#10 Karrie Koesel on Religion and Politics in China
Date: July 15th, 2018

This was the very first podcast episode we aired and the second interview that I conducted.  I learned of Prof. Karrie Koesel (of the University of Oregon at the time, now at Notre Dame) when I was asked to review grant proposals for a Templeton Fund Initiative.  To discover that there was a young scholar just down the road from me who was doing fascinating research (and actually citing me) was a wonderful discovery.  I drove down to Oregon and interviewed Karrie in person.  I was further excited by the fact that Prof. Koesel, who I met for the first time during this interview, was incredibly conversational in talking about her research.  Her comfort with the podcast format is what actually convinced me that I could pull this whole podcast idea off!  Being just a few years out from graduate school, this interview also solidified my conviction that I needed to get young scholars on the program who don’t usually have a big forum to talk about their ideas.  At the time, this podcast probably had three listeners, so I am very happy to be bringing this to our listeners’ attention once again.  (Interestingly, after Karrie’s second interview on the podcast, she was contacted by a media source that heard her on this show.)  One of the other great things about this interview was that it created a great working relationship with a brilliant researcher, as Karrie and I participated in a three-year initiative at the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University.  It was during this time, as well, that I was able to connect with Prof. Ani Sarkissian (Michigan State) and all three of us have become a recognized force to reckon with (or so I like to think).  At a very minimum, both Profs. Koesel and Sarkissian will be prominent senior scholars in the field of religion & comparative politics, if not political science more broadly.  Meeting new colleagues and friends has been one of the most blessed experiences I have had over the eight years on the show and I hope that my guests view it that was as well.

Note: Ani Sarkissian’s podcast episodes were in-and-out of the Top Twelve list and I consider them to be of equal quality to Karrie’s podcasts, but hard choices had to be made.  Prof. Sarkissian’s interviews would rate in the top fifteen, though, and y’all should listen to them in the links below.  Indeed, Ani scored a number of “encore presentations” when I was on vacation.

Second note:  This interview was recorded with just one microphone.  Being the second interview I ever recorded, I was still too cheap to buy a second microphone.  Also, the first interview I ever recorded was never aired for reasons that only two people in the world will ever know.

Original Podcast Link.


Karrie Koesel on House Churches in China.

Ani Sarkissian on Politics and Civil Society in Turkey.

Ani Sarkissian on Religious Liberty in the Post-Soviet World.

Bradley Murg on Russian Orthodoxy after the Soviet Union.

David Patel on Religion and Social Order in Iraq.

Ann Wainscott on the Politics of Islam in Morocco.

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