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.
Aug 30 - Brad Wright on race and religion.
Featured Episodes
Date: August 30th, 2015

When it comes to welcoming a stranger to a new church, are mainline churches, evangelicals, or Catholics more likely to discriminate based upon racial-sounding names? Prof. Bradley Wright (Connecticut) reveals the findings from his field experiment designed to answer this question. We discuss the methodology of this study and how a focus on structural versus interpersonal justice may have affected the surprising results. Prof. Wright also gives us a brief taste of what is happening with his other innovative research project, SoulPulse, and how listeners can participate.

Click “read more” to discover Prof. Wright’s books and information about participating in SoulPulse.

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Date: August 23rd, 2015

Prof. John Inazu of Washington University Law School (St. Louis) explains how four of the main freedoms contained in the US Constitution’s First Amendment are interrelated and how a series of court cases during the latter half of the 20th century has boiled down these separate, but related, freedoms into a single free speech dimension. Our primary focus is on the relationship between the free expression clause and the freedom of assembly, though other issues come into play. We review important court cases from Roberts v Jaycees to Hosanna-Tabor.

Browse our vast archives to find many more interesting episodes.

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Date: August 16th, 2015

We examine the life and influence of Chuck Colson — marine, White House “fixer,” and founder of Prison Fellowship — with Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian Theology at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Owen discusses how this “swamp yankee” with a chip on his shoulder ends up in prison and then becomes a dynamic force in evangelizing culture in a rather non-traditional manner. This is a fascinating look into the personality and faith of an individual who looms large in contemporary Christian circles.

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Date: August 9th, 2015

What is just war theory and how can it relate to tort law?  What is the doctrine of proportionality?  And how do all these concepts apply to various conflicts including the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Russia’s involvement its surrounding nations, and the Pig War of 1859?  Dr. Davis Brown, an assistant professor of political science […]

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Date: August 2nd, 2015

The following is an encore presentation of one of Tony’s favorite episodes recorded back in the fall of 2012. We will return shortly with fresh episodes.

Does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God? And what is the deal with that “God particle” that physicists just discovered? Did we really discover God and the origins of the universe? These questions, and many more, are answered by a real-honest-to-goodness physicist Dr. Stephen M. Barr (University of Delaware). Our discussion is both fun and informative as Prof. Barr explains, in terms a layman can undestand, what quantum physics is and how it relates to faith. While Prof. Barr argues that quantum mechanics does not make it necessarily easier to believe in God, it does make it harder to subscribe to a philosophy known as “materialism,” which often underpins a number of arguments for atheism. We also reflect on what it is like being a religious believer in the secular academic world.

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Date: July 26th, 2015

Did the Ottoman Caliphate have any impact on Europe’s socio-political and economic development? While we often examine Europe’s late medieval history in isolation from other world events, Prof. Murat Iyigun (University of Colorado) argues that the Ottoman Empire’s advances into southeast Europe affected the religious, political, and economic history of Europe in very interesting ways. We also look at the ability of monotheism to guarantee longer and more expansive sociopolitical control, and the influence of mothers on the military policy of Ottoman sultans. At the end of the podcast, we have a special treat — an original “arabesque blues” song, Muqarnas, written and performed by Murat!

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Date: July 19th, 2015

How have humans viewed heaven and hell throughout the ages? And why is it important that Christians read the pagan writers of ancient Greece and Rome to understand more modern conceptualizations of the afterlife? Prof. Lou Markos of Houston Baptist University takes us on a journey through thousands of years of literature to answer these questions, moving from Plato to Dante to C.S. Lewis. Lou also notes that evangelical Christians, who were once skittish about pre-Christian writers, are now understanding the importance of embracing these ancient classics.

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Date: July 12th, 2015

Can democratic governance on a national scale coincide with Islam? Prof. Paul Kubicek (Oakland University) takes us on a comparative journey to show where predominately Islamic populations have existed successfully with democracy. While much of media and scholarly attention on the topic of Islam and democracy has focused on the Middle East, Paul discusses the interesting cases of Turkey, Senegal, Mali, and Tunisia, while also noting some of the difficulties in democratic transitions in places such as Bangladesh. He also shares his reflections on the Arab Spring.

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Date: July 5th, 2015

Can religion coexist with psychological counseling? While some tension has existed between these realms, Dr. Gregory Popcak explains how they are mutually facilitative and discusses his career as a Catholic psychologist. We also talk about his book “Broken Gods” and the why and how humans can become more like “god” (small “g”) and what that means. While it may sound blasphemous, Dr. Popcak notes this was a theme with such luminaries as St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and C.S. Lewis!

Visit our extensive archives to find more interesting interviews!

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Date: June 28th, 2015

For our annual Fourth of July episode, and for our 250th podcast, we invite our very first “just graduated” high school student, Phoenix Moomaw, to discuss his senior project on the faith of President Ronald Reagan. As the grandson of Reagan’s pastor in Southern California, Phoenix came across several folders of personal letters between Reagan (as governor and president) and his grandfather. He uses these letters and some additional research at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley to determine how much Reagan’s faith affected his policies and style of governing. His answer to this question is surprisingly nuanced.

Help us celebrate the completion of our fifth year in existence by mentioning this podcast to at least five friends, colleagues, or family members. Thanks!

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