Category: Great Britain


John Reynolds on “A Christmas Carol” (Encore Presentation)

An encore presentation for the Christmas season. Prof. John Mark Reynolds (Houston Baptist University) discusses the life, times, and writing of Charles Dickens, with special reference to his well-known masterpiece “A Christmas Carol.” He reveals a number of nuances that most people miss in this classic work, and best of all, we discuss Muppets!

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Jonathan Rose on Medieval Law and the Clergy

Prof. Jonathan Rose (emeritus) of ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law discusses the development of common law in medieval England and the various ways in which members of the clergy would manipulate it towards their benefit. We learn about the differences between civil, canon, and common law, as well as a bit about the medieval Church.

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Gary Richardson on Religion & Craft Guilds in the Middle Ages

While economic historians have long been interested in the rise of craft guilds during the medieval era, Prof. Gary Richardson documents their surprising origins in confessional organizations and the role that religious ritual, practice, and prayer played in their maintenance. None of this should have come as a surprise, though, as the primary documents from these guilds is saturated with religious discussion. We review how religion helped to enhance cooperation and coordination among professional groups, maintain a level of quality, and what happened when the Black Death came to visit England.

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Mark Koyama on the Economics of Jewish Expulsions

Prof. Mark Koyama of George Mason University explains why King Edward I expelled the Jews from England in July of 1290, giving them only three months to leave. Rather than focusing on anti-semitism or explanations based upon “greed,” Prof. Koyama shows how changes in feudal revenue collection during the 13th century led to a devaluation of the moneylending role that Jews played in the English economy and how expulsion represented a credible signal to the ever-rebellious lower nobility. He generalizes this explanation to help us understand why further expulsions of Jews occured in continental Europe in the subsequent centuries.

Use this podcast as a basis for book club discussions with your friends. A great podcast for understanding medieval history!

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David Wills on Religious Charity and Taxes

Just in time for every taxpayer’s favorite day — April 15 — David Wills, president of the National Christian Foundation, joins us to discuss religious charity and how government spending & taxes can affect where private donations flow. We discuss some potential changes to the tax code, including the definition of what might count as a “charitable organization.” Anyone who runs a charitable organization or who makes even the smallest of financial donations to religious groups will want to listen to this episode.

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Should Christians Have Fought in the US War of Independence?

In a first of its kind, Research on Religion engages in a tripartite debate. Three scholars were asked the following question: “As a Christian in the American colonies, would you have picked up arms against King George and Britain to fight for independence following the battles at Lexington & Concord in April, 1775?” Prof. Gregg Frazer (The Master’s College) answers “no.” Prof. Jonathan den Hartog (Northwestern College) responds “yes.” And Mark David Hall (George Fox University) offers a definitive “maybe.” Hear how each of these three scholars of that period justify their positions with questions and comments from your host, Anthony Gill.

Click on “read more” below for links to these authors, their scholarship, and information about where you can find the “hatchet throwing pictures” discussed in the podcast. And please tell your friends about our free educational podcast by using the social media links below. Thank you!

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Robert Woodberry on Missionaries and Democracy

Did Protestant missionaries help plant the seeds of democracy throughout the world? Prof. Robert Woodberry takes us on a historical tour-de-force around the globe showing how “conversionary Protestants” helped to promote literacy, spread printing technology, facilitate civic organization, defend religious and civil liberties, and protest the abuses of slavery and colonialism. We discuss how this happened and why Protestants were uniquely situated to do this, although we look at similar Catholic efforts in recent decades. We conclude with speculative thoughts about the Arab Spring.

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Jeff Rose on Street Preaching

What would you do if you were a street preacher and someone poured beer on your head, blew smoke in your face, and threatened you with a knife? Jeff Rose of JeremiahCry Ministries has had that experience and he reveals his response in this fascinating interview that covers Jeff’s path to the street preaching profession and what it takes to be a street preacher.

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Jason Jewell on John Locke & Religious Toleration

Prof. Jason Jewell enlightens us on the life, times, and philosophy of John Locke with specific attention to his views on religious toleration. We discuss Locke’s influence on Western culture as well as how he may have affected our views on church-state relations and religious liberty. Jason and Tony also contemplate the role of intellectuals on history and Jason gives us some insight into his online project to read the Great Books of Western Civilization.

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Mark Glickman on the Cairo Genizah

It is amazing what can be found hidden in plain sight! Rabbi Mark Glickman recounts the tale of the discovery of valuable Jewish documents located in the genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt during the late 19th century. While many individuals knew there was a storehouse of old documents in this synagogue, it wasn’t until Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University got hold of a snippet of the Ben Sirah manuscript that anyone realized how remarkably valuable these documents “hidden in plain sight” were. Rabbi Glickman takes us on the journey of discovery, reveals the treasures contained in these documents, and tells his own story of his visit to the Cairo Genizah. A “must listen to” podcast for those interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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