Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

Rodney Stark on Myths of the Reformation

Many misconceptions surround the Protestant Reformation, from it being the birth of capitalism to it prompting Europe’s secularization. Noted sociologist of religion Rodney Stark (Baylor ISR) joins us to discuss these myths and more. With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation just about a month away, this is a great opportunity to refresh on some interesting talking points to engage your friends, family, and colleagues.

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Margaret Taylor-Ulizio on Being a Canon Lawyer

If the Catholic Church has canon law, there must be canon lawyers, right?! There are, and we were able to track down and invite Dr. Margaret Taylor-Ulizio to talk about her career path to canon law and what canon lawyers do. While canon law covers a wide range of issues from property rights to employment, we spend time talking about marriage nullity, which comes up with relative frequency and is something that Dr. Taylor-Ulizio has been specializing in recently.

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Andrew Chesnut on Santa Muerte

The cult of Santa Muerte is one of the fastest growing religious movements in the Western Hemisphere, yet little scholarly attention has been paid to it. Prof. Andrew Chesnut of Virginia Commonwealth University discusses what this folk saint is, how it emerged historically and recently, and how devotions are practiced.

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Steven Pfaff on the World of 1517

What did Europe look like economically, politically, and religiously on the eve of the Protestant Reformation? What broad historical trends facilitated the success Martin Luther’s schismatic break from the Catholic Church where others in the past had failed? Prof. Steve Pfaff (Sociology, University of Washington) discusses the factors spurring on the Protestant Reformation, sharing some of the most up-to-date research on how social movements spread.

The second in our series devoted to the people and events of the Protestant Reformation. Great for classroom use.

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.

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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