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Grand Inquisitor 

Wednesday, Oct 6 2010
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Consider Michael Krasny. For nearly 20 years he has kept us company for two hours on weekday mornings on KQED-FM's Forum. He has interviewed hundreds of people, including political heavyweights Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, literary luminaries Salman Rushdie and Norman Mailer, and human-rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Desmond Tutu. He has been an English professor at San Francisco State since 1970. He has also worked for local TV stations KTVU, KRON, and KGO. With so much going on, you’d think this man would get tired of asking questions. You’d think that during his downtime (if he has any), he’d want to tune out and go hardcore Zen on a houseplant or something. Not a chance. Krasny has traveled the opposite direction. He has written a book ― another book, that is ― asking one of the most confounding inquiries put to our lonely, confused little race: Is there a God? In Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest, Krasny doesn’t mimic Richard Dawkins and take apart Big Religion. Rather, he draws from the knowledge of scientists, artists, and political leaders to contemplate morality, eternity, and why people are motivated to do good and bad things if there is no Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. Staying in character, he encourages us to keep asking our own questions, even if we don’t get clear answers.
Tue., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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Keith Bowers

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