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: 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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Date: October 8th, 2017

The Nordic states are known for their high levels of socio-economic equality, good governance, and high levels of social trust. While some scholars have attributed this to their unique brand of secular social democracy, Prof. Robert Nelson (U of Maryland) argues that Nordic social democracy has deep roots in the “Lutheran ethic.” We discuss how the Lutheran ethic is different than the Calvinist ethic (as seen by Max Weber), how contemporary social democratic thought in Nordic countries has similar elements to Lutheranism, and what is in store for social democracy.

Check out our other podcasts related to the Protestant Reformation this year!

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Date: October 1st, 2017

While pastors often don’t want to talk about the subject of church funding, it is an established fact that religious groups need finances to survive and thrive. Prof. James Hudnut-Beumler (Vanderbilt University) discusses the importance of thinking about church funding and takes us on a tour of how church financing has changed in the United States over the past two and a half centuries. We cover topics such as pew rentals, competition from benevolence groups, and automatic debiting. Technological and social changes have affected how religious organizations collect revenue and, in turn, has shaped our religious landscape in interesting ways.

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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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