Posts Tagged ‘Providence’


Daniel Dreisbach on Biblical Rhetoric in the Founding Era

What role did the Bible play in the rhetoric of the Founding Era of the United States? Prof. Daniel Dreisbach discusses how various themes and particular passages of the Scriptures were used by political leaders during the late 18th and early 19th century to help frame the creation of a new republic. He argues that verses found in Micah, Proverbs, and other places were used frequently to connect to a larger political conversation with the American people regarding the nature of the United States, the importance of virtue in its citizenry, and why the diffusion of power was important. We also chat about the role of religion during presidential inaugurations.

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Daniel Dreisbach on Abe Lincoln’s Religious Rhetoric

Being in the midst of the sesquicentennial of the US Civil War, we examine the religious rhetoric used by one of that era’s looming figures, Abraham Lincoln. Prof. Daniel Dreisbach of American University explores the religious phrases, themes, and cadence of Lincoln’s two most famous speeches — The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address.

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Sean Scott on Religious Rhetoric in the US Civil War

As we are months away from the sesquicentennial mark of the end of the US Civil War, we devote this week’s discussion to the use of religious rhetoric in the War Between the States. Prof. Sean Scott, a historian of the Civil War era, covers the use of spiritual language in the various writings of “common folk” in “The Old Northwest” (i.e. Great Lake states and Iowa).

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien (An “Encore Episode”)

In celebration of my son having to read “The Hobbit” over the summer as a high school assignment, I am re-running this popular episode on J.R.R. Tolkien that aired in fall of 2012. The staff at Research on Religion is still on vacation following our 200th episode, but we will return shortly with some crescent fresh episodes.

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Jonathan den Hartog on the Spiritual & Political Life of John Jay

With Independence Day quickly approaching, we once again take a look at the role of religion in shaping America’s Founding. Historian Jonathan den Hartog surveys the life, times, and influence of John Jay, one of the “forgotten Founding Fathers.” With a spiritual mix of French Prostantism and Anglicanism, we follow Jay through various phases of his life including his role during the struggle for independence, the tumultuous crafting of a new federal government, his time in public service, and his life in building civil society. Jay’s life provides a number of interesting insights that are still relevent for political and civic engagement today. Show off your impressive knowledge of this intriguing character at your Fourth of July celebration.

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien, Religion, and The Hobbit

Just in time for the release of the much-anticipated movie “The Hobbit,” we explore the life, times, and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien with Prof. Corey Olsen (a.k.a. “The Tolkien Professor”). We go over how Corey became enchanted by Tolkien’s writings and what Christians can take away from this genre of fantasy writing. Prof. Olsen reviews Tolkien’s influences, his fascination with mythology, and his ongoing relationship with C.S. Lewis. The conversation then delves into several spiritual themes that can be found in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, namely the issues of providence, fate, and free will. This podcast is a great primer for those heading out to the theaters over the holiday season and will provide a richer viewing of Peter Jackson’s cinematic interpretation of this classic piece of literature.

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Gary Scott Smith on Presidential Faith

A week before Presidents’ Day, we visit with Gary Scott Smith of Grove City College to survey the religious beliefs of a dozen or so presidents including Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, JFK, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and a few others. Along the way we discuss why understanding the faith of our presidents is important, why most people do not know much about it, and how we go about studying the topic.

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