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.
More stuff in the works.  Stay tuned.
Featured Episodes
Date: February 18th, 2018

Due to multiple cancellations of podcast interviews this week due to health issues, we decided to re-run this discussion of religion and health to help everybody recuperate. Recorded back in 2013, it is still good for what ails you!

Stay tuned for some fresh episodes in the work.

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Date: February 11th, 2018

How often do you think about what goes into building a church? Tony has thought about this a great deal and invites Dirk Dalhausser and Kerry Jones of Goff Companies to talk about the various dimensions of constructing a church building, from initial planning to post-construction visits. The discussion includes surprising insights about parking, seating, commons areas, and even baptismal space. This “nuts and bolts” discussion may help you plan your own church project, or appreciate the architectural logic of the sanctuary that you attend.

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Date: February 4th, 2018

Most people view street preachers as fanatical or crazy. Research on Religion takes the time to discuss the motivation, challenges, and benefits of choosing “open air preaching” as a means of spreading the Gospel. This is one of Tony’s favorite podcasts, dating back to 2011, as it provides and up-close-and-personal look with an actual street preacher, people we often don’t take the time to understand. This interview dispels a number of stereotypes people may have of those who preach the Gospel in open air.

We will return soon with a number of new interviews.

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Date: January 28th, 2018

In the 1830s and ’40s, Dutch Reformed theology experienced a schism between an increasingly liberalized theology and the growth of a new Pietism movement. One of the dominant figures of this era was Albertus Van Raalte, a medical student turned theologian in the Netherlands who subsequently migrated to the United States and eventually settled in Michigan. Prof. Michael Douma (Georgetown University) discusses the life and historically-informed theology of Van Raalte with reference to a newly discovered manuscript written by this 19th century religious figure.

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Date: January 21st, 2018

What is it like to be a devout Catholic attending a secular university?  What steps can young believers take to ensure the integrity of the faith?  Aurora Griffin, a graduate of Harvard University and a junior research scholar at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America, answers these questions […]

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Date: January 14th, 2018

What makes for a “timeless hymn”? Prof. Anthony Esolen (Thomas More College) discusses his recent book “Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church,” and shares with us the importance of singing and poetry for the faithful. We review a number of important themes found within various hymns and reference a few of the greats over the past several centuries.

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Date: January 7th, 2018

Near the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, physics went through a scientific revolution with a shift from the Newtonian paradigm of physics to the weird world of quantum mechanics. This not only affected the way we understand our material (and not-so-material) world, but it had an impact on the philosophical underpinnings of how humans perceive reality, allowing for theology to return to the discourse of science. Dr. Dillard Faries, a professor emeritus of physics at Wheaton College, explains the tensions within Newtonian physics, how quantum mechanics changed our understanding, and his own reflections on topics such as sin, free will, and reality.

Many good things on the way this year. Please tell your friends and colleagues about our free educational program.

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Date: December 31st, 2017

How are different religious traditions viewed at the ballot box? Prof. Quin Monson, a political scientist at BYU, discusses a recent study he and several colleagues conducted on religious biases and sanctioning of norm violations during the 2012 presidential election. Our conversation covers how norms are used in society, when violations of norms are punished by individuals, what religious groups are considered “outside the norm” and by whom, and whether and how attitudes towards different groups may change over time.

Ring in the new year by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes, playerFM, and other RSS feeds. We’re free of charge!

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Date: December 24th, 2017

Why was the partridge in the pear tree? This is all the more mysterious given that these birds can’t fly well. We answer this and several other questions related to the history of Christmas carols with special guest Rev. Mark Lawson-Jones, a chaplain for Mission to the Seafarers and author of the delightful book “Why Was the Partridge in the Pear Tree? The History of Christmas Carols.” We cover a broad swathe of history dating back to the medieval period when carols were used in various pageants, discuss the fun of wassailing, note that the Puritans almost killed Christmas fun, and then discuss the history and meaning of a few well-known songs.

Share the gift of knowledge with a friend and invite them to listen to our show. We have over 350 episodes in the archives.

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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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