Category: Global


Is Religious Freedom Good for Growth? A Panel Discussion

Can religious liberty promote economic growth and long-term development? An expert panel of scholars moderated by Brian Grim discusses various perspectives on this question with the conversation ranging everywhere from the Ottoman Empire to Guatemala, and from Chinese house churches to bourbon. The panel includes noted luminaries Ilan Alon, Timur Kuran, Rachel McCleary, and your fuzzy host Anthony Gill.

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Paul Froese on the Meaning of Life

What is our purpose in life? How do we find it? While the good folks at Research on Religion would like to provide you with a definitive answer to that question, we can only offer you up a sociological analysis of how people search for meaning to their lives. Prof. Paul Froese (Baylor University) helps us with this task as he talks about his newest book, “On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life.” Our journey includes everybody from Jesus to King Missile and from Tony Robbins to a pig who just doesn’t care.

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Daniel Philpott on Defending Religious Freedom

Prof. Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame, makes the case for why it is important to defend and promote religious liberty around the world. He reviews some common critiques regarding the promotion of religious liberty and then discusses why religious freedom is a universal human right and how best to ensure it flourishes globally.

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Ron Hassner on Religion in the Military

How do armed forces around the world accommodate religious beliefs and practices into the rigorous structure that is often required for combat operations? Prof. Ron Hassner of UC-Berkeley surveys a number of the critical areas where the management of belief and practice can become difficult for military commanders. We discuss cases in the United States, India, Israel, Japan, Canada, and Iran.

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Davis Brown on Just War Theory

What is just war theory and how can it relate to tort law?  What is the doctrine of proportionality?  And how do all these concepts apply to various conflicts including the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Russia’s involvement its surrounding nations, and the Pig War of 1859?  Dr. Davis Brown, an assistant professor of political science […]

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Proselytism, Humanitarianism, and Development: A Panel Discussion

We return once again to the Religious Freedom Project for a panel discussion on the historical dimensions of proselytism, humanitarianism, and development that was conducted on March 4, 2015 at Georgetown University. The panel includes Thomas Farr (moderator), Michael Barnett (George Washington University), Rebecca Shah (Religious Freedom Project), and Robert Woodberry (scholar-at-large).

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Denis Dragovic on Religion & State-Building

What role do religious organizations play in constructing and reconstructing states? Denis Dragovic joins us from Australia to discuss his new book “Religion and Post-Conflict State-Building” and how he not only studied this topic, but also was an active participant in helping people around the world, and primarily the Middle East. Prof. Dragovic explains how religious groups — both international and domestic — help to contribute to the three key areas of state-building: legitimacy, security, and basic needs. Along the way, he also recounts how he helped rescue one of his aid workers who was kidnapped by rebels!

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Sean Everton on Religion & Dark Networks (Encore Presentation)

Spring break is upon us, and while many of you are heading to the sunshine, we revive a popular interview from our archives on dark networks. We will return shortly with new episodes.

Dark networks are clandestine organizations that often engage in nefarious behavior. Often associated with religious terrorist groups, these dark networks are the focus of our discussion with Prof. Sean Everton of the Naval Postgraduate School. He covers the nature of these groups, how we learn about them via network analysis, and how counter-insurgency efforts are being crafted to disrupt these networks in places like Colombia, Indonesia, and Iraq.

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Jim Papandrea on Christianity’s Seven Revolutions

Author and professor Jim Papandrea returns to our podcast to discuss his new book “Seven Revolutions,” explaining how Christianity helped to alter our perceptions of, and actions toward, the human rights, community responsibility, and governance. We discuss what historical changes occurred in Christianity’s first four centuries and what that historical experience can tell us about religion’s role in the “post-Christian era” of today.

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John Rees on International Development and Faith-Based Organizations

Why have faith-based organizations been ignored by the international development community for so long, and how are they starting to be integrated into efforts to improve the lives of individuals around the globe? Prof. John Rees of the University of Notre Dame in Australia provides us with a survey of the role religious groups have played in promoting economic development and social flourishing. We peer into the world of the World Bank, large international FBOs, and some grassroots efforts to see the problems and promise of foreign assistance.

We now have 225 unique episodes, all free on iTunes.

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