Rank #1: Enlightened Cynicism
Trust in government, media, organized religion, businesses and even democracy is at historic lows. But what if the answer to declining faith in institutions isn’t more hope, but more cynicism?
- Sharon Stanley, Professor of Political Science at the University of Memphis and the author of The French Enlightenment and the Emergence of Modern Cynicism.
- David Mazella, Professor of English at the University of Houston and the author of The Making of Modern Cynicism
Dec 28 2017
Rank #2: Forbidden Fruit
Contemporary diet culture is only the latest manifestation of a long history of religious fervor about food.
- Isabel Foxen Duke, health coach
- Alan Levinovitz, Professor of Religious Studies at James Madison University
- Corrie Norman, Associate Director, Religious Studies at the University of
Apr 12 2018
Rank #3: Nothing Matters
Between the Buddhist doctrine of ‘emptiness,’ the Jewish idea of Ayin, and the quantum mechanical zero-point energy of a vacuum, it turns out there’s quite a lot to be said about Nothing.
- Janet Gyatso, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Harvard Divinity School
- Daniel Matt, Scholar of Jewish Mysticism
Jul 10 2018
Rank #4: Generation Why?
Who gets to define generational cohorts and do they obscure more than illuminate?
- Neil Howe, author of Generations
- Tony Tulathimutte, author of Why There’s No ‘Millennial’ Novel
Oct 19 2017
Rank #5: Demeritocracy
Total faith in meritocracy leads to the dangerous belief that all social winners and losers are wholly deserving. Instead, we need an economy of grace.
- Victor Tan Chen, assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy
- Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and Listen, Liberal
Dec 18 2017
Rank #6: Secular Salvations
The decline of organized religion in the West has opened up new paths for individuals to pursue what once was once understood to be salvation.
- Craig Calhoun, President of the Berggruen Institute and author of Rethinking Secularism
- Sean Kelly, Professor of Philosophy of Harvard University and author of All Things Shining
- Angie Thurston, fellow at On Being and author of How We Gather
Dec 01 2017
Rank #7: White Balance
Understanding race in America requires understanding its relationship to class.
- Joshua Bennett, writer and poet
- Julian Bourg, Professor of History at Boston College
- Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash
Nov 02 2017
Rank #8: (In)efficiency
Efficiency has moved from a technique for measuring machines to a widely held moral value. But at what cost?
- Jennifer Alexander, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and author of The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control
- Tom Hodgkinson, founder and editor of The Idler
Oct 26 2017
Rank #9: 21st Century Citizenship
What does it mean to be a citizen in America in 2017?
- Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and University Professor at Harvard University
- Erhardt Graeff, PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media
- Shanelle Matthews, Director of Communications for the Black Lives Matter global network
Nov 17 2017
Rank #10: Apocalyptic Politics
Evangelical voters made up a significant portion of Donald Trump’s base in the 2016 presidential election. Their political agenda may not be peace or prosperity, but instead bringing us closer to the end of time.
- Matthew Sutton, Graduate Studies Director, Washington State
University History Department
- Katharine Hayhoe, Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech
- Liya Rechtman, Harvard Divinity School student
May 25 2018