Posts Tagged ‘communism’

John Owen IV on Confronting Political Islam, Historical Lessons

As ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other radical forms of political Islam take center stage in the news and policy circles, can we learn anything about the broad-based movement known as Islamism from the history of Europe? Prof. John Owen IV discusses how the West has dealt with its own radical ideological struggles and the parallels we can draw to the present situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Does a Scottish rebellion in the 1560s have anything worth informing us about the Taliban? Find out!

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Darren Slade on Missionizing North Korea

Of all the countries in the world, why would anyone consider North Korea a territory for Christian evangelization? With one of the most repressive and atheistic regimes, that thrives on a cult of personality of its founding leaders, this would not seem to be fertile ground. Darren Slade discusses the political and religious background of this communist nation and what missionizing strategies have been employed in an environment that is extremely hostile to Christianity.

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James Felak on Vatican Council II

We are now in the midst of celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Second Vatican Council, which began in the fall of 1962 and lasted three years. Why was Vatican II called? What happened during this monumental gathering of Catholic prelates? And what impact has VCII had on the contemporary Church? Prof. James Felak, a popular guest on the show, returns to answer all of these questions and more. We explore the historical nature of Church councils and where Vatican II sits in the list of important councils.

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Margarita Mooney on Pope Benedict XVI & Cuba

We celebrate our 100th episode with return guest Margarita Mooney discussing Pope Benedict XVI’s historic visit to Cuba. We cover the religious landscape of this island nation since the 1959 revolution and the everyday hardships that both religious and non-religious people must endure, as well as the slow religious opening that has been occuring for the past two decades. Pope John Paul II’s visit is also discussed, but the majority of our discussion is reserved for the impact that Pope Benedict’s visit had on the Catholic faithful. Prof. Mooney details Benedict’s “Homily in Havana” and relates some vivid stories from people still living in Cuba.

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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.

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Lan Chu on Catholicism in Vietnam

Is the Catholic Church likely to be a force for political liberalization in Vietnam? Prof. Lan Chu takes up this question and also talks about the history of Catholicism in that country with special attention on how the Church has survived under a communist regime. Our discussion also includes various comparisons with Eastern Europe and Cuba, and Prof. Chu provides some speculation about what the future of Vietnam might look like.

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Daniel Philpott on Religious Resurgence & Democratization

Is the global resurgence in public religiosity over the past 40 years linked in any way to the increase in democratic governance over the same period of time? Prof. Dan Philpott (Notre Dame) covers the historical trends of church-state relations and discusses how changes in political theologies and the increasing independence of religious organizations have provided a fertile ground for political democratization in some corners of the world. We examine how and why some religious traditions have been involved in promoting democracy under authoritarian conditions. Our discussion turns toward some speculation about the future of the “Arab Spring” at the end of our interview. This is the first part of a discussion of the book “God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics.”

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Karrie Koesel on House Churches in China

Prof. Karrie Koesel (U of Oregon) explores the “house church” movement in China, revealing how these clandestine religious groups are formed and operate in an environment that is not necessarily hospitable to independent religious organizations. We note some of the penalties that can accrue if such churches are discovered, but also discover that many of these churches exist in a “gray” market with the tacit approval of local government officials. We end our discussion with some speculation about how religion may be changing Chinese society and politics.

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Catherine Wanner on Religion in Russia

The history of religion in Russia and the Ukraine from the Bolshevik Revolution to present is the topic of discussion with Catherine Wanner, associate professor of history, anthropology and religious studies at the Pennsylvania State University. How did religious life under communism condition the religious landscape of these two countries today? (To download, right click on the button to the right and choose “save target as….”)

Karrie Koesel on Religion & Politics in China

University of Oregon political scientist Karrie Koesel addresses the relationship between religious groups and the state in the People’s Republic of China. She discovers and interesting symbiosis between church and state at the local level. (To download, right click on the button to the right and choose “save target as….”)

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