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Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left is a podcast for everyday people who want to live meaningfully without letting arbitrary doctrine or oppressive religious practice prevent them from asking big questions about our complicated world. Hosts Reverend Peggy Clarke and Reverend Sarah Lenzi discuss a series of contemporary issues, using history and theology as their guides. The initial episodes of Hope & Heresy were recorded on-site at Community Church of New York, a Unitarian-Universalist ...
 
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show series
 
Many liberal-religious people have hesitations about the structure of churches. Yet, churches can take many forms and operate in many different ways. The theological term "ecclesiology", or the study of the church itself, can provide interesting insight into the ways our institutions are shaped by their members and can reflect liberal-religious val…
 
"What pneumatology tells us is that we are radically connected -- breathing in the same spirit." Pneumatology is the study of the spirit. As Unitarian-Universalists, we often discuss the Spirit of Life. Join Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah for a wider-ranging discussion of historical conceptions of spirit and body and what these have to offer for…
 
In this continuing exploration of the theological term "eschatology", or the study of death, judgment, and the End Times, Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah take a big-picture look at the liberal-religious perspective on the end of the world. With climate collapse forming a clear and present danger to life on earth, how do we reclaim our agency and …
 
"Eschatology" is the theological term for matters related to death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and humankind. We are dividing this big topic into two shows, so stay tuned for Eschatology part two. In this episode, you'll hear Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah discuss one of religion's biggest questions: what happens after we die? H…
 
Soteriology: the study of religious doctrines of salvation. Salvation is a tricky subject for modern liberal religionists. At one time, theologies of sin, punishment, and salvation were a major aspect of Western religions, functioning as a method of social control. The doctrine of Universalism, now an integral part of our Unitarian-Universalist fai…
 
Theology: the study of the nature of God and religious belief. Hope & Heresy is a show all about theology, and our entire last season focused on visions of the Divine (check it out!), so why do we need to define the term? Excellent question. On this episode, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy argue that defining theology in a liberal-religious conte…
 
"The origin question never ends." Cosmology is traditionally understood as the religious perspective on origins and creation. In this episode, explore this term in depth with Unitarian-Universalist ministers Reverend Sarah Lenzi and Reverend Peggy Clarke. As liberal religious people, why are we called to understand our origins and what do we do wit…
 
"Theodicy": conventionally understood as a defense of God in face of the knowledge of human suffering.What is the liberal-religious definition of theodicy and how do we understand it in the context of our very current moment of suffering and trauma caused by the 2020-2021 coronavirus pandemic?Join Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy to learn more abo…
 
Welcome to The Hope & Heresy Guide to Theological Terms! This episode is a brief introduction to our fourth season. Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left is a podcast for everyday people who want to live meaningfully without letting arbitrary doctrine or oppressive religious practice prevent us from asking big questions about our complicated wo…
 
It's the final installment in our season-long exploration of aspects of the divine! Throughout this season, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy have deeply contemplated and discussed the possibilities of the divine and humans' relationship to it. Today we discuss our motivation for embarking on this season-long project and the lessons we've taken awa…
 
Throughout our season-long exploration of the divine and its many expressions, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy have often returned to the idea that our vision of the divine substantially affects how we move in the world. On today's episode, the conversation picks up the theme of "process theology" from last week's show and moves into a discussion…
 
"God is beyond the realm of opposites." As our season-long exploration of aspects of the divine approaches its end, Rev. Peggy and Rev. Sarah spend time today discussing the complicated, cyclical, always-in-process relationship between humans and the divine. Beginning with a discussion of human gender binaries and how they have been projected onto …
 
Happy Easter from Hope & Heresy! On today's episode, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy spend time with the story of Holy Week and Easter. While Reverend Peggy identifies as Christian, Reverend Sarah does not and this episode reflects the complexity that is encompassed by Unitarian-Universalism. History and sociology blend with reflection and theolo…
 
Chag Pesach sameach! Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah each grew up observing Passover in mixed-faith families. This week on Hope & Heresy, we take a close look at the Passover story and what it means to our ongoing investigation of the many aspects of the divine. When the divine appears in our lives to liberate us, how do we respond? What lessons …
 
Our modern liberal-religious beliefs do not encompass "the divine right of kings", but as humans living in societies we are drawn toward certain ideas about power and those who exercise it. On today's episode, Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah take up the thorny question of the relationship between human power and the divine. What are we looking fo…
 
This episode picks up themes explored in the previous show, "Divine Hunter", as Hope & Heresy continues our season-long exploration of aspects of the divine. Today, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy are talking about a liberal religious approach to the relationship between the divine and free will. If we do not accept the Calvinist doctrine of pre-…
 
Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah continue our season-long exploration of aspects of the divine, always from a liberal-religious perspective that centers love and justice. This week, we're talking about the experience of being hunted, or given a mission, by the divine. How will you recognize this experience when it happens? What does it feel like? …
 
