Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’


Jim Papandrea on the Catholicism of Early Christianity

Protestants have often been critical of the Roman Catholic Church for adding on a number of traditions, rituals, and theologies that were not part of early Christianity. Prof. Jim Papandrea of the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary (Northwestern University) argues that many of these critiques are misplaced and that early Christianity was very Catholic (capital C) in nature. He discusses issues such as tradition, faith and works, the papacy, and veneration of the Saints. The conversation is very interesting given that Prof. Papandrea was once Protestant and is now Catholic, why Tony was once Catholic and is now Protestant. Ecumenical understanding is a theme running throughout our discussion.

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Christopher Hale on Religion & Protest in Mexico

Prof. Christopher Hale (U of Alabama) discusses how religion is connected to political protest in Mexico. Building upon some foundational work in the religious economies school, he explains how institutional decentralization and lay leadership fosters socio-economic activism. He also addresses the role of ideology and religious competition.

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Michael McConnell on Church Property Disputes

When a congregation splits from a denomination, what becomes of the church property? More specifically, how have US state courts wrestled with the issue of religious property disputes while trying to preserve the autonomy of church doctrine? Prof. Michael McConnell (Stanford Law School) answers these questions in historical context. He notes how judicial decisions have changed from the traditional “English Rule” favoring hierarchical denominations over congregations, to perspectives that are less intrusive into the internal doctrine and organization of a faith, nothing that there is still a great deal of ambiguity in the law. He argues for an approach known as “strict neutral principles.”

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David Buckley on the Demand for Clergy in Politics

Do citizens in religiously-active countries prefer to have members of the clergy directly intervene in the politics of their nation? While one might assume they would, Prof. David Buckley (U of Louisville) discovers the opposite finding; religious individuals prefer to see their spiritual leaders less involved in governmental decision-making. Dr. Buckley discusses how religious leaders in such countries already have informal networks of influence and how direct involvement in politics runs the risk of tarnishing the moral authority of clergy and dividing their flock.

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Proselytism, Social Stability, and Development: A Panel Discussion

While the staff and crew at RoR takes a break to finish up some other academic commitments, we offer you a recent panel discussion on proselytism from the folks at the Religious Freedom Project (Georgetown University). Listen to Allen Hertzke, Ani Sarkissian, Brian Grim, and Hans Ucko share their perspectives on how religious proselytism shapes modern societies. We will return soon with more fresh and tasty nuggets in the coming weeks.

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Brian O’Neel on the Saints of February

Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, we call on Brian O’Neel to explain who the patron saint of lovers really is. Moreover, we review a number of other inspirational saints who have festival days in February, including someone who went from slave to saint, another who was “too ugly” for the crown, and the patroness of “miserable marriages.” Take the time to learn about some of these remarkable individuals of faith.

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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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Russ Roberts & Anthony Gill on Religion & Religious Liberty (A Simul-Podcast with EconTalk)

In a very special “simul-podcast,” Russ Roberts of EconTalk interviews Tony about the economics of religion and religious liberty. This interview is broadcast both on our website and over at EconTalk (www.econtalk.org). This is extra special for Tony given that it was EconTalk that inspired the creation of this show and he is a big fan of Prof. Robert’s work. We discuss the origins of religious liberty as well as some additional observations about the economics of religion.

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Religious Freedom & Political Flourishing: A Panel Discussion

On October 10, 2013, a distinguished panel of scholars gathered at Georgetown University to discuss the relationship between religious liberty to political freedom and social flourishing. Sponsored by the Religious Freedom Project of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and moderated by Prof. Timothy Shah, the panelists included Dan Philpott (Notre Dame), Nukhet Sandal (Ohio U), Ani Sarkissian (Michigan State), and Tony Gill (U of Washington). They examine issues whether democracies can suppress religious liberty and still remain democratic, whether increases in religious liberty can promote other civil liberties, and whether religious freedom can facilitate transitions from authoritarianism.

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Bradley Murg on Russian Orthodoxy after the Soviet Union

Whereas the Soviet Union was noted for being a state that sought to repress all forms of religious expression, the Russian Orthodox Church continued to exist in a weakened form throughout Russia’s communist era. Following the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991, Rusian Orthodoxy has re-emerged from its slumber to reassert itself in the nation’s culture and institutional structure. How has it fared over the past two decades? Bradley Murg, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington, explores this question revealing much about the nature of religion in Russian society as well as a thing or two about its evolving political structure.

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