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.
We'll be on a short break. Stay tuned for new episodes.
Featured Episodes
Date: May 27th, 2018

Prof. James Hudnut-Beumler returns to our show to discuss his new book “Strangers and Friends at the Welcome Table,” an academic and “road trip” look at Christianity in the contemporary South. We look at Southern religion as it was in the past and what trends are reshaping the landscape today, including the rise of megachurches, homeschooling, and acceptance of alternative lifestyles.

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Date: May 20th, 2018

We’re back! Our guest this week is Rev. Doug “Banzai” Douma, author of a biography of Presbyterian philosopher Gordon H Clark. We discuss who Gordon Clark was, his impact on Presbyterianism, and then spend the second half of the interview talking about Doug’s efforts to create a Christian hostel for hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

This is our first podcast in the new AAC audio format. Enjoy.

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Date: May 13th, 2018

Prof. David Smith of the University of Sydney returns to discuss the role religion plays in international relations and foreign policy. We chat about why international relations scholars have de-emphasized the role religion plays in cross-national interactions and how this might be changing. David also reviews how scholars now think that religion plays a role in diplomacy and foreign policy.

We are still sorting things out with the podcast. Please be patient.

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Date: May 6th, 2018

What motivates some Islamic clerics to advocate political violence? Prof. Richard Nielsen (MIT) talks about the frustrated pathways that many imams — who see themselves as scholars — face. When their intellectual ambition is blocked by actions of the state and other social conditions, one possible pathway is to advocate rebellion.

We are back from a short sabbatical and hope to have more fresh episodes in the offing.

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Date: April 29th, 2018

We are still on a break.  In the meantime, enjoy one of Tony’s favorite interviews from the past. Why have many women in the Middle East resorted to increasingly conservative modes of dress in recent decades?  And what happens after a political regime rapidly collapses leaving society in near total chaos as happened in Iraq […]

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Date: April 15th, 2018

While we are still on a short sabbatical, please enjoy this popular “blast from the past.”

Prof. Charles North discusses his research linking religion to the rule of law and economic development. We survey the literature on religion and economic growth, and then chat about North’s findings wherein Protestantism, Catholicism, and Hinduism were statistically linked to higher support for “rule of law” and lower levels of corruption. We discuss some of the potential causal reasons for this connection, which takes us back to medieval Europe and the rise of canon law.

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Date: April 1st, 2018

We will be taking a short sabbatical to tend to some home care issues. In the meantime, we will feature some of Tony’s favorite episodes from the past. Enjoy.

Why would anyone ever become a prison chaplain? And what do prison chaplains do? Jeff Henig, who recently became employed as a prison chaplain in Arkansas, discusses his life story and how he entered the world of prison ministry. Along the way we learn a lot about a cappella music and the difference between jail and prison. Jeff also shares some of the spiritual, psychological, and legal challenges prison chaplains face, as well as telling us some important life lessons he’s picked up through this whole process.

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Date: March 25th, 2018

The period from the mid-19th century until World War II represented a period of great migration for Jews in Europe and one in which Jewish modernity was being debated and formed. Prof. Shachar Pinsker (University of Michigan) discusses how coffee houses played an important role in this mobility and transformation of Judaism.

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Date: March 18th, 2018

Location, location, location.  That is the eternal cry of every real estate agent, and it proved prophetic for this week’s guest, Prof. David Deavel, an assistant professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas — as he grew up an evangelical Christian in the shadow of Notre Dame, which gave him the foundation […]

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