Your host, Anthony Gill, is professor of political science at the University of Washington and distinguished senior fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.  Learn more.
Feb 1 - Ken Kollman on Church Centralization.
Featured Episodes
Date: January 25th, 2015

The first few decades after the founding of the United States represented a time of intense political and religious struggle. Prof. Jonathan den Hartog (University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN) discusses this conflict and how it shook out. Based upon his new book “Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation,” Prof. den Hartog illuminates how a group of American thinkers sought to strengthen the role religion played in American civil society and how that affected the way we govern ourselves.

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Date: January 18th, 2015

What do Martin Luther King Jr., Fulton Sheen, and Jerry Falwell have in common? Other than being religious figures in the 20th century, most folks might struggle to and an answer to that question. However, this week’s guess — Dr. James Patterson — explains what these charismatic figures have in common and how they are different. We focus on their religious and political foundations and how this played out in their mass media strategies.

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Date: January 11th, 2015

As ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other radical forms of political Islam take center stage in the news and policy circles, can we learn anything about the broad-based movement known as Islamism from the history of Europe? Prof. John Owen IV discusses how the West has dealt with its own radical ideological struggles and the parallels we can draw to the present situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Does a Scottish rebellion in the 1560s have anything worth informing us about the Taliban? Find out!

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Date: January 4th, 2015

We kick off the new year with a look at Pope Francis and why he has been so enormously popular. Dr. Rusty Reno, editor of “First Things,” provides his impression of the first two years of the Jesuit from Argentina and the way he resembles his namesake, Francis of Assisi. Rusty points out the “way of poverty” and “the way of literalism” are important aspects of this pontiff’s style, as well as a penchant for provocative comments. We also chat about the challenging task of reforming the Curia and why an outsider is important.

Make a new year’s resolution to listen to Research on Religion weekly via iTunes or another RSS feed. Thanks!

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Date: December 28th, 2014

Why have faith-based organizations been ignored by the international development community for so long, and how are they starting to be integrated into efforts to improve the lives of individuals around the globe? Prof. John Rees of the University of Notre Dame in Australia provides us with a survey of the role religious groups have played in promoting economic development and social flourishing. We peer into the world of the World Bank, large international FBOs, and some grassroots efforts to see the problems and promise of foreign assistance.

We now have 225 unique episodes, all free on iTunes.

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Date: December 21st, 2014

Our special Christmas show examines the life, times, and writing of Charles Dickens with John Mark Reynolds (Houston Baptist University) with particular attention to “A Christmas Carol.” Prof. Reynolds discusses recurrent themes in Dickens’ stories and reveals a number of nuances and insights that many people miss in his timeless tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s redemption. And yes, we talk Muppets!

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Date: December 14th, 2014

In one of our most unique interviews, we talk with J Warner Wallace, a cold-case homicide detective, about his journey into Christianity and his use of criminology tools to determine whether or not the Gospels have any veracity to them. We talk murder mysteries, forensic methodology, and whether or not the birth narrative of Jesus could hold up against the weight of cold-case evidence. This is a conversation that you will want to tell your friends about!

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Date: December 7th, 2014

Why would a Presbyterian who spent time in the ministry decide to convert to Catholicism? With a number of high-profile individuals making the same choice, we discuss this journey with Jim Tonkowich, former president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy. This interesting life story is peppered with sociological insights into church authority and structure, and the state of our religious environment today.

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Date: November 30th, 2014

Who was John Calvin, how have people interpreted his theology throughout the ages, and is it really as narrow as many believe it to be? These questions and more are answered as Research on Religion dips into the world of historical theology with Prof. Oliver Crisp of Fuller Theological Seminary. With a delightful English accent, Dr. Crisp explains a lot of words that Tony cannot pronounce and argues that Reformed theology is a great deal more diverse that it is typically portrayed. Prof. Crisp also makes a strong case for why the study of deep theology is important.

Thinking of an inexpensive gift for the holidays? Tell your friends about Research on Religion, free on iTunes!

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Date: November 23rd, 2014

While Tony takes a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, we offer you an encore presentation about the Pilgrims. Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) enlightens us about the history of the Pilgrims, tracing their roots in 16th century England to The Netherlands and eventually to the Plymouth Colony in what is now today Massachusetts. Prof. Kidd discusses the differences the Pilgrims had with the Church of England and their Puritan brethren. We also explore why the king of England would allow a group of his critics to settle land in North America, the hardships that this group of religious refugees faced in their first years in the wilderness, and the imprint the Pilgrims left on U.S. history.

A great podcast for high school educators and homeschoolers, as well as a nice refresher course for those of us who think we remember our American colonial history. Plus, you get to hear your host recite poetry!

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