Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Finding Belonging and Purpose with Tara Isabella Burton

Air Dates: January 22-28, 2024

There is a crisis of loneliness in the United States—it began before the pandemic, and it has only gotten worse.  Tara Isabella Burton explores the risks people will take to find belonging, to find purpose, to find love in a new novel.

Burton is a theologian and the author of nonfiction books, “Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World,” “Self-Made: Curating Our Image from Da Vinci to the Kardashians” and “Social Creature, The World Cannot Give,” which was was named book of the year by The Guardian, New York’s Vulture and The New York Times in 2018.  Her new book, “Here in Avalon,” was published this month.  She is currently working on a history of magic and modernity, to be published by Convergent, a division of Penguin/Random in 2025.  Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, Granta, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, among others.  She also co-writes the Substack newsletter “Line of Beauty” with her husband, Dhananjay Jagannathan.  Burton earned a doctorate in theology from Oxford University in 2017.  She is a Visiting Fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

This week on “Story in the Public Square,” Burton says, “Here in Avalon,” is a book about the search for transcendence.  “It’s about the search for enchantment, but it’s also about the search for a home.”

“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.