Posts Tagged ‘Roger Williams’


Evan Haefeli on the Dutch Origins of Religious Tolerance

An often overlooked aspect of the rise of religious freedom in the 17th and 18th centuries was the role of Dutch toleration for religious dissent. Prof. Evan Haefeli of Columbia University documents the critical role that the Netherlands played in fostering religious tolerance in the Low Countries and how this translated across the Atlantic Ocean in the colonial territory they held in the Americas for a half century. He offers a surprising conclusion on what the political-religious landscape would have looked like in post-colonial America had the Dutch been able to retain possession of their territories into the 18th century.

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Anthony Gill on the Political Origins of Religious Liberty

For the past two and a half years, Tony Gill has interviewed over 135 guests on this podcast. Today, Prof. Steve Pfaff takes over as guest host and interviews Tony about his recent book, “The Political Origins of Religious Liberty.” We discuss what religious liberty is and why a government would ever want to allow religious groups to have greater freedom. Tony emphasizes the political and economic motivations behind “deregulating the religious marketplace”, including the need to attract immigrants, promote free trade, and generate economic growth and tax revenue. We focus attention on colonial American history, but also discuss religious freedom in Russia, China, Mexico, Chile and a few other places. This interview is a great complement to other podcasts we have had on the topic of religious liberty, and an opportunity to see what your weekly host is really thinking about!

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Allen Hertzke on Religious Liberty

Prof. Allen Hertzke of the University of Oklahoma joins us to discuss religious liberty around the world. We cover why religious liberty has become an increasingly important issue in foreign affairs and why many intellectual and government elites tend to dismiss its importance. The conversation also includes current threats to religious freedoms in many parts of the world and what positive effects might arise from the spread of religious liberties.

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John Fea on Religion & the American Founding

Was America founded as a Christian nation? This is the title of Prof. John Fea’s book and the topic of our podcast this week. Prof. Fea presents a nuanced answer to this question, showing that although that the British American colonies were overwhelmingly Christian in culture in the late 18th century, the Founding was not necessarily a Christian event. We cover what it means to be a “Christian nation,” and examine whether the Founders lived up to Christian ideals, including a discussion of just war theory. This is a great podcast to pair with next week’s discussion featuring Mark David Hall.

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