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.
Dec. 24 - A Christmas episode is in the air.
Featured Episodes
Date: December 17th, 2017

Is Superman the representation of the Christ figure in the DC Comics universe? And “who” among science fiction characters most closely represents the orthodox view of Christ? And does anybody really understand what “2001: A Space Oddity” was about? Jim Papandrea, associate professor of Church history at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and frequent guest, answers these questions and more as we take a journey through superhero and science fiction cinema to survey how religion is portrayed on celluloid. This is a conversation that not only will enlighten you on popular movies, but will help you understand Christology and soteriology all the better!

Give the gift of knowledge during the holiday season. Tell your friends about our podcast. Best of all, it comes at no charge to you!

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Date: December 10th, 2017

While we are still on an extended sabbatical, we revive a favorite podcast from our archive. Prof. Adam Engish (Campbell University) discusses his book “The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus.” We learn about the true charitable bishop of Myra and his most famous act of charity, how that became transformed into our modern representation of Santa Claus, and many other details about this extraordinary individual who lived during an important era of Christian history.

Give the gift of education for the holidays. Tell your friends about our free podcast.

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Date: December 3rd, 2017

Film critic, radio talk show host, and cultural crusader Michael Medved joins us to discuss how religion is portrayed in Hollywood. We focus on Michael’s life story and the accidental manner in how he became a movie critic. Our main focus, though, centers on how Hollywood went from partraying religion in a positive light in movies such as “The Bells of St. Mary” and “Going My Way,” to casting clergy and churches as corrupt. We cover Michael’s role in the critic scandal surrounding Mel Gibson’s epic “The Passion of the Christ” and also tackle the question of why Hollywood has not been making more faith-friendly movies considering the box office success these films garner. There are many more insights in this lively interview.

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Date: November 26th, 2017

During the 1930s and ’40s, the Nazi regime in Germany tried to eradicate Jewish culture through the pillaging and destruction of Jewish artwork, literature, and other documents as part of the broader strategy of the Holocaust. Prof. David Fishman of the Jewish Theological Seminary tells the story of a courageous group of Jews in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania who took it upon themselves to preserve these cultural treasures at great risk to themselves. The Paper Brigade, as they were known as, hid these documents from the Nazis and, later, the Soviets. With recent caches of these documents rediscovered in 1991 and 2016, we review the content of these findings as well as the importance of preserving history.

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Date: November 19th, 2017

We are taking an extended sabbatical to catch up with other academic-related work and to try to improve some issues with our audio files. In the meantime, enjoy this encore presentation with Tracy McKenzie (Wheaton) on a very seasonal topic — The First Thanksgiving. We hope to return shortly with some new episodes and fresh content, but until then please feel free to dip into our extensive archives that now contain over 350 unique episodes, nearly one for every day of the year!

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Date: November 12th, 2017

How does an economist discuss being a religious minority in America? Prof. Carmel Chiswick returns to the podcast to discuss her new book “Judaism in Transition.” Using the tools of economics — particularly the concepts of full price, time costs, and human capital — explains the challenges American Jews face in a Christian culture and how Judaism has changed over time to reflect responses to various costs and benefits. We also talk about some of the newer demographic challenges facing Jews, including intermarriage, later marriage, and empty nesters.

New visitors, please check out our archives and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@RoRcast) for updates on cool new topics.

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Date: November 5th, 2017

Return with us to winter 2016 when Prof. Jared Rubin explained to us why the economic, political, and religious elite did not always get the best credit deals in the Ottoman Empire, and what this all has to do with being a member of a minority religion. When we last talked with Jared, he was finishing up his book manuscript entitled “Rulers, Religion, & Riches.” Let this discussion give you insights into this fascinating work that helps explain the differing historical trajectories between two great world cultures, as well as a fascinating project he conducted with economist Timur Kuran (also a frequent guest on RoR).

We will be returning soon with some crescent fresh episodes, so join us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates!

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Date: October 29th, 2017

It is the end of the world as we know it! Actually, when hasn’t it been the end of the world as we know it?! That is the question that motivates a fascinating new book looking at the world going to hell. Prof. Robert Joustra discusses “How To Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World,” which he co-authored with Prof. Alissa Wilkinson. We cover everything from Battlestar Galactica to The Walking Dead, all through the lens of the philosophical work of Charles Taylor. We even talk Mad Men and Breaking Bad for good measure.

This is our annual trick and treat for you as you celebrate Reformation Day! Check out our previous spooky Halloween episodes in the archives.

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Date: October 22nd, 2017

As a capstone to our Protestant Reformation Series, we give the “other side” its day in court to make their case. Prof. James Felak (University of Washington) discusses how the Roman Catholic Church reacted to Luther and the Protestant fervor that followed in the decades after Luther sparked a religious fire. We cover everything from the Diet of Worms to the Council of Trent, and to Jesuits, Inquisitions, and Carmelites without shoes. This is an inordinately fun exploration of the 16th century religious landscape.

Listen to all the interviews in the Protestant Reformation Series by clicking the tag to the right or the “read more” link below!

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Date: October 15th, 2017

Early adulthood can be a very disorienting time for individuals as they wrestle with the practicalities of moving out on their own and beginning a professional career. What are colleges doing to encourage thoughtfulness about meaning in life when it comes to plotting out one’s life trajectory? Prof. Tim Clydesdale of The College of New Jersey discusses his evaluative research of a Lilly Foundation initiative to encourage colleges to incorporate the idea of “vocation” into their educational mission. We discuss what “vocation” is, how different schools have incorporated this theme into their curriculum, and what aspects of such programs seem to work best. While not strictly a discussion about religious vocation, this topic should be of interest to anybody interested in education and developing the whole person, spiritually or not.

We celebrate our 350th episode and 7 1/2 years of unique and crescent fresh content. Please tell a friend or colleague about us. Thanks!

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