Our season-long exploration of the divine continues, as Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy discuss divine retribution from a liberal religious perspective. What is the relationship between divine love and divine retribution or justice? What does a Universalist understanding, in which everyone is loved and saved, have to offer in our complex modern d…
 
Welcome to season three of Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left! "Love isn't blind. Love sees everything, all the flaws, and includes them." In this season, we'll explore the many aspects of the divine and how we experience it in our lives as liberal religious people. Today's show, recorded just before Valentine's Day 2021, explores the many f…
 
Happy holidays from Hope & Heresy! In our season 2 finale, Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah discuss the complexities of Christmas celebrations in the United States for liberal religious people. Looking at the original Scriptural source material for the Christmas story, forces that shaped this mythology over time, and the way the holiday is interpr…
 
It's a special day for Hope & Heresy as Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah welcome their first guest to the show. Reverend Mack Brandon of Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in Ridgewood, NJ, joins us to discuss music, anti-racism, self-care, and the ever-changing role of ministers in the struggle for social justice. This episode is also available on Y…
 
In the early 20th century, Community Church's famed minister John Haynes Holmes went on a ten-day spiritual retreat to determine his vision for the church. Would a woman minister have the option to do the same thing? On this episode of Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left, 21st century ministers Reverend Peggy and Reverend Sarah discuss their …
 
As a very different type of Thanksgiving holiday approaches in the United States, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy discuss cultural narratives and the opportunities they provide for healing and growth. In this episode, Reverend Sarah mentions a group spiritual development experience she is participating in at the moment. If you're interested in le…
 
Election Week 2020 was a time of deep uncertainty and division in the United States. In this episode, recorded before a victory was announced for President-Elect Biden, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy discuss the road that led to this moment. In a world where the truth itself is contested, what is the role of liberal religion? And what does liber…
 
On the eve of a momentous election in the United States, the founding figures, documents, and ideals of America are under scrutiny. In this episode, recorded October 30, 2020, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy offer a liberal religious perspective on civic engagement and what lies ahead for our country. What is the dream of America and how can we w…
 
As news headlines swirl about religion and its role in public life, Reverend Sarah and Reverend Peggy take a step back to examine the bigger picture. What is religion? How are religion and spirituality connected? And what is the role of community-building in religious practice? Enjoy this timeless conversation about the sociology of religion, prese…
 
Welcome to Season 2 of "Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left"! Our hosts, Reverend Sarah Lenzi and Reverend Peggy Clarke, wrestle with contemporary issues using history and theology as guides. This is a show for everyday people who want to reclaim religion and live meaningfully without arbitrary doctrine. In our season opener, Reverend Peggy a…
 
Take Action/ Further Reading: NAACP We Are Done Dying campaign: https://naacp.org/campaigns/we-are-done-dying/ Equal Justice Initiative, "Tragic Death of George Floyd Reveals Continuing Problem of Police Violence": https://eji.org/news/tragic-death-of-george-floyd-reveals-continuing-problem-of-police-violence/ Alex S. Vitale, "The answer to police …
 
This episode is also available to watch on YouTube! https://youtu.be/XRjEUMWlXyk In today's episode, Sarah and Peggy return to the "recording studio" to discuss the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York City and the world. Since our last in-person recording session, our lives have altered dramatically and many of us have lost loved o…
 
In our last in-person recording session for now, Peggy and Sarah discuss the early days of COVID-19 in New York City. Thoughts on this episode? Please write to us at podcast@ccny.org! Hosted by Reverend Peggy Clarke (Community Church of New York) and Reverend Sarah Lenzi (The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, NJ) Produced by Amy Wilson Original music…
 
It's okay to talk about sex with your minister or in a religious setting, but many people find that difficult. From the time of Augustine, sex has been bound up with religion, power, money, and patriarchy. Join us for a warm and friendly conversation to untangle some of that history and how it continues to affect many people today. Thoughts on this…
 
Not all grief is encompassed by our conventional understanding. Labor laws often prescribe a certain amount of time for a certain type of grief, while social norms encourage us to understand grief as directly related to death. The conversation in today's episode touches upon many types of grief: the loss of a meaningful job, the transition of a chi…
 
This is a shame-free zone. Today's episode won't tell you to quit Facebook or to get off the grid entirely, but it will encourage you to think deeply about technology as a tool, the progress of humanity, and how we use tech to relate to each other. Thoughts on this episode? Please write to us at podcast@ccny.org! Hosted by Reverend Peggy Clarke (Co…
 
"The revolution will be spiritual." Today's discussion illuminates the near future of climate change, theological understandings of humanity's relationship to the earth, and what can be done on an individual and community level to address this existential crisis. Thoughts on this episode? Please write to us at podcast@ccny.org! Hosted by Reverend P…
 
What is heresy and why is it necessary in today's conflicted and complicated world? The word "heresy" is challenging for many people, but the heretics in history have been critical to moving religious thought forward. On the inaugural episode of Hope & Heresy: Life on the Religious Left, Reverend Sarah Lenzi and Reverend Peggy Clarke discuss their …
 
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