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Honoring the Humanity of Our Neighbors (with Tim Brauhn) [Podcast]

Tim Brauhn is a long-time interfaith activist and conversation partner to many. He attempts to approach every conversation by remembering that anyone he encounters most likely has much more in common with him than the things they disagree (even heatedly) about. In this episode, he shares the values he brings to dialogue, and highlights the work of Islamic Networks Group, a network of teaching and community resources for strengthening relationships in the civic space.

Ways to listen to this episode:

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why it can be so hard to broach difficult subjects when we disagree with loved ones (and strangers)
  • How to use best practices (for teaching and community events) in cultural diversity in your context
  • How the Disney movie Aladdin set a strange and problematic course for perceptions of Islam and the so-called “Arab world” in the West
  • When to let our differences be the most important thing in dialogue, and when to let them go

Top 3 takeaways from this week’s episode:

1. “Why are we still afraid of other people?”

Hopelessness can often creep in when we spend our days reading media that underscores our difference. Even when we know that other humans are potential friends and neighbors, we often fall prey to paralyzing fear (and stereotypes) about others. Why does this happen, and what can we do about it?

'Why are we still afraid of other people?' Listen now: Click To Tweet

2. “Giving up is easy, but it’s not really viable.”

When you’re working in contentious times, it can seem that we will never really get along. Our differences seem too intractable. So why are we still teaching, learning, voting, legislating? Over time, as we are able to share more respectful ideas and build community, we see (to our surprise) that the group of people most opposed to diversity is, in fact, getting smaller. We must continue the work of getting to know our neighbors.

'Giving up is easy, but it’s not really viable.' Listen now: Click To Tweet

3. “Why are you committed to not defriending people?”

Especially since the last US presidential election, many of us find ourselves in emotional conflict with colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones on social media (and in person). And when our emotions are inflamed, we often react by blocking. Why should we remain in relationship with those who upset us?

'Why are you committed to not defriending people?' Listen now: Click To Tweet

Mentioned on the episode:

How to connect with Tim and with us:

You can find Tim’s website here. He’s also on Twitter @TimBrauhn. You can also connect with the Islamic Networks Group on Twitter @ING_org and on Facebook here.

You can connect with me on Twitter here: @SVarnonHughes. And you can always connect with us at CLU on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts linked here.

Like the show? Help us spread the word by giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Podcast

In Times Like These explores the difficult spaces we humans navigate in culture and religion, in dialogue and doubt. We talk to voices from the field, in law, activism, civil rights, and from places of struggle and places of deep learning. In Times Like These, we unpack the most troubling issues of politics and faith we face, together.

In Times Like These is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes and is a CLU Live production by Claremont Lincoln University.

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D., is the Director of Cross-Cultural & Interfaith Programs at Claremont Lincoln University, and an award winning teacher and interfaith leader whose research interests include the history, theories, and practices of inter-religious education, mindfulness and compassion practices (with particular emphasis on practices from the Dharmic traditions, especially Jainism), public policy (especially regarding inequities in public education), and how digital and online resources can make education accessible and learner-focused. Her doctoral dissertation, in inter-religious education, focused on disequilibrium, resilience, and reflective practice as key ingredients for learning. She was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. She holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Lincoln University, an M.A. and S.T.M. from Union Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University.

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Claremont Lincoln University

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Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

Stephanie Varnon-Hughes, Ph.D., is the Director of Cross-Cultural & Interfaith Programs at Claremont Lincoln University, and an award winning teacher and interfaith leader whose research interests include the history, theories, and practices of inter-religious education, mindfulness and compassion practices (with particular emphasis on practices from the Dharmic traditions, especially Jainism), public policy (especially regarding inequities in public education), and how digital and online resources can make education accessible and learner-focused. Her doctoral dissertation, in inter-religious education, focused on disequilibrium, resilience, and reflective practice as key ingredients for learning. She was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, a peer reviewed journal, and its sister publication, State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. She holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Lincoln University, an M.A. and S.T.M. from Union Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degrees are in English and Education, from Webster University.