Navigating Diversity with Chris Stedman - Building Bridges Between Believers & Nonbelievers (2 Part)
In this special 2 part episode, host Krystoff Kissoon sits down with guest, Chris Stedman, writer, speaker, community organizer, and founding director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota.
Chris Stedman is a Minneapolis-based writer, speaker, and community organizer. He is the author of IRL (out 10/20/20) and Faitheist, “an intimate and deeply affecting portrait… [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch” (Booklist, Starred Review). Chris has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and Fox News, and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Pitchfork, VICE, CNN, MSNBC, Salon, The Advocate, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, INTO, The LA Review of Books, Catapult, and The Washington Post. He currently writes THREAD, a newsletter exploring the threads connecting online and offline life.
Chris was previously the founding director of the Yale Humanist Community and a fellow at Yale University, a humanist chaplain at Harvard University, and a content developer and trainer for Interfaith Youth Core. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Augsburg University.
He also hosts The Other Reader with Chris Stedman, a web series where he interviews authors about a range of issues. Details magazine named Chris one of “five next-gen gurus who are disrupting religion’s status quo” and Mic called him “the millennial who’s busting every stereotype about atheists.” In 2018 Augsburg University selected him for their annual First Decade Award, which recognizes alumni “who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community” ten years after graduating.
In Part 1, Krystoff and Chris navigating Chris' experiences growing up queer and Christian, his journey to becoming a "fatheist", common misconceptions about atheism, the similarities and differences between atheism and theism and why they are significant, and how believers, nonbelievers, and everyone in-between can find common ground through empathy, curiosity, and humility.
In Part 2, Krystoff and Chris delve into some of the big questions such as the oneness of humanity, the existence of the soul, and how we can hold space for multiple belief systems at the same time. They unpack the philosophical tradition of secular humanism and the impact of the pandemic and climate change on our willingness to care for those outside of our immediate communities. The conversation ends with Chris' advice for LGBTQ youth struggling with coming out and reconciling their gender and sexual identity with their religious beliefs, as well as advice for parents of LGBTQ youth who are struggling with becoming advocates for their queer children who aren't in a position to advocate for themselves.
Chris will be speaking at a virtual faith discussion titled “Faitheist: Building Bridges Between Believers, Nonbelievers and Everyone In-Between”, on April 14 2021 at 5:30 p.m on Zoom. The event is being hosted by Idaho State University’s Diversity Resource Center, along with the Cultural Events Committee and PEACE Club. To register for the event, visit qrco.de/faitheist or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.