Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast

What do we do when the euphoria of Christmas morning is past? We discuss the Persian holiday of Yalda, the future, a bit more about Christmas movies, and share stories about our family Christmases. 

Direct download: Christmas_Methodone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

The obligations of virtuous citizens, with respect to the Syrian refugee situation, Trump, Angela Merkel, journalism, and American self-imposed ignorance.

Uwe is a lay theologian and internationally-renowned journalist.  Siemon-Netto was born in Leipzig, Germany, where his devoutly Lutheran grandmother was the pivotal figure in his childhood in World War II. He is the former religion editor of United Press International.  He began his journalism career 1956 as a trainee at Westfalenpost, a large regional newspaper in southern Westphalia. In 1958, he joined the Associated Press in Frankfurt first as copy editor, then as slot editor and roving reporter, covering, among other things, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. From 1962 to 1969, he worked as a correspondent for Springer Foreign News Service in London, Paris, New York, Vietnam, the Middle East and Hong Kong. His assignments included the United Nations, the U.S. civil rights movement, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War (over a period of five years), the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, and China's Cultural Revolution. From 1969 to 1973 Siemon-Netto was North American correspondent for the magazine, Der Stern, writing about many major news events in North, Central and South America, East Asia, France, and again Vietnam.From 1973 to 1986, Siemon-Netto served as Managing Editor for Hamburger Morgenpost, taught journalism at Hamburg's Journalistenschule Henri Nannen, worked as a freelance correspondent for German, Swiss, French and U.S. publications, and as a media consultant overseeing a variety of design and management tasks at publications in Germany and the United States.

In mid-career, at age 50, he began his theological studies, first in Chicago, then in Boston. During these studies, Siemon-Netto freelanced as a magazine correspondent. At the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Germany's subsequent reunification, he served, concurrently with his academic work, as an editorial consultant and—as independent contractor—executive editor for Bild, launching its East German editions, helping plan newspapers for Leipzig and Dresden, training Eastern German journalists and developing a new curriculum for Journalistenschule Axel Springer.

From 1993 to 1994 he managed the redesign of Der Tagesspiegel, a Berlin daily, the Scientific American, in New York, and idea-Spektrum, a Protestant magazine in Wetzlar, Germany. He also co-founded CA-Confessio Augustana, a Lutheran quarterly magazine in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria. From 2000-2005, he was religious affairs editor of United Press International and a Washington-based columnist for a variety of German-language publications.

He studied for his M.A. in theology at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. His Ph.D. in theology and sociology of religion is from Boston University under Peter L. Berger, Carter Lindberg and Uri Ra'Anan. He spent a post-doctoral year at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, N.J. working on a project to bridge the gap between theology and the media.

He is the author of Duc: A Reporter's Love for the Wounded People of VietnamThe Acquittal of God: A Theology for Vietnam Veteransand The Fabricated Luther: The Rise and Fall of the Shirer MythOne Incarnate Truth: Christianity's Answer to Spiritual Chaos.


Direct download: Refugee_Neigbors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Expert in the history of Christian-Muslim relations, Dr. Francisco chats with us about the perplexing circumstances of our era.  How do we balance our love for neighbor with our concern for our neighbors' safety.  How do we juggle religious freedom and obvious threats from radicalized believers.  We discuss Trump, ISIS, ISIL, jihad, refugees, and radical Islam.

Direct download: Extremism_and_The_Limits_of_Hospitality.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Many atheists and conservative Christians have one thing in common this Christmas season: they worry about whether they should tell their kids a benevolent but not exactly true tale about Santa Claus.  There are economic, mythic, religious, and cultural issues at play. We learn about the history and development of the Santa legend.

Direct download: Santa_and_Other_Demonic_Lies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Twitter, public vitriol, shrill rhetoric, journalism, the history of political debate, postmodern thought, the linguistic turn, analytic philosophy and speech act theory.

Direct download: Why_Cant_We_Talk_to_Each_Other.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT