UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Courtesy of CBC Radio

Tapestry

CBC radio show faithfully explores spirituality and religion

By Sandra Beardsall

In a media world where militant atheists jostle with right-wing talk-radio hosts to define religious life in North America, CBC radio’s Tapestry has, for many years, been quietly weaving quite another portrait of contemporary religiosity. You could say that this weekly one-hour program, designed to explore “spirituality, religion and the search for meaning,” is media faith-talk for the rest of us.

Veteran radio host Mary Hynes takes up provocative, whimsical and sometimes obscure topics, always radiating fascination and respect for her subjects. The show’s themes range across traditions: an interview with Islamic rock star Salman Ahmad one week, a conversation with the well-known Episcopalian preacher and writer Barbara Brown Taylor the next. The program also investigates pan-religious issues, such as the nature of hell or the intersection of the psychedelic drug culture of the 1960s with the quest for mystical experience. 

Even when the subject matter seems self-evident, Hynes and her interviewees find ways to intrigue listeners. For example, we might generally agree that gardening can be a spiritual activity. In the “Back to the Garden” episode, however, we meet Fariborz Sahba, the Canadian architect who designed the famed Baha’i garden that surrounds the shrine of the Báb in Haifa, Israel. Then there is the entertaining segment of this same episode in which passersby on the streets of Toronto attempt to describe paradise.

Most gratifying about Tapestry are the assumptions that move through the program each week. Faith matters. Religious beliefs, practices and yearnings are integral to the warp and woof of what it is to be human. 


Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image
Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

Promotional Image