June 10, 2006
Jennifer Michael Hecht and Doubt
I was listening to one of my regular podcasted radio programs this week and heard a name that sounded familiar - Jennifer Michael Hecht.
The program is Speaking of Faith which is hosted by Krista Tippett and I highly recommend it. It's not really about religion in the organized religion sense, it is about faith and spirituality - and it's not preachy or new age. Look at the show's archive and you'll get the best sense about the scope of topics. You can listen online or download the podcasts.
The program I heard featured the historical scholar Jennifer Michael Hecht. On the show site it says that "as a scholar she always noticed the 'shadow history' of doubt out of the corner of her eye. She shows how non-belief, skepticism, and doubt have paralleled and at times shaped the world's great religious and secular belief systems. She suggests that only in modern time has doubt been narrowly equated with a complete rejection of faith, or a broader sense of mystery." The title of the show was "A History of Doubt" and Hecht's book is Doubt: A History (Harper SanFrancisco, 2003)
I checked back on Poets Online to confirm and Jennifer Michael Hecht was the poet I used for a prompt on "revisionist history" last year. I used her poem "History" for the prompt and you can read the poem and hear her read it on the show site along with another poem, "No, I Would Not Leave You If You Suddenly Found God".
BTW, I took their online "Scale of Doubt" Quiz and it says I am an agnostic, but I'm not so sure about that.
Jennifer Michael Hecht's web site is at jennifermichaelhecht.com
Read Krista's journal entry on doubt
- it's an interesting extension on the ideas in the program. Doubt would make a good writing prompt too...