Archive for December 2011

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Guests: John Feffer and Robert Parry

John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a former associate editor of World Policy Journal and  has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He also serves on the advisory committees of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea. He is a recipient of the Herbert W. Scoville fellowship and has been a writer in residence at Blue Mountain Center and the Wurlitzer Foundation.

Robert Parry is one of our leading progressive investigative journalists best known for his uncovering Iran-Contra story and Oliver North’s involvement which earned him the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984.  He current writes for Consortium News, and has covered many important stories on domestic and foreign affairs issues including right wing terrorism, the Bush and Obama presidencies, the rise and influence of the Neocons and our wars overseas.  He has worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS Frontline.

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The role and necessity of spirituality in political and social activism

Rabbi Michael Lerner is clearly one the nation’s greatest Jewish intellectuals and spiritual political activists. As a teenager, Rabbi Lerner was a student of Abraham Joshua Heschel, a great socially responsible mystical thinker who marched with Martin Luther King. During the 60s, he was a chair of the Berkeley chapter of the Students For a Democratic society and was incarcerated as member of the Seattle Seven.  Michael is the founding editor of Tikkun Magazineand is the founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, a spiritual activism organization dedicated to care, gratitude, spiritual insight in all dimensions of human society, and respect for the earth.

Professor Robert Thurman holds the Jay Zong Ka-pa Robert Thurman Chair of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University. He is the President of Tibet House US and is President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times has hailed him as the “leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”  In 1962, Prof. Thurman was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the Dalai Lama, with whom he has remained a close colleague to this day.  He has written many books on Tibetan culture, art, politics and Buddhism. His most recent is “Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as a Solution for China, Tibet and the World” – an attempt to find a win-win situation in the Tibet-China crisis.

Prof. Dan McKanan is the Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, where he specializes in the American history of religious and spiritual movements for social transformation. He is the author of “Prophetic Encounters: Religion and the American Radical Tradition” from Oxford University Press, that provides an all-encompassing look at religious activism during the past 200 years of American history.

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