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.

July 27 - Robert George on Religious Freedom.

Featured Episodes
Date: July 20th, 2014

Pulitzer Prize recipient Karen Elliott House joins us to discuss her career as a diplomatic correspondent in the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal and a number of important changes that are occurring in what many consider to be one of the most stable countries in that turbulent region. After discussing the life of a female reporter covering a male-dominated culture, which has a few surprising benefits, we review Saudi Arabia’s socio-economic landscape and internal tensions that are generating support for reform.

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Date: July 13th, 2014

With Turkey playing a pivotal role in the Middle East, and a country that is often viewed as a model for democracy in the Islamic world, we take a look at this country’s history, politics, and civil society with Prof. Ani Sarkissian of Michigan State University. Are liberalizing reforms that are designed to make it easier to create civic associations having their intended effect? Or is there something to Turkey’s history and political structure that are creating some unintended consequences?

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Date: July 6th, 2014

A Jewish statistician walks into a podcast … and hilarity and enlightenment ensues thanks to Linda Weiser Friedman, the co-author (along with Hershey Friedman) of “God Laughs: Sources of Jewish Humor.” We talk about why Jews are so funny, the types of humor Jews employ (including Holocaust humor), and how comedy can be found in sacred texts if one looks closely. We also discuss the boundaries of religio-ethnic humor and how religion can bring us closer to God.

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Date: June 29th, 2014

Mark David Hall returns for his fourth stint on Research on Religion’s July 4th celebration with yet more interesting insights into religious during the U.S. revolutionary era. This time Mark discusses the role played by religious minorities including Jews, Quakers, Baptists, and even Muslims.

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Date: June 22nd, 2014

With Iran in the news recently, we consult with Kevan Harris of Princeton’s Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies on the country’s recent history from its 1979 Islamic Revolution to the stalled Green “Revolution” (or movement) in the past half decade. Prof. Harris explains the process of social mobilization in 1979 and how it differed in 2009, as well as how the Islamic regime consolidated its rule over the past quarter century.

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Date: June 15th, 2014

In celebration of my son having to read “The Hobbit” over the summer as a high school assignment, I am re-running this popular episode on J.R.R. Tolkien that aired in fall of 2012. The staff at Research on Religion is still on vacation following our 200th episode, but we will return shortly with some crescent fresh episodes.

Dig into those archives for other tasty nuggets that you may have missed and go over to our Facebook Fan Page to see some of Tony’s favorite episodes over the past year.

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Date: June 8th, 2014

We take a short break and issue a big thanks to all the folks who have helped make this podcast series a success.

Remember, though, we can always use your help in getting the word out. Please tell family, friends, colleagues, and congregants about our free educational service.

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Date: June 1st, 2014

What better way to celebrate our 200th episode, than to grab some leftover Mother’s Day cake, bring a bunch of school kids into the recording studio, and learn about the future of the social scientific study of religion with our old friend Bradley Wright? Prof. Wright details a new research strategy of studying individual spirituality called SoulPulse. Harnessing the power of cellular phones and other social media technology, Brad and his team of intrepid researchers are gathering data on how individual people experience spiritual beliefs on a day-to-day (if not hour-to-hour). Find out what some of the early results are and how you can participate by listening to the podcast, clicking the “read more” link below, and telling your friends about this awesome study.

Celebrate our 200th episode by giving the gift of education; tell a friend about this podcast.

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Date: May 25th, 2014

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.

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Date: May 18th, 2014

One of the most distinctive and recognizable Christian groups in the United States are the Amish. But how much do we really know about this group? Prof. Don Kraybill, a noted scholar on Old Order Mennonites and Anabaptists, provides us with a historical background of the Amish and the related “horse and buggy” Mennonites. We also discuss their theology, ethnic/cultural practices, demographics, and economics. Along the way, we explode many of the myths and stereotypes in this wonderfully comprehensive interview.

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