Welcome to the Sacred & Profane Love Podcast

Exploring the relationship between love, happiness, and meaning in life through classic works of literature.

Iris Murdoch once wrote that “art is the most educational of all human activities” because it “pierces the veil” and “exhibits virtue in its true guise in the context of death and chance.” Murdoch recognized an important truth, that how we interpret art determines how we are affected by it, and that this dynamic includes our experience of love–its perils and its promise, its sacred and its profane dimensions. By way of philosophical and theological reflection, this podcast explores literary art’s potential to shape our self-understanding, our character, and ultimately, our lives.

This podcast is sponsored by The University of Tulsa.

Latest Episodes


“At a moment that seems divided between strip-mining art for short-term political messages or reveling in its escapist meaninglessness, Sacred and Profane Love offers an irresistible third way: Professor Frey and her guests read great works of literature as guides to the enduring, perplexing, ever-relevant problem of being a person in the world. Listening to this podcast has brought new books into my life and helped me to think about old favorites in a fresh way. I simply love it.”
Christopher Beha
Author of The Index of Self-Destructive Acts, What Happened to Sophie Wilder
Editor of Harper's Magazine
“Sacred and Profane Love records a fervent lover of learning in conversation with other lovers of learning. It is a must-listen for anyone listening into conversations on the liberal arts or the great books. It would also be a terrific aid to anyone seeking to read these books on their own.”
Zena Hitz
Tutor, St. John’s College
founder of the Catherine Project
“Sacred and Profane Love is pure delight--brilliant people working their way through masterpieces of literature with an open, searching intelligence, alive to the full range of possibilities in literature and life.”
Phil Klay
National book award winning author of Redeployment and Missionaries.
​​"Sacred and Profane Love never fails to reconnect me with the reasons I was drawn to the humanities. In conversations about how the greatest works of literature and philosophy speak to the deepest questions we face as human beings and citizens, Jen and her guests manage to bring together what is too often held apart: rigorous analysis, moral inquiry, and an open-hearted enthusiasm for ideas and the life of the mind."
Jon Baskin
Associate Director for the M.A. Program in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at The New School for Social Research and founding editor of The Point.

Support the Sacred and Profane Love Podcast

Producing Sacred and Profane Love is a labor of love, but it is also very demanding of my time and energy. The podcast is a project that I try to fit into my already very busy academic life of teaching, writing, and research. I do this work because I am committed to bringing the joys and rewards of liberal learning to those outside of our Universities. However, I need your help in making the podcast sustainable in the long run. Please consider supporting our work through Patreon–even small amounts help to keep this podcast running!