The Veritas Forum show

The Veritas Forum

Summary: How can we mend a broken world? How should we seek justice? What is the good life? The Veritas Forum helps students and faculty ask life's hardest questions. Many of the world's leading universities were founded to answer the big "why" questions. Our mission is to help them confront these questions anew. Learn more at

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 Is There Truth Beyond Science? | John Lennox & Larry Shapiro | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:32:46

This October, over 1,000 students and community members packed out Shannon Hall at the University of Wisconsin in Madison to hear John Lennox (Oxford) and Larry Shapiro (UW-Madison) discuss, "Is There Truth Beyond Science?” In a conversation that featured as much humor as sincerity, Lennox and Shapiro fostered a unique space for honest dialogue and reflection, even in places of disagreement.

 God, Math, and the Multiverse | Satyan Devadoss | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:37:47

Several years ago, The Veritas Forum at Caltech hosted Satyan Devadoss, who, at the time, was an associate professor of math at Williams College. Devadoss talks about String Theory the way most people talk about their favorite piece of art. In the numbers and symbols of mathematical equations, he experiences beauty, unity, and wonder. In our post-Enlightenment world, we forget that the beauty in Michelangelo's sculptures draws from the same well as the beauty on display in quantum mechanics. When we learn to reunite these often divided realms, we may regain our vision of the Wellspring. Devadoss helps us bring these together.

 Live the Questions | N.T. Wright & Heidi Maibom | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:24:20

Earlier this year, we hosted New Testament theologian N.T. Wright in dialogue with professor of philosophy Heidi Lene Maibom at the Veritas Forum at the University of Cincinnati. Unlike many Forums, where dialogue focuses on a singular topic or question, this Forum widened the purview. In the vein of a ‘greatest hits’ album, we asked these scholars the most fundamental human questions: Who are we? How do we know what we know? What is the meaning of life? While each of these questions could occupy an entire Forum, the scope of this conversation allowed for a meaningful survey of two different worldviews, while cultivating a space for further discussion.

 Searching for Truth Through Fantasy | Madeleine L'Engle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:05:27

Madeleine L'Engle, award-winning author of A Wrinkle in Time, defines "fantasy" as that which "pushes us, opens us, makes us aware of who we are and who the other is.” In this recording from a Veritas Forum at UC Santa Barbara, L’Engle draws from her experiences in school, church, and life to explore the relationship between fantasy and truth.

 Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles? | Ian Hutchinson & Robert Lue | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:29:35

Last Spring, Ian Hutchinson (MIT) and Robert Lue (Harvard) sat down at Harvard’s Science Center with Anne Harrington (Harvard) to discuss miracles. Do they happen? Does scientific thinking undermine belief in them? What does the existence (or non-existence) of miracles mean for the larger discussion on science and faith?

 Overcoming Echo Chambers | Robert George & Hamza Yusuf | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:39:31

Can Christians and Muslims get along in America? That’s the question we asked Christian intellectual and Princeton law professor Robert George and Islamic scholar and Zaytuna College president Shaykh Hamza Yusuf at the San Francisco Jazz Center this Spring. George and Yusef, who are good friends, believe that unity across religious backgrounds is not only possible but also necessary, and their friendship serves as an embodiment of that belief. Over the course of their conversation, moderated by Trae Stephens, principal at Founders Fund, they discuss unresolved tensions, the role of religion in civic life, and a potential path forward.

 Designing Your Life Worth Living | Dave Evans & Bill Burnett | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:50:21

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans teach the most popular class at Stanford, "Designing Your Life." It helps students reframe the question, "How do I live a meaningful life?" Burnett, an atheist, and Evans, a Christian, believe the key to a joyful and fulfilling life starts with thinking like a designer. At a recent Veritas Forum, Burnett and Evans, co-authors of a New York Times Best Seller, sat down with Berkeley professor Amani Nuru-Jeter to discuss how to design a worthwhile life and how they do it themselves from their respective worldviews.

