thesacredprofane is a podcast run by 3 humanities professors that asks big questions in small places. Each season revolves around one question and each episode in that season applies that question to a specific “text” from philosophy/theology, art/pop culture, or politics/society.
What's in a Name?
The name “thesacredprofane” is borrowed from a book called The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion by Romanian born historian of religion, philosopher, and professor Mircea Eliade. In that book Eliade suggests that the sacred is expressed in the everyday, mundane world – the profane. We borrowed the title because in the podcast and on the website we’re interested in finding the sacred – whatever that may be – in our day to day encounters with everything from the beautiful to the banal.
thesacredprofane is dedicated to investigating how the questions and ideas that brought the best college courses and late night conversations to life emerge in everyday life and culture. It’s an attempt to grasp the thread of thinking too often forgotten in drunken bar chats and weave it into conversation, returning to why and how things matter. Even, and perhaps especially, concerning those things that don’t seem to.
Each season of thesacredprofane explores a major question at the heart of human existence and experience–truth, justice, beauty, evil, hope, etc.–as it emerges in art/popular culture, philosophy/theology, and politics/society. Each episode in the season looks at one cultural artifact that will anchor the conversation. These artifacts may range from a television commercial to a philosophical essay to a blockbuster movie to an underappreciated U2 album. Each episode stands alone while also shedding light on why big questions remain important, and also why laughing about everything serious and sacred is sometimes the most important response.
who we are:
J. Sage Elwell is an Associate Professor of Religion and Art at TCU who writes and teaches about modern art, theology/philosophy, and digital culture. In his spare time he enjoys destroying gingerbread houses and playing the flugelhorn.
Daniel Boscaljon, the founder of the Center for Humanist Inquiries, announcer for the local roller derby team, and part time scrivener. He studies agnostic theology, literary theory, and nineteenth century literature and spends most of his time losing at chess and driving his daughter around town.
Glenn Whitehouse is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and a recovering ex-administrator at Florida Gulf Coast University, whose boyish good looks and effortless charm go a long way toward fueling his other day job as a stand-up comedian.
on the blog:
The Blog offers readers links to the material discussed in the podcast and additional content that parallels the podcast’s themes and offers reflections from a more sustained perspective.
Resources direct people to places for further reading and other websites and podcasts with similar themes.