Category: Halloween Series

Robert Joustra on Zombies, Cylons, Charles Taylor, and the Apocalypse

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.

Chris Bader on the Paranormal

Who believes in the paranormal and why? Prof. Chris Bader returns to our podcast to discuss an updated version of his book “Paranormal America” (co-authored with Joseph Baker and Carson Mencken). This conversation is filled with ghost stories and UFO abductees and may sound a bit preposterous, but the lessons to be drawn from individuals who believe in the paranormal should be taken very seriously. Chris explains the social scientific importance of studying the paranormal.

Roger Luckhurst on Zombies!

The walking undead have swept popular culture in the form of books, movies, and comics in recent decades. Prof. Roger Luckhurst (University of London) discusses the origins of the zombi(e) narrative and how it has developed over time, examining how the cultural and socio-political context of the time drove how we looked at the “unhuman other” and how we envisioned ourselves. We encounter a number of very interesting literary characters along the way and discuss why movies such as “Dawn of the Dead,” “28 Days Later,” and “Warm Bodies” played important roles in rethinking what it means to be dead, yet not dead.

To download an episode, right click on “download” and select “save as…” Enjoy, and please tell a friend.

Peter Leeson on Witch Trials and Human Sacrifice

Our annual Halloween special takes us back in history to the 16th century when Europe faced a wave of witchcraft trials. To learn why these episodes took place when and where they did, we consult with economist Peter Leeson who enlightens us as to how economics can be used to understand these questions. He also explains the seemingly irrational behavior of human sacrifice in India through the lens of rationality and connects it to an episode that happened in his apartment complex. To find out what that is, you will have to listen.

If you enjoy these podcasts, please share them with a friend.

Gary Laderman on Resting in Peace: The Death Industry in American History

Our annual Halloween show takes up the issue of the “death industry” in American history with Prof. Gary Laderman of Emory University. Gary discusses how our conceptions of death and funerals have changed over the past two centuries in American history, particularly with the rise of the funeral business in the late 19th century.

Join us on our Facebook Fan Page. Click the Facebook symbol in the far right column.

Chris White on Debunking Ancient Aliens

Was Ezekiel’s Wheel in the Old Testament really a spaceship? Were the lines on a Peruvian plateau a landing strip for ancient astronauts? Did extraterrestial beings give us the ability to nuke one another? And how did the Egyptians get those last few stones on the top of the pyramids if not by some super high-tech flying saucer? Chris White, producer of the film “Ancient Aliens Debunked,” joins us for our special Halloween episode to talk about these, and several more mysteries.

We now have over 170 episodes in our archives. Explore them and tell a friend or colleague about our free educational resource.

Scott Poole on Monsters

A week before Halloween, we investigate the darker side of the supernatural with a look at how monsters have been portrayed in American history and what that says about US history. Historian Scott Poole (College of Charleston) talks about his new book, “Monsters in America” and shows how our obsession with, and imagery of, monsters has reflected some very dark trends over the past 400 years. From aliens to zombies, we cover it all in this special spooky version of the increasingly popular podcast! Warning: Not for the faint of heart.

Hey! You at least gotta tell your friends about this one! Use those social media buttons below. That’s why we put them there.

Chris Bader on Ghosts, UFOs and the Paranormal

Ghosts. UFOs. Bigfoot. Astrology. Who subscribes to these beliefs and why? Chris Bader of Baylor University discusses his research on the paranormal, revealing some surprising results gleaned from survey research and in-depth fieldwork. Find out what it is like to go on a Bigfoot hunt!

You can now subscribe to Research on Religion via iTunes or Zune by typing in into your preferred media player program. For iTunes, click “advanced,” select “subscribe to podcast, and then enter in the URL above.

Search The Podcast
To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button.

Connect With Us