Posts Tagged ‘Soviet Union’


Anthony Gill on the Political Origins of Religious Liberty (Encore Presentation)

While we are solving some technical difficulty problems, please enjoy this “blast from the past,” as Prof. Steven Pfaff interviews me about my work on the origins of religious liberty.

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Eileen Kane on the Russian Hajj

As industrialization progressed in the 19th century and railroads became more commonplace, the costs of making the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) became more affordable for the large number of Muslims who lived in Russian territory. Prof. Eileen Kane, a historian at Connecticut College, discusses how the Russians tsars and the Soviets managed the pilgrimage routes to facilitate their geo-political and economic goals, and how Muslims in turn reacted. This story has heretofore gone untold but reveals a great deal about religion and politics, not only in centuries gone by, but for our contemporary world as well.

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Elie Estrin on the History and Traditions of Chanukah

With Chanukah season upon us, we invite Rabbi Elie Estrin, director of the University of Washington’s Chabad, to explain the history, meaning, and traditions of the holiday. We cover recent archaeological discoveries in Israel, different ways Chanukah has been celebrated over time, and what it is like celebrating Jewish holidays in a predominately Christian nation. For those not familiar with Chanukah, this is a wonderful introduction and Rabbi Estrin also connects it to the importance of religious liberty in our contemporary world.

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Russ Roberts & Anthony Gill on Religion & Religious Liberty (A Simul-Podcast with EconTalk)

In a very special “simul-podcast,” Russ Roberts of EconTalk interviews Tony about the economics of religion and religious liberty. This interview is broadcast both on our website and over at EconTalk (www.econtalk.org). This is extra special for Tony given that it was EconTalk that inspired the creation of this show and he is a big fan of Prof. Robert’s work. We discuss the origins of religious liberty as well as some additional observations about the economics of religion.

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Ani Sarkissian on Religious Liberty in the Post-Soviet World

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 heralded what many thought would be a new era of liberty in a region of the world that has known little freedom for most of its history. However, many of the new regimes that emerged from the Soviet rubble have slipped back into autocracy. We review these political developments and what this has meant for religious freedom in the region with Prof. Ani Sarkissian (Michigan State University). Interestingly, we observe a fairly wide variation in how governments react to religious organizations with some governments supressing all faiths whereas as others picking and choosing which religions to allow and which to repress. Albania, of all places, emerges as the most religiously free of the post-Soviet “competitive dictatorships.” Find out why.

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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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Catherine Wanner on Religion in Russia

The history of religion in Russia and the Ukraine from the Bolshevik Revolution to present is the topic of discussion with Catherine Wanner, associate professor of history, anthropology and religious studies at the Pennsylvania State University. How did religious life under communism condition the religious landscape of these two countries today? (To download, right click on the button to the right and choose “save target as….”)

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James Felak on John Paul II and Communism

University of Washington historian James Felak recounts the formative experiences in Pope John Paul II’s life and how he influenced the collapse of communism in Poland and the Soviet Union.

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