Here's What You're Missing

Below are some samples of free audio content that we have released on the MARS HILL AUDIO app. Our app can be installed on most iOS and Android devices. We realize that many of our listeners do not own smartphones for various reasons, but we want you to know that there are other ways to access our app besides buying a new phone. Other devices — some of which may even be lying around your home — are app compatible as well, such as newer versions of the iPod Touch, Android reading tablets, refurbished (read: cheaper!) iPhones and iPad tablets, and even — for those of you who are more technologically advanced — Kindle Fire tablets.* 

There are many other things you can do with a reading tablet besides listen to our audio. Most public libraries and academic institutions offer audiobooks, digital copies of books, and access to digital copies of periodicals, such as The AtlanticThe Wall Street Journal, or The New Yorker. This is all free content that you can access using a tablet. You can also create pdfs of many web articles and store and read them on a tablet, which is much easier on the eyes than reading on a computer screen.

For parents who may be concerned about unintentionally exposing their children to inappropriate content through tablets, there are parental restrictions that can be set up in order to prevent other users from browsing the internet (unfortunately, we are not aware of a way to delete the web browser apps entirely from a tablet). You can also turn off your wi-fi setting while you're not using it, so that the tablet is not always connected to the internet.

*A note about the Kindle Fire: for reasons mysterious to us, Amazon never accepted our app submission and as a result, does not offer our app through their store. However, there is still a way to find our app and download it onto a Kindle Fire. This is an inexpensive option for many people, but we only recommend it if you are fairly confident in your abilities to navigate your techy gadgets. For more information, please refer to the two links below. We recommend the first one, but if you have trouble with that, the second one might help. If you still have more questions, email us at

Video #1 — Simply Smart 123

Video #2 — How To Tech


Remi Chiu on plague and music

Remi Chiu’s 2017 book, Plague and Music in the Renaissance, examines “how traditional beliefs about music became embroiled in the new discourses about plague and how established musical styles, techniques, and practices were marshalled up to combat the disease.” 

Chiu talks with Ken Myers about that history and about how our response to a pandemic bears some likenesses to responses in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Listen to the Friday Feature

Catherine Prescott on what we lose with face masks

What are we missing when faces are partially obscured by masks?

Portrait painter Catherine Prescott ( talks with Ken Myers about how eyes can be misunderstood when cut off from the context of the entire face.

Catherine Prescott can also be heard in an interview about painting portrait subjects who are reading on our Anthology: On Books and Reading.

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Gilbert Meilaender on public health

Ken Myers talks with ethicist Gilbert Meilaender about why our experience with COVID-19 has made it difficult for many — citizens and officials — to honor a proper obligation to protect public health. That obligation is framed in this feature in the context of the duties of the Sixth Commandment.

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Steven Shapin on the cultural authority of science

Historian of science Steven Shapin is the author of a number of thoughtful books and essays which serve to demystify the sciences and demonstrate how scientific pursuits are deeply human pursuits. In a way reminiscent of Michael Polanyi, Shapin’s historical sketches recover a view of scientific knowledge as personal knowledge, and thus not uniquely situated beyond all other forms of knowledge. In this feature, he talks with Ken Myers about how the authority of “science” has been invoked carelessly by many political authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oliver O’Donovan on thinking about politics Christianly

In a 90-minute conversation with Matthew Lee Anderson and Ken Myers, Oliver O’Donovan explains some of the central themes of his work in political theology. This discussion was held on Capitol Hill in 2013, and includes references to O’Donovan's books The Desire of the Nations, The Ways of Judgment, and others.

This special feature is also available as a free download.

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Oliver O’Donovan on political authority

In a series of books including Resurrection and Moral Order, The Desire of the Nations, and The Ways of Judgment, moral philosopher Oliver O’Donovan has provided his readers with penetrating insight into — among other things — the nature and meaning of political authority and its relationship to the experience of freedom. Ken Myers talks with O’Donovan about lessons we can learn from our experience of disease and quarantine.

Oliver O’Donovan has been a guest on the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal on volumes 127 and 138. You can purchase these archive volumes as well as extended Conversations of the two interviews with O’Donovan from our catalog pages.

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Michael Hanby on biotechnocracy

Theologian Michael Hanby (No God, No Science? Theology, Cosmology, Biology) acknowedges the need for government-directed caution in the face of a pandemic. But he is concerned that a number of pre-existing cultural conditions involving the interface of science and politics will be intensified in the aftermath of the present crisis.

Michael Hanby was a guest on Volume 121 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal and also appears in the MARS HILL AUDIO Anthology Rediscovering the Organism: Science and Its Contexts.

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Kimbell Kornu on the nihilism of medicine

In an essay published last week online, Dr. Kimbell Kornu writes: “Modern medicine is an unquestioned good, a view commonly shared by church, state, and society alike. However, this pandemic has revealed something about the soul of society — the fear of death. Trust in the healing power of modern medicine is thought to quell the fear of death. But the fear of death reveals something deeper about modern medicine: death lies at the heart of modern medicine.” Modern medicine “is thus nihilistic.”

Kornu, who teaches health care ethics and palliative medicine at St. Louis University, talks with Ken Myers about why medicine can’t adequately explain health or suffering, even as doctors promote health and try to eliminate suffering.

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Peter Leithart on "following the science"

Theologian Peter Leithart reminds us that the injunction to “Follow the science” conceals the fact that scientists disagree and that scientific findings are always provisional and revisable. He also talks about the challenge for churches to remember the necssarily embodied nature of their vocation.

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D. C. Schindler in & on quarantine

Philosopher D. C. Schindler reflects on perceiving the common good during the uncommon circumstances of COVID-19. Professor Schindler also discusses some encouraging and sinister possibilities that responses to the pandemic introduce.

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Jeffrey Bishop on medicine & culture

Medicine — as a set of practices and institutions — is a function of a larger cultural history. Jeffrey Bishop, the author of The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying, talks with Ken Myers about how modern Western medicine is intertwined with politics and technology within a vision of progress that has an eschatological quality to it.

Dr. Bishop was a guest on volume 142 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, along with Stanley Hauerwas and D. C. Schindler. 

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Brad Littlejohn: “No Wealth But Life”: Moral Reasoning in a Pandemic

Christian freedom, writes Brad Littlejohn, means love of neighbor, “and this begins with the Sixth Commandment. What does this mean in the face of pandemic and recession?” In an essay posted at — read here by Ken Myers — Littlejohn (the author of The Peril and Promise of Christian Liberty) reflects on how best to ask and answer some of the questions raised by our current disease-ravaged circumstances.

Brad Littlejohn was a guest on volume 139 of the Journal.

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Stanley Hauerwas on living under quarantine

In the first in a projected series of features, Stanley Hauerwas shares with Ken Myers some thoughts about lessons to be learned while living under quarantine. Among the subjects raised are the relationship between patience and hope, the importance of the universality of the Church, the fragility of post-war global institutions, and the uniqueness of the vocation of medicine.

Stanley Hauerwas has been a guest on volumes 142 and 98 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal.

Listen to the Friday Feature