For Play: Krista Tippett & Stuart Brown in conversation with Paul Holdengräber

January 29, 2008

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Krista Tippett, host of public radio's Speaking of Faith, and Stuart Brown, founder of The National Institute for Play, will continue a nationally broadcasted conversation that unexpectedly became deeply connected to the relationships between the vitality of living life and of religious practices. Are faith and playfulness connected? Can healthy play be the basis for healthy spirituality? Is play more important than prayer or meditation? How do spiritual quests for a meaningful life, and a scientific study of play overlap? Or do they?

In her book, Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It, Tippett brings tolerance, compassion, understanding, and the exploration of evil and virtue into perspectives through her life experiences and personal interviews with worldwide luminaries. Her expositions of her paths from fundamentalism to agnosticism to a faith-based embrace of the mysteries of existence deliver enchantment.

Brown's path toward "enlightenment" is of a different perspective. From a detailed study of murderers who had never engaged in play, to chasing animals at play in the wild worldwide, to becoming immersed in the developmental neurobiology of play, he finds much empathy and parallelism with the wisdom that Tippett has discovered on her spiritual life path.

Stuart Brown finds play ?takes one out of time? into eternities?sunrise while Tippett's explorations frame our inherent quest for answers through faith and ritual. Paul Holdengräber will ignite the fuel for discovery as these two explorers from different continents encounter themselves in a deep dialogue.

About Stuart Brown

Trained in medicine, psychiatry, and clinical research, Stuart Brown discovered the importance of play by discerning its absence in a studied group of homicidal young males. As Clinical Director and Chief of Psychiatry at Mercy Hospital and a professor at University of California, San Diego, he interviewed thousands of people to capture their play profiles identifying negative consequences in a play-deprived life. After his clinical career, he became the founder of The National Institute for Play. With the support of the National Geographic Society and Jane Goodall, he observed animal play in the wild and began to see play as a long evolved behavior important for the well being and survival of animals. He subsequently came to understand that humans are uniquely designed by nature to enjoy and participate in play throughout life.

About Krista Tippett

A journalist and former diplomat, Krista Tippett conceived the idea for Speaking of Faith while consulting for the ecumenical institute of St. John's Abbey, Collegeville. She has hosted and produced the now national weekly program at American Public Media since it began in 2000. Tippett is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and a former Fulbright Scholar. In divided Berlin in the 1980's, she reported for The New York Times, Newsweek, the BBC, among others, and served as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the former West Germany. Her first book, Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It, was published in 2007.


About Paul Holdengraber

Paul Holdengräber is the Director of Public Programs now known as "LIVE from the NYPL" for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.