of being grounded in the life-giving Spirit while also being real about the fallen world?


Episode 187: Hope Amidst Vast F*ckery (part one)
#187
04/05/2021

In this series, we discuss the Spiritual Life as a response to everything messed up in the world. How do we hold the tension of being grounded in the life-giving Spirit while also being real about the fallen world?


Episode 186: Housing Justice (Part 2)
#186
04/02/2021

In this two-part series, we explore themes of housing justice. How does capitalism make gentrification unavoidable? What does a just relationship with land and property look like? Is housing a human right? What does this mean for the landowner/renter relationship? Join us as we explore these themes (and more).


Episode 185: Housing Justice, Part One
#185
03/31/2021

In this two-part series, we explore themes of housing justice. How does capitalism make gentrification unavoidable? What does a just relationship with land and property look like? Is housing a human right? What does this mean for the landowner/renter relationship? Join us as we explore these themes (and more).


Episode 184: Liberation Theologies (Part 3)
#184
03/26/2021

Today we conclude our three-part series on liberation theology. When most folks use the term "liberation theology" they are thinking of a movement that began in Latin America in the late 1960s...a movement to interpret the Gospel of Jesus through the experiences of the poor and oppressed. However, the impulse to re-politicize the Gospel and adopt a posture of solidarity with the oppressed is much older than that. And, today, theologies of liberation develop everywhere communities of faith experience oppression.


Episode 183: Liberation Theology, Part Two
#183
03/24/2021

We continue our series on liberation theology. When most folks use the term "liberation theology" they are thinking of a movement that began in Latin America in the late 1960s...a movement to interpret the Gospel of Jesus through the experiences of the poor and oppressed. However, the impulse to re-politicize the Gospel and adopt a posture of solidarity with the oppressed is much older than that. And, today, theologies of liberation develop everywhere communities of faith experience oppression. Today, we start looking at some of these various approaches in greater depth.


Episode 182: Liberation Theologies, Part 1
#182
03/22/2021

Today we begin a series on liberation theology. When most folks use the term "liberation theology" they are thinking of a movement that began in Latin America in the late 1960s...a movement to interpret the Gospel of Jesus through the experiences of the poor and oppressed. However, the impulse to re-politicize the Gospel and adopt a posture of solidarity with the oppressed is much older than that. And, today, theologies of liberation develop everywhere communities of faith experience oppression.


Episode 181: Purity Culture (Part 3)
#182
03/19/2021

This episode marks the one year anniversary of Transmission! In this episode we conclude our discussion around "Purity Culture" with special guest Ellen Morey. We discuss the https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/churchtoo?__eep__=6&__tn__=*NK-R (#ChurchToo) movement (where purity culture nurtures and upholds abuse), the role purity culture played in the recent Atlanta Spa Murders, and more. Purity Culture" emerged in the 1990s as conservative Christians sought to promote sexual abstinence before marriage. It was, however, part of a larger religious tendency to see correctness or "doing the right things the right way" as the core...


Episode 180: Purity Culture (Part 2)
#180
03/17/2021

In this episode, we continue our discussion around "Purity Culture" by exploring the ways it is used as a method of control—particularly the control of women. We can see this logic of control extend to every form of oppression as Purity Culture serves to reinforce white supremacy, Christian supremacy, patriarchy, and more. Purity Culture" emerged in the 1990s as conservative Christians sought to promote sexual abstinence before marriage. It was, however, part of a larger religious tendency to see correctness or "doing the right things the right way" as the core of spirituality. We can see this broader, deeply pe...


Episode 179: Purity Culture (Part One)
#179
03/15/2021

"Purity Culture" emerged in the 1990s as conservative Christians sought to promote sexual abstinence before marriage. It was, however, part of a larger religious tendency to see correctness or "doing the right things the right way" as the core of spirituality. We can see this broader, deeply performative, tendency operative in all sorts of places, even well outside conservative Christian spaces. And, in many of those places, it becomes a suffocating approach to life that subordinates life to an unhealthy ideal. Part one of a three part series.


