We plunge into The Conversation with our first interview: Reverend John Fife. Our conversation started with Rev. Fife’s experience with the Sanctuary movement and his perspective on current US/Mexico border issues. From there, we explored the underlying tension between human rights and national sovereignty, finishing up with some big-picture thoughts about crisis, The Conversation, and change. When is the last time you questioned the idea of a nation? I skimmed a chapter of Benedict Anderson once and almost died, but Rev. Fife tackles similar issues with eloquence, energy, personal experience, and a very different philosophical background–I can’t imagine a better place to start The Conversation.
Because these conversation are intended to be open and unstructured, they should feel a little different from conventional thematic interviews. Having said that, I’m going to try to begin every episode with a tangible story, biography, or place that illustrates the larger ideas I will try to open up later in the conversation. This transition happened naturally in my conversation with Rev. Fife and, hopefully, it will keep the ideas from floating away from us like an unruly birthday balloon.