Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’


Timothy Neary on Race, Sports, and Catholics

Prof. Timothy Neary (Salve Regina University) takes us back to Chicago during the mid-20th century to discuss the creation of the Catholic Youth Organization by Bernard Sheil, and how this sports-oriented organization helped to bridge racial divides in a rapidly changing city. We cover the life and times of Bishop Sheil, some interesting facts on the popularity of boxing, and the legacy of this important religious outreach effort.

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Paul Harvey on Religion in the American South

“The South” is commonly referred to as the Bible Belt in the United States today, and despite New England having a more explicit Christian identity during colonial times, the region from Virginia down to Florida and out to Texas has been shaped by religious dynamics from its most early days.  Prof. Paul Harvey, professor of […]

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Billie Livingston on Religion, Writing Fiction, Crooked Hearts, and Mercy

Billie Livingston, an independent novelist and poet, discusses the role of faith in her life and fictional writing. Our conversation meanders broadly through a number of different topics including the publishing industry, where works of literature are inspired from, and how the role of mercy and guilt play into Billie’s own writings. We discuss her most recent novel “The Crooked Heart of Mercy” and learn how she views her spiritual journey in light of her many life experiences.

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David Mislin on Embracing Religious Pluralism

When and how did embracing religious pluralism become an American value? Prof. David Mislin (Temple University) discusses the significant changes that occurred within mainline Protestantism between 1875 and 1925 that helped shape the way the United States manages religious diversity. David argues that increased global travel, the rise of new scientific theories, and other cultural changes prompted a number of clergy and theologians within the mainline Protestant tradition to embrace religious pluralism, an intellectual shift that has had lasting impact to this day. At the end of the podcast, Tony asks Prof. Mislin a “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” question.

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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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Jim Tonkowich on Converting to Catholicism

Why would a Presbyterian who spent time in the ministry decide to convert to Catholicism? With a number of high-profile individuals making the same choice, we discuss this journey with Jim Tonkowich, former president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy. This interesting life story is peppered with sociological insights into church authority and structure, and the state of our religious environment today.

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien (An “Encore Episode”)

In celebration of my son having to read “The Hobbit” over the summer as a high school assignment, I am re-running this popular episode on J.R.R. Tolkien that aired in fall of 2012. The staff at Research on Religion is still on vacation following our 200th episode, but we will return shortly with some crescent fresh episodes.

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Robert Delahunty on Alexis de Tocqueville and Religion

Prof. Robert Delahunty (University of St. Thomas) discusses the life and thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, particularly as it pertains to his views on religion and democracy. We discuss Tocqueville’s personal religious history and how this influenced his thought, as well as the observations he made with respect to the role of religion in a newly-formed democratic nation. Prof. Delahunty explores Tocqueville’s thoughts on church-state relations and the role of civil religion in comparison with Niccolo Machiavelli, and we reflect upon what Tocqueville’s observations recorded in America’s Jacksonian Era tell us about the role of religion in the U.S. today.

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Mike McBride on the Economics of Religious Leadership

Why is religious leadership so important? And what do rituals have to do with establishing authority and leadership? Prof. Michael McBride of UC-Irvine discusses the underlying economic logic of religious leadership, particularly as it relates to coordinating group activity. Central to any leadership position is the issue of coordinating expectations among followers. Mike shows how various rituals, normative values, and sacrifices can assist in make leadership effective. We also discuss the implications of his theory with some surprising extensions to secularization theory.

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Podcasts on Pope Benedict XVI

Given the recent news about Pope Benedict XVI’s looming resignation, some of our listeners might enjoy two earlier podcasts: Margarita Mooney on Pope Benedict XVI and Cuba; and Jon M. Sweeney on The Pope Who Quit. Search under “Mooney” or “Sweeney” in our search engine above, or click [read more] below for the direct links.

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