 Emotional Machines | Rosalind Picard | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:23:11

This week on The Veritas Forum podcast we’re featuring a conversation with Rosalind Picard, an internationally-recognized researcher in affective computing. Rosalind is the founder and director of the affective computing group at MIT, a co-founder of Affectiva, Inc., a co-director of the MIT Autism and Communication Technology Initiative, and the author of over two hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles. In this interview with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, Rosalind discusses her work in affective computing, her spiritual journey, and how she contextualizes her vocation in light of her Christian faith.

 Cold Fusion and the End of Scientism? | Ian Hutchinson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:25:32

This week on The Veritas Forum podcast we’re featuring a conversation with Ian Hutchinson, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT.  A powerful advocate for the compatibility of scientific inquiry and religious belief, Ian has been a featured speaker at Veritas Forums since we began in 1992. In this interview with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, Ian discusses his work in the field of nuclear science, his journey to Christian faith, and his hope for a more fruitful dialogue surrounding science and religion.

 The Psychology of Finding Yourself | Ross Douthat & Nancy Hill | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:19:58

This week on The Veritas Forum podcast, we’re featuring a conversation with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Nancy Hill, a developmental psychologist and professor of Education at Harvard. Nancy’s work focuses on the relationship between adolescents and their parents, and specifically, how the beliefs of adolescents are shaped by their parents’ beliefs. In this conversation, Nancy shares how the development of her religious and ethnic identity has influenced her vocational pursuits and the person she is today.

 The Problem of Suffering and the Goodness of God | Ravi Zacharias | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:06:02

Ravi Zacharias, founder of RZIM, is a Christian public intellectual, internationally-recognized speaker, and best-selling author. His roots with Veritas go back to our first ever Forum at Harvard in 1992, where he was the featured speaker. In this recording from The Veritas Forum at Johns Hopkins University, Ravi explores one of the most challenging philosophical and existential questions of human life: the problem of evil. As Ravi highlights, regardless of one’s worldview, God or no God, the problem of pain, suffering, and evil demand an explanation. What follows in Ravi’s talk reflects both the seriousness of the issue and a potential path towards hope.

 Faith, Race, and (Non)Violence | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:23:07

In 2015, during the fallout of Ferguson, three Black women took the stage at UC Berkley to discuss faith, race and non-violence. Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory, Na’ilah Suad Nasir, professor in the graduate school of education at UC Berkley, and Claudia May, who, at the time of this Forum, was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkley. The opening line from our moderator, Claudia May— “Injustice finds no solace in denial”— served as both a framework for this conversation and an provocative invitation for others—an invitation to move past tensions and listen to three powerful perspectives on race in America. This Veritas Forum is deeply personal, but it also explores systemic issues that are increasingly relevant today. We invite you to listen carefully, reflect thoughtfully, and even learn how to model this conversation in your own lives.

 The Multiverse, the Polygraph, and the Resurrection | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:28:40

Our latest podcast episode features an interview with rising physicist Tom Rudelius. We discuss String Theory, polygraph tests, fine-tuning, and our place in the cosmos.

 Is Belief in God irrational? | Meghan Sullivan | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:54:15

Notre Dame philosophy professor, Meghan Sullivan, shares the journey by which – to her own surprise – she became convinced by the truth-claims of the Christian faith, and explores the top three questions she has wrestled with in terms of the rationality of holding to a “thick” and complex belief-system.

 Christianity and the Tooth Fairy | John Lennox at UCLA | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:32:57

Children believe in the tooth fairy until their reasoning capabilities mature and they recognize this belief is neither grounded nor relevant. Does belief in Jesus Christ require a similar suspension of logic? Can Christianity be proven to be true? UCLA law professor Daniel Lowenstein interviews Oxford mathematician John Lennox with honest questions about Christianity and the grounds for faith.


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