Episode 178: Why are you a Christian? (part 2)
#178
03/10/2021

Christianity has a lot of baggage. Many folks walk away from Christianity because of religious trauma. Or because of the ways in which it is tangled up in colonization, imperialism, patriarchy, and a plethora of other forms of oppression. In such a pluralist age, where Christendom has been such a vile reality, why would we still call ourselves Christians? This is the second of a two-part series.


Episode 177: Why are you a Christian? (part one)
#177
03/08/2021

Christianity has a lot of baggage. Many folks walk away from Christianity because of religious trauma. Or because of the ways in which it is tangled up in colonization, imperialism, patriarchy, and a plethora of other forms of oppression. In such a pluralist age, where Christendom has been such a vile reality, why would we still call ourselves Christians? Part one in a two part series.


Episode 176: Endemic Pandemic (part two)
#176
03/03/2021

A pandemic becomes an endemic when it becomes normal, expected. An assumed part of life. We've entered a phase where we normalize and live with COVID. Infections haven't gone away. We're just more lackadaisical about it. This is a grim lesson in formation. Exposure begets familiarity. Familiarity begets normalization. And so it is that we get increasingly comfortable with an avoidable situation. This is the second of a two-part series.


Episode 174: Evangelicalism—Possibilities and Perversions, Part Two
#174
02/24/2021

In the second of a two-part series, we continue to ask: "What is evangelicalism?" American evangelicalism, perhaps more than any other sect or movement within Christianity, is accused of fueling patriotic imperialism, capitalist corruption, pernicious patriarchalism, and white supremacy. Is this a fair accusation? How did we get here? And what might a liberatory evangelicalism look like?


Episode 173: Evangelicalism (Possibilities and Perversions) Part One
#173
02/22/2021

What is evangelicalism? American evangelicalism, perhaps more than any other sect or movement within Christianity, is accused of fueling patriotic imperialism, capitalist corruption, pernicious patriarchalism, and white supremacy. Is this a fair accusation? How did we get here? And what might a liberatory evangelicalism look like?


Episode 172: Insurrections and Uprisings
#172
02/12/2021

Today we discuss the contrasting narratives around the capitol insurrection and this summer's uprisings. Are they morally equivalent acts of unacceptable violence? If we affirm the latter, must we have sympathy for the former? Or are they entirely different actions?


Episode 171: The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump and the Cynicism of Political Theatre
#171
02/11/2021

Today we discuss the impeachment hearings as an example of pure political theatre. The outcome seems predetermined, yet we engage in theatrics as a sort of catharsis or social entertainment. A performance meant to soothe us into feeling like something is being accomplished whilst accountability and justice are denied.


Episode 170: The State of Unions
#170
02/10/2021

Tensions grow in a small Alabama town as workers vote on whether to form the first US-based Amazon union. Amazon is the US's second largest employer and has seen a massive increase in profits during the pandemic. Unionization at one Amazon warehouse could not only spark a trend in this massive retailer, but embolden union organizing everywhere. It is no surprise, then, that management has unleashed aggressive anti-union efforts.


Episode 169: Pandemic Burnout
02/09/2021

A year into the pandemic. Folks are weary and eager to move on. And now, with Biden in office, some have begun to feel optimism that the pandemic is mostly over and are starting a return to "normal." Others just don't give a crap any more and are starting to do whatever they want. Today, we talk about these and other signs of pandemic burnout.


Episode 168: The Gospel of Middle America
#168
02/08/2021

Today we explore the ways leaders invoke symbols of an "American Civil Religion" to unify Americans. The invocation of such symbols (notably displayed in a recent Jeep ad featuring Bruce Springsteen) serves to unify us around a mythic "middle" while leaving many Americans out.


Episode 167: The Politics of Resentment
#167
02/05/2021

Whenever and wherever folks discuss universal basic income, student debt forgiveness, or single payer healthcare, resentful naysayers emerge. That someone could get something for "free" is morally reprehensible. The vision of a society of mutual aid where all receive essential care and provision is dystopic. On this edition of "Fascism Friday" we explore the deep-rooted resentment that undergirds the worst impulses of our society.