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Deep Roots Podcast: Benjamin Lay

Deep Roots Podcast: Benjamin Lay

In this episodes, Mark tells the story of Benjamin Lay. Benjamin was a radical Quaker, abolitionist, and performance artist who drew ire from the Quaker elite in Pennsylvania for his fierce activism. He was also known as a man of fierce integrity. At just over 4 foot tall, he lived in a cave, grew his own food, practiced strict vegetarianism, and made his own clothing. In all things he sought to embody the call to love one’s neighbor. Written and…

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Deep Roots Podcast: The Beguines

Deep Roots Podcast: The Beguines

This episode remembers the beguines–a medieval lay women’s movement that that stressed imitation of Christ’s life through simplicity, care of the poor and sick, and religious devotion. By being a movement of women apart from men, they challenged the established order. Many of their leading figures were accused of heresy, and scores were murdered during the Inquisition. What was it about their way of life that so threatened the Church? Written and produced by Mark Van Steenwyk. Vocal performances provided…

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Deep Roots Podcast: Ernesto Cardenal, Revolutionary Priest

Deep Roots Podcast: Ernesto Cardenal, Revolutionary Priest

In this episode, we examine Ernesto Cardenal. Cardenal is a liberation theologian who refuses to be contained by a lectern. A priest who refused to be restrained by the pulpit. He is a poet that refuses to let words be his only medium. For him, revolution isn’t a metaphor, it is a painful act that brought death to friends and enemies. But, to Cardenal, such death was the price for the promise of liberation. Written and produced by Mark Van Steenwyk. Poems…

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Deep Roots Podcast: Simone Weil, Red Virgin

Deep Roots Podcast: Simone Weil, Red Virgin

In this episode we remember Simone Weil. She was a philosopher, mystic, political theorist, and revolutionary. She wasn’t well known in her lifetime and is scarcely known today. Her life was short—she died at the age of 34 from tuberculosis, which was brought on by weakness from severe fasting. Most of her writings were published after her death. And her writings, though never exactly popular, were celebrated by towering figures. T.S. Elliot called her “a woman of genius, of a…

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Deep Roots Podcast: Bayard Rustin, Forgotten Prophet

Deep Roots Podcast: Bayard Rustin, Forgotten Prophet

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day in the United States. It is not only a day where we honor the man, but also the movement of which he was a part. King has become such a dominant symbol of the Civil Rights Movements that we forget other important figures in the movement. Today we remember one of these forgotten prophets. One who was a thorn in the side of American imperialism for decades…whose influence in the Civil Rights movement…

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