Posts Tagged ‘Jews’


Louis Markos on the Poetry of Heaven & Hell (Encore Presentation)

We’re still on summer break, so please enjoy this favorite interview of mine (and a few other folks). Prof. Louis Markos of Houston Baptist University explains how images of heaven and hell have changed over the ages, makes a case why Christians should pay attention to pagan writers, and covers territory from Plato to C.S. Lewis.

We are working on some updates on the audio portion of the website and hope to return with fresh episodes soon. Stay tuned.

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Colleen Haight on Jewish Peddlers in 19th Century America (Encore Presentation)

In 19th century America, Jews disproportionately filled an important role in the US economy as peddlers and merchants who brought supplies to settlers in the westward expansion. Prof. Colleen Haight of SJSU explains the logic behind this phenomenon and links it to the economics of religion and the role that religious distinctiveness played in solving reputational problems. She also addresses the matter of hostility towards Jews and how this factored in to their chosen profession. This is an encore presentation from the autumn of 2014.

We will return on July 24th with new episodes. In the meantime, search our archives!

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Louis Markos on the Poetry of Heaven & Hell

How have humans viewed heaven and hell throughout the ages? And why is it important that Christians read the pagan writers of ancient Greece and Rome to understand more modern conceptualizations of the afterlife? Prof. Lou Markos of Houston Baptist University takes us on a journey through thousands of years of literature to answer these questions, moving from Plato to Dante to C.S. Lewis. Lou also notes that evangelical Christians, who were once skittish about pre-Christian writers, are now understanding the importance of embracing these ancient classics.

Research on Religion is a great resource for homeschoolers and other educational institutions. Tell a teacher about us!

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Daniel Libenson on Present and Future Judaism

In a wonderful complement to last week’s episode, Daniel Libenson — creator of jUChicago and The Institute for the Next Jewish Future — discusses the religious challenges facing Judaism in contemporary America and what might need to happen in the future. We explore these issues through the lens of his work with Hillel and his other institutional creations, and how he is using “design thinking” to provide creative ways to engage secular Jews in their historical faith.

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Carmel Chiswick on the Economics of Being Jewish in America.

How does an economist discuss being a religious minority in America? Prof. Carmel Chiswick returns to the podcast to discuss her new book “Judaism in Transition.” Using the tools of economics — particularly the concepts of full price, time costs, and human capital — explains the challenges American Jews face in a Christian culture and how Judaism has changed over time to reflect responses to various costs and benefits. We also talk about some of the newer demographic challenges facing Jews, including intermarriage, later marriage, and empty nesters.

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Colleen Haight on Jewish Peddlers in 19th Century America

In 19th century America, Jews disproportionately filled an important role in the US economy as peddlers and merchants who brought supplies to settlers in the westward expansion. Prof. Colleen Haight of SJSU explains the logic behind this phenomenon and links it to the economics of religion and the role that religious distinctiveness played in solving reputational problems. She also addresses the matter of hostility towards Jews and how this factored in to their chosen profession.

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Mark David Hall on Religious Minorities in the U.S. Founding

Mark David Hall returns for his fourth stint on Research on Religion’s July 4th celebration with yet more interesting insights into religious during the U.S. revolutionary era. This time Mark discusses the role played by religious minorities including Jews, Quakers, Baptists, and even Muslims.

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David Smith on Episodic Religious Persecutions

Despite being a nation prided upon religious freedom, the United States has witnessed several episodes of intense persecution of religious minorities. Prof. David Smith (University of Sydney) discusses why these episodic violations of civil liberties happen with specific reference to the Latter Day Saints in the mid-19th century and the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the early 20th century. He links these (and other) events to the threat that they generate towards the political status quo. We also discuss how this may relate to harassment of Catholics, Jews, and Muslims in US history over the past two centuries.

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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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James Felak on Pope Pius XII, the Wartime Pontiff

In March of 1939, Eugenio MarĂ­a Giuseppe Pacelli became Pope Pius XII just days before the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and months before Germany continued their march into Poland. Prof. James Felak (University of Washington) examines the life and times of Pope Pius XII and explores the controversy surrounding his papacy. Interestingly, we learn that criticism of Pope Pius XII’s actions only emerged two decades after World War II. Prof. Felak discusses the difficult diplomatic and moral situation that Pius XII found himself in during the war, lays out the logic of his actions, and then assesses the overall impact (including his post-war proclamations) of Pius XII’s papacy on the contemporary Church Church.

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