Sunday, August 26, 2012

"A Thoughtful Faith": Inaugural Episode

A Thoughtful Faith is a Mormon Stories affiliated podcast that features the stories and perspectives of intelligent, thoughtful believers who maintain faith despite their awareness of and/or struggles with common challenges and issues. Though some of these issues will be discussed, our focus is not necessarily the troubling aspects of our history, culture and doctrine, but rather how our guests navigate and own their individual perspectives.

We hope to examine faith and Mormonism in a way that responds to the assumption that if you are truly informed about the complexity of this faith tradition, including its origins, history, culture, and doctrine, that sincere, authentic belief and participation becomes unsustainable.
Though it is true that authentic faith is simply not possible for many individuals, we present by way of the stories and perspectives of these thoughtful believers that unbelief and disaffection is not the inevitable conclusion of a faith transition. By exploring Mormonism and faith in general from this angle, we hope to model potential paths for individuals in faith transition or crisis that allow them to maintain faith, as well as to provide a place for authentic discourse for thoughtful believers everywhere

We will feature a diversity of voices from within and outside Mormonism. Not only will our audience hear from scholars and academics, but also from Relief Society presidents, local leaders, members of other faiths, business professionals, bloggers, and primary teachers — men and women alike. Our process for creating content also allows us to hear from different hosts, who likewise come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives within Mormonism.

It is an exciting albeit challenging time to be a Mormon. Often it is hard to know where to fit in with an approach to faith that isn't mainstream.  However, we believe that our faith tradition can build a tent big enough and expansive enough to harbor the many paths Mormonism can offer. We thank you for taking interest in this new project, and we hope you will stick with us as we explore the many paths for a thoughtful faith and try to expand the tent to include Mormons like you.

The inaugural episode of "A Thoughtful Faith" is an interview by Micah Nickolaisen of Greg Prince. Greg is well known for his historical contributions and grassroots activism within the LDS Church, and is an advocate for better curriculum, scholarship, gender equality, and open dialogue within Mormon discourse and church policy. Greg sits on the board of directors for Dialogue Foundation, as well as the Madison House Autism Foundation.
In this interview, Greg and Micah discuss:
  • Dialogue, one of Mormondom's oldest and most controversial publications, and what role it will continue to play in the Internet Age.
  • The contributions of Chieko Okasaki
  • Women and the priesthood
  • What practical solutions are available today to affect positive change in Mormon gender equality
  • Greg's role models,
  • How we should take ownership of the future of Mormonism.
  • Greg's admonitions, which range from influencing curriculum, creating better scholarship, and how to navigate the political intrigue of church service.
  • Greg's newest project, the Madison House Autism Foundation (MHAF), which he and his wife JaLynn co-founded in 2009.