Posts Tagged ‘martyrdom’

David Fishman on Saving Jewish Documents during World War II

During the 1930s and ’40s, the Nazi regime in Germany tried to eradicate Jewish culture through the pillaging and destruction of Jewish artwork, literature, and other documents as part of the broader strategy of the Holocaust. Prof. David Fishman of the Jewish Theological Seminary tells the story of a courageous group of Jews in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania who took it upon themselves to preserve these cultural treasures at great risk to themselves. The Paper Brigade, as they were known as, hid these documents from the Nazis and, later, the Soviets. With recent caches of these documents rediscovered in 1991 and 2016, we review the content of these findings as well as the importance of preserving history.

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Frank Selden on the Military, Suicide, and Faith

Frank Selden, a Seattle-area attorney and author, joins us for a very personal and impactful discussion on his service in the military, his various suicide attempts, his faith, and how religious faith has approached the topic of suicide over the years. We learn how his views towards the Iraq War changed over two tours of duties, how he emerged from a suicidal spiral, and his perspective on religious faith today.

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Ron Hassner on Religion in the Military

How do armed forces around the world accommodate religious beliefs and practices into the rigorous structure that is often required for combat operations? Prof. Ron Hassner of UC-Berkeley surveys a number of the critical areas where the management of belief and practice can become difficult for military commanders. We discuss cases in the United States, India, Israel, Japan, Canada, and Iran.

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Brian O’Neel on the Saints of January

Brian O’Neel, a Catholic journalist and independent scholar, returns to Research on Religion to tell us about some of the lesser known saints that are celebrated within Catholicism during the month of January. We cover a prodigous builder of parochial schools in America, a convert from paganism in Nigeria, a lay eye doctor who set up clinics for the poor, another lay Catholic who resisted the Nazis, and a group of martyrs in Russia. We finish with a discussion of martyrdom and how this plays out in the contemporary Middle East.

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Rodney Stark on the Triumph of Christianity, Part 1

How does a small group of invididuals in a religiously-hostile environment build a sectarian movement of Judaism into the world’s largest faith tradition? Prof. Rodney Stark (Baylor) discusses the important sociological ingredients for Christianity’s success in the first three centuries of its existence. We examine the religious landscape at the time of Jesus’s birth (including both paganism and Judaism), as well as the sometimes surprising role of that mercy, persecution, wealthy individuals, and gender played in the growth of Christianity.

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