Posts Tagged ‘Protestantism’

James Felak on Picking Pontiffs and Pope Francis I

With all eyes trained on the Vatican over the past two months, we turn to one of our most popular guests — Prof. James Felak (University of Washington) — to help us understand what popes do and how they are chosen. Prof. Felak then walks us through the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Conclave of Cardinals, and the “surprise” election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who took the name Francis I. He offers up some reflections on the potential direction of the Roman Catholic Church and reveals what name he would have chosen for himself had he been tapped to sit on the throne of St. Peter. One of our most lively discussions ever!

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Robert Woodberry on Missionaries and Democracy

Did Protestant missionaries help plant the seeds of democracy throughout the world? Prof. Robert Woodberry takes us on a historical tour-de-force around the globe showing how “conversionary Protestants” helped to promote literacy, spread printing technology, facilitate civic organization, defend religious and civil liberties, and protest the abuses of slavery and colonialism. We discuss how this happened and why Protestants were uniquely situated to do this, although we look at similar Catholic efforts in recent decades. We conclude with speculative thoughts about the Arab Spring.

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James Wellman on Evangelical vs Liberal Christians

Prof. James Wellman (University of Washington) discusses the findings of his recent research on evangelical versus liberal Christians in the Pacific Northwest. We cover the differences in these two distinct religious subcultures in terms of their core values and how this affects their pastoral organization. The podcast concludes with speculation as to why evangelical Christianity is growing in the Pacific Northwest, whereas liberal mainline Protestantism is not.

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Gordon Melton on Mega-Trends in American Religion

J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, discusses trends in American religion over the past two centuries with a focus on the future of denominationalism. Other topics discussed include the non-affiliated, new religious groups, and race in American religion. (To download, right click on the button to the right and choose “save target as….”)

Brad R.E. Wright on Christian Stereotypes

Bradley R.E. Wright shares various empirical findings from his new book “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites… and Other Lies You’ve Been Told.” Tony and Brad discuss a series of stereotypes that many people (including Christians) have about American Protestants revolving around the issues of divorce, charity, honesty, race, and the decline of American Christianity. (To download, right click the “download” 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….”)

Steven Pfaff on the Protestant Reformation

University of Washington sociologist Steven Pfaff discusses how professors and students were critical in spreading the Reformation at the grassroots. His micro-level analysis is contrasted with more familiar macro-sociological explanations.

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