Posts Tagged ‘France’


Does America Need a Christian Democratic Party?

With all the tumult in the American political landscape recently, is the United States pump primed for a Christian Democratic party similar to those in Europe? Three scholars debate this topic based upon a scholarly symposium published in the journal “Perspectives on Political Science.” Prof. Hunter Baker (Union University), the organizer of the symposium, argues that the time is right for Christian Democracy in America. Prof. Bryan McGraw (Wheaton College) notes that while Christian Democracy (CD) was helpful in Europe for consolidating democracy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the conditions in the U.S. are not ripe for CD. Finally, Prof. Micah Watson (Calvin College) takes a decidedly negative position towards the concept of CD. Your host, Tony, chimes in with his own thoughts at the end.

Let us know your position by clicking “read more” and commenting on our discussion board.

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Claire Adida on Discrimination Towards Muslims in France

France has a sizable and growing Muslim population, but how well are they integrated into national life? Prof. Claire Adida discusses a multi-pronged study conducted with David Laitin and Marie-Anne Valfort assessing the extent of discrimination on religious grounds and why it occurs. We discuss “rational” and “non-rational” Islamophobia (listen to the podcast for full definition of these terms) and the self-reinforcing “discriminatory equilibrium” that has resulted in the country. She also discusses the field experiments conducted as part of this research.

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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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Mark Koyama on the Economics of Jewish Expulsions

Prof. Mark Koyama of George Mason University explains why King Edward I expelled the Jews from England in July of 1290, giving them only three months to leave. Rather than focusing on anti-semitism or explanations based upon “greed,” Prof. Koyama shows how changes in feudal revenue collection during the 13th century led to a devaluation of the moneylending role that Jews played in the English economy and how expulsion represented a credible signal to the ever-rebellious lower nobility. He generalizes this explanation to help us understand why further expulsions of Jews occured in continental Europe in the subsequent centuries.

Use this podcast as a basis for book club discussions with your friends. A great podcast for understanding medieval history!

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Carolyn Warner on Religion & Generosity

Why and how do religious groups motivate generosity? We visit with Prof. Carolyn Warner (ASU) who is involved in a multi-national, cross-faith, and interdisciplinary investigation exploring why religious individuals give money and volunteer time to help others. As part of a larger team of scholars, she has conducted interviews with Catholics and Muslims in France, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey using both person-to-person interviews and an experimental design to see if there are differences across these to faith traditions. She and her team discover that Catholics tend to be motivated by “love of God” whereas Muslims are moved to give out of a “duty to God.” This sheds light on whether organizations need to provide close monitoring and sanctioning of volunteer behavior or whether individuals can be counted to be generous on their own.

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Jonathan Fox on Religion & State Around the World

What does the relationship between religious groups and the state look like around the world? Prof. Jonathan Fox of Bar Ilan University talks about the findings that have come from his expansive data collection and research exploration into the nature of religion and politics around the world. We discuss how religious organizations are regulated by governments in different parts of the globe and whether or not — and how — religious groups offer the state legitimacy and vice versa.

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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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Margarita Mooney on Religion & Haitian Immigrants

To what extent can religious organizations assist immigrants adopting to a new country? Prof. Margarita Mooney (UNC) explores the role of the Catholic Church in assisting individuals of the Haitian diaspora in three communities — Miami, Montreal, and Paris. She discusses the role of personal faith and religious institutions in helping immigrants make the often difficult transition to living in a new environment, and notes that the efforts of Notre Dame d’Haiti in Miami were much more successful than similar efforts in Canada and France. She explains why this is the case and what importance that has for society at large. Our interview also digs into various methodological concerns of doing direct participant observation, a great discussion for students and non-academics who want to understand how social scientific research is conducted.

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Ahmet Kuru on Islam in Europe

Prof. Ahmet Kuru of San Diego State Univeristy joins Research on Religion to discuss the increasing presence of Islam in Europe and how various European nations are accomodating Muslim immigration. We address the contemporary origins of this immigration and how countries such as Great Britain, Germany and Frane have had different responses to integrating Muslims into their political and cultural arenas. We cover the recent ban in the hijab (Muslim headscarf) in France and also talk about how the US response to Muslim immigrants differs than Europe. Prof. Kuru introduces us to his concepts of assertive and passive secularism.

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Roger Finke on Religious Persecution

Roger Finke of Penn State University talks with Tony about the prevalence and reasons for religious persecution around the globe. We explore the connectcions between seemingly small violations of religious liberty and religious persecution. Prof. Finke further argues that even small violations of religious liberty can presage greater threats to a wider set of civil liberties. Our discussion covers all regions of the globe, with a focus on Japan, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, France and the United States.

Listerners are encouraged to email the host and let him know you are listening and to provide feedback (good or bad). The host’s email is: tgill (at) uw (dot) edu

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