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.
Mar 8 - Dreisbach on Abe Lincoln's Religious Rhetoric.
Featured Episodes
Date: March 1st, 2015

Are faith-based efforts to transform an impoverished community in Texas effective? William Wubbenhorst, co-president of Social Capital Valuations, discusses this unique collaborative program to reduce social ills in West Dallas and how he has measured the program’s effectiveness. We cover the various component parts of Serve and discuss the various difficulties in evaluating programs such as this one.

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Date: February 22nd, 2015

Samuel Taylor might be best known as the poet of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” but this all-around intellectual also had a great deal to say about history, philosophy, politics, and theology. Dr. Pamela Edwards of the Jack Miller Center discusses the life, times, and thought of this interesting character who left an indelible mark on the social thinking of the late 18th and early 19th century.

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Date: February 15th, 2015

Did you know there are private services that help congregations find pastors during times of transition? Neither did Tony until he found William Vanderbloemen of the Vanderbloemen Search Group. We discuss how he came to create such a business and some of the major things to think about when it comes to planning for a leadership succession in a church.

Click “read more” to link to the writings and websites of our guests.

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Date: February 8th, 2015

Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, we call on Brian O’Neel to explain who the patron saint of lovers really is. Moreover, we review a number of other inspirational saints who have festival days in February, including someone who went from slave to saint, another who was “too ugly” for the crown, and the patroness of “miserable marriages.” Take the time to learn about some of these remarkable individuals of faith.

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Date: February 1st, 2015

Why do large institutions that begin as federated organizations tend to centralize authority in executive power? Prof. Ken Kollman (University of Michigan) explains his theory of executive centralization and applies it to the Roman Catholic Church. We discuss how the Church has centralized power in the Curia over the past 150 years and whether there are any counter-tendencies to such concentration of authority.

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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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