Product Type

Conversations

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 19

The Crisis of Islam and the Crisis of the West

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After the events of September 11, 2001, many people in the West began pursuing crash courses in understanding Islamic belief and history. As a result, many realized the wisdom of acquiring some historical perspective on what appears to be a clash of civilizations. In this Conversation, Bernard Lewis, a Western historian of the Middle East whose work is recognized around the world, helps provide that essential perspective. 50 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 18

Human Nature, Human Dignity

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Modern people tend to ignore questions about the nature and purpose of things while learning to control them more efficiently. But as science and technology offer us the ability to fundamentally transform human nature, we can no longer avoid addressing metaphysical questions. The crisis of our time, many thinkers agree, is one concerning the definition of human nature. In “Human Life, Human Dignity,” Leon Kass outlines what is at stake and sets forth a framework for indispensable discussions surrounding biotechnologies. Kass stresses that we must approach the discussion with reverence and awe and that a major component of the discussion should be the notion of human dignity. Kass recommends that we turn first not to the findings of science and technology, but to the canon of “residual wisdom” in the East and West—found in literary, philosophical, and religious traditions—that vividly depicts human nature in its glories and tragedies. 60 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 17

Maker of Middle-Earth

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While it is not a story set in the twentieth century, Tom Shippey (author of J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century) claims that The Lord of the Rings is very much a work of the twentieth century; the momentum of evil sweeps characters into action before they understand the events in which they are involved. Joseph Pearce (author of Tolkien: Man and Myth) defends The Lord of the Rings fantasy genre against those who would claim that realistic fiction is a better vessel for truth; because mythology is stripped of the factual, he explains, it can deal with truth unencumbered and therefore convey its moral more directly. Literary critic Ralph C. Wood explains why he has been drawn to J. R. R. Tolkien's moral Middle-Earth since his first reading of The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. It is a world ordered by heroism, friendship, loyalty, and hope. These ties alone, he states, enable the hobbits to complete their quest and go where no one else can. 86 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 14

Till We Have Faces and the Meaning of Myth

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C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is, in his own words, “a myth retold.” Literary critic Thomas Howard explains that Lewis’s decision to tell this story as a myth was informed by the fact that the mythical outlook on the world is fundamentally opposed to the tenets of modernity, for which Lewis had such unrelenting criticism. 50 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 13

Life Work: On the Christian Idea of Calling

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Paul Marshall, author of A Kind of Life Imposed on Man, discusses how society and the Church have understood work throughout history, and what positive ramifications we might expect to see if Christians began to understand their life at work as part of their life in Christ. On part two, Os Guinness, author of The Call, explains how vocation and identity have lost their theological moorings among Christians. 62 minutes $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 12

Youth Culture & the Church

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Mardi Keyes, from the Southborough, Massachusetts branch of L’Abri Fellowship, explains how modern assumptions about the nature of adolescence differ from a biblical understanding of human development. She also describes ways in which intergenerational fellowship within the Church can deter many adolescent crises. Then pastor Mark DeVries describes the ideas in his book Family-Based Youth Ministry. 74 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 11

Self, Society, & the Diagnosis of Addiction

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Sociologist John Steadman Rice, author of A Disease of One’s Own: Psychotherapy, Addiction, and the Emergence of Co-Dependency, maintains that the concept of codependency is rooted in the tenets of “liberation psychotherapy,” a way of thinking about the self that sees all psychological problems as a function of the restrictions placed on individuals by social institutions, especially by the family. Rice asks what kind of society will result if a critical mass of people are converted to an asocial existence. 48 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 9

The Supreme Court and Abortion

Russell Hittinger, associate professor of theology at Catholic University, talks about the evolution of the Supreme Court’s reasoning about abortion, privacy, and liberty, culminating in the extraordinary views of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 8

Bread & the Hungry Soul

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Leon Kass, physician, biologist, and professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, discusses his book The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature, in which he explores how the activity of eating provides clues for understanding human nature and helps guide morality and communal life. Then Brother Peter Reinhart talks about the art of breadmaking as a metaphor for spiritual life. 72 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 4

Edge of Life, Edge of Death

Richard Doerflinger recounts the deliberations of the Human Embryo Research Panel, appointed by the National Institutes of Health. On side two, Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things magazine, talks about the legitimization of suicide and euthanasia in a society bankrupt of moral and political coherence.

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