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 27 - Henne on Religion-State & Counterterrorism.
Featured Episodes
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.

We are available on iTunes for free. Never miss an episode.

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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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Date: July 9th, 2017

With the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his “95 Theses” to the doors of the Wittenberg Cathedral approaching, we take a pause to examine the early life of Martin Luther with Rob Sorensen, a PhD candidate at Faulkner University and author of a book on Luther’s life. Our attention is devoted mostly to Luther’s formative years leading up to his defiant act in 1517, but there are reflections on his life following excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.

Check out our other episodes in the Protestant Reformation Series by visiting our archives.

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Date: July 2nd, 2017

Contemporary imagery often paints Benjamin Franklin as a Deist who saw little importance for an active religious faith. However, Franklin’s personal views of Christianity, as well as his shared public views, were much deeper and nuanced than many scholars will admit. Prof. Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) discusses Ben Franklin’s religious journey from growing up in a house with deeply Calvinist parents and siblings, through his rebellious teen years, a friendship with the fames preacher George Whitefield, and finally to a mature view of Christianity that emphasized the role of Providence and a virtuous citizenry.

Explore our archives for more episodes related to the Founding Era of the United States.

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Date: June 25th, 2017

How does religious messaging affect voter attitudes towards a candidate? Prof. Jeremy Castle (Central Michigan University) discusses some experimental research he conducted on this topic with a number of colleagues and shares observations on a wide range of factors that affect how individuals vote. We discuss the political and social attitudes of Millennial evangelicals, and how religious rhetoric played out during the 2016 presidential election. Jeremy also chats about his work on whether or not political messages in movies have an impact on individuals.

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Date: June 18th, 2017

Can robots meditate? And with the “near-future technology” of artificial intelligence (AI) and whole brain emulation (WBE), how are humans to wrestle with the concept of suffering? Political theorist Matthew Moore (Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo) returns to our program to discuss these issues from the spiritual framework of Buddhism. He argues that the Buddhist conception of how to deal with suffering offers a number of important insights into policy-related questions regarding if we should proceed, or how we should manage, AI and WBE. Along the way, we talk about the possibility of a Robopocalypse! A futuristic discussion that may be of “near future” relevance.

Join us on Twitter and Facebook before the robots take over!

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