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


Margaret H. McCarthy on "gender" and the abolition of man and woman

In article titled “The Emperor’s (New) New Clothes: The Logic of the New ‘Gender Ideology’,” Margaret H. McCarthy argues that there is a dark nihilism embedded in current assumptions about the idea of “gender.” In the name of freedom, the self is redefined as free from any generative or generous relations. What is needed to counter this destructive idea is a recovery of the full Christian account of the generosity of God in the genesis of all things.

The article was published in 2019 in the journal Communio, and is read in this Friday Feature by Ken Myers.

Listen to this Friday Feature

Matthew Crawford on doing philosophy while (and about) driving

Matthew Crawford’s Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road (William Morrow, 2020) continues his reflections on how we discover essential aspects of our humanity by engaging with the physical world. As in Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (Penguin, 2009) and The World beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015), Crawford vividly details the “personal knowledge” acquired in interaction with physical things, their mecho-systems, and the people who care for them.

You can hear more from Matthew Crawford about the ideas in this book on Volume 150. He also appeared on Volume 128 talking about The World beyond Your Head. 

Listen to this Friday Feature

Ken Myers on musical settings of the Passion story before J. S. Bach

In the middle of the fifth century, Pope Leo the Great instituted the practice of reciting the account of the Passion from St. Matthew’s Gospel during the Palm Sunday Mass. And even earlier, as early as the fourth century, that narrative was sung in some churches. During the Middle Ages, the practice of chanting the entire story directly from one of the Gospels spread throughout Christendom. This practice presented composers with an opportunity to set down more elaborate and more aesthetically dramatic musical renditions of the most powerful of all stories.

In this Friday Feature, Ken Myers introduces listeners to settings of the Passion by Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594), Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), Reinhard Keiser (1674–1739), Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), and Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690–1749).

Listen to this Friday Feature

Fr. Chad Hatfield and Peter J. Leithart on Alexander Schmemann’s For the Life of the World,

Father Chad Hatfield, the President of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and Dr. Peter J. Leithart, president of the Theopolis Institute, talk with Ken Myers about Alexander Schmemann’s book, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy. In 2018, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press released a new edition of this important book. In 2019, MARS HILL AUDIO released an audio edition of the book, which was the occasion for these two interviews.

Listen to this 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.

Listen to this Friday Feature

Fr. Andrew Bushell on beer and monasteries, East and West

Fr. Andrew Bushell serves as an Orthodox monk. He is also the brewer of the Marblehead Brewing Company in Massachusetts. As a sequel to the discussion on Volume 147 of Jared Staudt’s book, The Beer Option, Fr. Andrew talks with Ken Myers about why and how he became a brewer and about the intertwined history of brewing and monasticism.

Listen to this Friday Feature

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.

Listen to this Friday Feature

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.

Oliver O’Donovan has also been a guest on the Journal, most recently on Volume 138.

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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

Listen to this Friday Feature