Posts Tagged ‘Pope Francis’


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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Samuel Gregg on Pope Francis, Argentina, and Economics

Over his first four years in the Vatican, Pope Francis released two important encyclicals dealing, in part, with economic issues. Dr. Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute talks about the nature of Catholic social encyclicals, and the historical context of Argentina that influenced how Francis views economic issues.

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Michael Cromartie on Religion, the Media, and Think Tanks

How did the media report on the recent visit to the US by Pope Frances? And what role do think tanks play in shaping the religious landscape and government policy? We ask Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, these questions and many more in a discussion that looks at how religious individuals can influence the political realm.

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Gregory Popcak on Religion, Psychology, & Seven Longings

Can religion coexist with psychological counseling? While some tension has existed between these realms, Dr. Gregory Popcak explains how they are mutually facilitative and discusses his career as a Catholic psychologist. We also talk about his book “Broken Gods” and the why and how humans can become more like “god” (small “g”) and what that means. While it may sound blasphemous, Dr. Popcak notes this was a theme with such luminaries as St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and C.S. Lewis!

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Proselytism, Social Stability, and Development: A Panel Discussion

While the staff and crew at RoR takes a break to finish up some other academic commitments, we offer you a recent panel discussion on proselytism from the folks at the Religious Freedom Project (Georgetown University). Listen to Allen Hertzke, Ani Sarkissian, Brian Grim, and Hans Ucko share their perspectives on how religious proselytism shapes modern societies. We will return soon with more fresh and tasty nuggets in the coming weeks.

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Brian O’Neel on the Saints of February

Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, we call on Brian O’Neel to explain who the patron saint of lovers really is. Moreover, we review a number of other inspirational saints who have festival days in February, including someone who went from slave to saint, another who was “too ugly” for the crown, and the patroness of “miserable marriages.” Take the time to learn about some of these remarkable individuals of faith.

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Ken Kollman on Church Centralization

Why do large institutions that begin as federated organizations tend to centralize authority in executive power? Prof. Ken Kollman (University of Michigan) explains his theory of executive centralization and applies it to the Roman Catholic Church. We discuss how the Church has centralized power in the Curia over the past 150 years and whether there are any counter-tendencies to such concentration of authority.

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R.R. Reno on Pop(e) Francis

We kick off the new year with a look at Pope Francis and why he has been so enormously popular. Dr. Rusty Reno, editor of “First Things,” provides his impression of the first two years of the Jesuit from Argentina and the way he resembles his namesake, Francis of Assisi. Rusty points out the “way of poverty” and “the way of literalism” are important aspects of this pontiff’s style, as well as a penchant for provocative comments. We also chat about the challenging task of reforming the Curia and why an outsider is important.

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David Dixon on Religious Rhetoric and the Civil Right Movement

Prof. David Dixon of St. Joseph’s College discusses his massive project to document various sermons and speeches giving during the height of the Civil Rights Movement (1954-65). These speeches are from lesser known individuals who were nonetheless a critical part of the social environment pushing for civil liberties for African Americans and others. We also discuss how this project relates to his previous and ongoing research on religion in Latin America.

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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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