Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

by Krista Tippett

Hardcover, 2016





New York : Penguin Press, 2016.


In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from her public radio program and podcast "On Being." This book offers a grounded and fiercely hopeful vision of humanity for this century--of personal growth but also renewed public life and human spiritual evolution. Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time. Here, she distills the insights she has gleaned from these luminous conversations into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind. The enduring question of what it means to be human has now become inextricable from the question of who we are to each other.

Media reviews

In a thoughtful chronicle of spiritual discovery, Peabody Award–winning broadcaster Tippett (Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit, 2010, etc.), host of NPR’s On Being, draws on conversations with poets, scientists, theologians, and other seekers of truth. The author focuses on five concepts—words, flesh, love, faith, and hope—that she identifies as “raw materials” for the “superstar virtues” of “love, compassion [and] forgiveness.” Those virtues are undermined, she writes, by public discourse that “inclines toward despair,” fueled by journalism exposing only “what is inadequate, corrupt, catastrophic, and failing.” “Our world,” she counters, “is abundant with quiet, hidden lives of beauty and courage and goodness.” Tippett advocates “generous listening,” which she describes as “a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity” in order to generate salient questions that may elicit “honesty and eloquence.”

User reviews

LibraryThing member jack2410
Has many sources on which to base and illustrate her theses. Not a quick read; the reader must concentrate. The book provides hope and direction for being a constructive force in one's circle of influence, whether that be just your family or your community. I will be re-reading.
LibraryThing member ajlewis2
I read 30% and never really felt I grasped what she was saying. I enjoyed listening to the segments of interviews in 20 podcasts, but did enjoy what I read of this book.
LibraryThing member MinaIsham
-- 03/06/19 Tippett's tome contains conversations with activists, artists, & scientists concerned with quality of life & living. Journalist writes about her childhood, education, & family, too. --



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