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.
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Featured Episodes
Date: September 17th, 2017

Many misconceptions surround the Protestant Reformation, from it being the birth of capitalism to it prompting Europe’s secularization. Noted sociologist of religion Rodney Stark (Baylor ISR) joins us to discuss these myths and more. With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation just about a month away, this is a great opportunity to refresh on some interesting talking points to engage your friends, family, and colleagues.

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Date: September 10th, 2017

How should Christians think about capitalism? While many religious critiques of a capitalist market exist, Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley discusses how Christianity is congruent with capitalism. Dr. Bradley is careful to note that the Bible doesn’t advocate any particular economic system, which is contrary to some arguments that view the early Church Fathers as proto-socialists, but she does pass along some biblical insights into human flourishing and addresses the issue of income and wealth inequality.

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Date: September 3rd, 2017

In light of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we offer up this timely podcast from last year on religion and disasters. Prof. Jamie Aten (Wheaton College) shares his experience with Hurricane Katrina and explains how congregations can get prepared for natural disasters and other calamities.

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Date: August 27th, 2017

During the 1990s, following the end of the Cold War, the United States began to ramp up counterterrorism efforts around the globe. Some nations proved relatively cooperative with these efforts whereas others did not. Prof. Peter Henne (University of Vermont) explains how religion-state relations condition the response of different governments to these counterterrorism examples. We examine this in a broad perspective and with specific attention to Pakistan, UAE, and Turkey.

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Date: August 20th, 2017

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation will be celebrated on October 31st of this year, marking the date that Martin Luther disseminated his famous 95 Theses on papal authority and indulgences. Prof. Emily Fisher Gray of Norwich University contextualizes this historically important document and explains how the themes of liberty and authority play out in this and other of Luther’s writings. We review the impact of this document, as well as Luther’s thoughts about a peasant uprising he inspired.

This is the fourth in our special series on the Protestant Reformation. Visit our archives for more great episodes.

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Date: August 13th, 2017

The Bible reminds us that self-control is an important character trait that helps one avoid a sinful life. With that in mind, Prof. Bradley Wright (University of Connecticut) discusses a new study he conducted with colleagues on the science of self-control. Using the data collected from the three year research project known as SoulPulse, Brad explores how things such as sleep, interpersonal conflict, and other factors affect our ability to resist short-term temptations that run counter to our long-term goals. He also discusses how this study has personally helped him change various small habits to enhance his self-control.

Visit our extensive archives for more great episodes. There’s sure to be a topic of interest to everyone.

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Date: August 6th, 2017

If the Catholic Church has canon law, there must be canon lawyers, right?! There are, and we were able to track down and invite Dr. Margaret Taylor-Ulizio to talk about her career path to canon law and what canon lawyers do. While canon law covers a wide range of issues from property rights to employment, we spend time talking about marriage nullity, which comes up with relative frequency and is something that Dr. Taylor-Ulizio has been specializing in recently.

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Date: July 30th, 2017

Yep, we’re still on summer break, but please enjoy a laugh or two and learn something about Jewish humor with Linda Weiser Friedman as she talks about her book “God Laughed,” co-written with her husband Hershey Friedman. In such serious times when our ability to joke has seemed to fade, this interview is a great reminder the role that humor can play in our spiritual and secular lives.

Stay tuned for fresh episodes.

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Date: July 23rd, 2017

We’re still on summer break, so please enjoy this favorite interview of mine (and a few other folks). Prof. Louis Markos of Houston Baptist University explains how images of heaven and hell have changed over the ages, makes a case why Christians should pay attention to pagan writers, and covers territory from Plato to C.S. Lewis.

We are working on some updates on the audio portion of the website and hope to return with fresh episodes soon. Stay tuned.

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Date: July 16th, 2017

As we take a short summertime break, we bring back a superb interview by Donald Kraybill regarding the theology and lifestyle of the Amish and Old Order Mennonites.

For more great episodes, search our voluminous archives. Find topics to share with your friends.

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