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Great Podcast Series Examining Research on Religion


As somebody who is interested in the topic of religion, I would like to inform you about a podcast series called Research on Religion that is sponsored by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and is free to scholars and the general public.  We are just over a year old and have archived over 60 episodes on a variety of topics covering sociology, political science, history, psychology, and religious studies.  It is a great way to keep up on what is new in the study of religion and to review books before deciding to purchase them.  Our interviews are more in-depth than what you typically get on radio, television, or in book reviews.  Help us spread the word about this great educational resource.

This week we are featuring Church historian Jim Papandrea (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) detailing his research on the early Church Fathers.  Last week we talked with Dan Philpott of Notre Dame about religion & democratization and his latest book God’s Century, co-authored with Monica Toft and Timothy Shah.  We will feature another interview from that book regarding religion and violence with Monica in August or September.  Next week (Aug. 1) we really shift gears and talk with Daniel Stiles, a rodeo announcer and former bull rider, about cowboy churches.  This interview has been my favorite to date and you won’t want to miss it.

Other recent and notable interviews have included:

  • Two interviews with contrasting opinions on whether the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation from John Fea (Messiah College) and Mark David Hall (George Fox U).
  • Byron Johnson (Baylor) on his latest book More God, Less Crime with a focus on prison ministry.
  • Thomas Farr (Georgetown and the Berkley Center) on how religion plays a role in US foreign policy.
  • Karrie Koesel (Oregon) on house churches in China.
  • Ken Wald (Florida) on the puzzling politics of American Jews.
  • Mark Driscoll on Mars Hill Church.
  • Carmel Chiswick (GWU) on the economics of American Judaism.
  • Robert Coote (independent) on the top 27 hymns of all time and why “Amazing Grace” didn’t make the list.  This interview was also a personal favorite.
  • Merisa Davis (independent) on her cousin Bill Cosby and black churches.
  • David Gallagher (Opus Dei) on the history of Opus Dei.
  • Darin Mather (Minnesota) on evangelicals and changing racial attitudes.
  • Alexander Ross (IPS) on religion and happiness.
  • Brad Wilcox (Virginia) on religion and marriage.
  • Margaret Poloma (Akron) on Pentecostalism and Godly Love.

And the list continues with such scholars as Roger Finke, Ruth Melkonian, Margarita Mooney, Matthew Sutton, Rodney Stark, Bradley Wright, Catherine Wanner, Marc von der Ruhr, Corwin Smidt, Brant Pitre, Eli Berman, Thomas Kidd, Ron Hassner, James Wellman, Paul Froese, Chris Bader, Jon Shields, Luis Bolce, Joseph Daniels, Ahmet Kuru, Nathan Brown, James Felak, Timur Kuran, Michael McBride, Dan Hungerman and many more!

Other interviews have included topics such as: the Muslim Brotherhood, religion & trust, UFO and Bigfoot cults, homeschooling, religious liberty, the Crusades, the Great Awakening, the Faith-Based Initiative, religious persecution, Islam in Europe, religion & health, the Protestant Reformation, religious charity, Mormon organization, and many more subjects for you to discover.

Many of these interviews would make great supplements to college or homeschooling classes on religion, or to share with your colleagues or folks in your own spiritual community.  Our commitment is to introduce listeners to solid scholarship while respecting people of faith no matter what tradition they are affiliated with.

We can be found on iTunes, Twitter, and our own Facebook page.  We encourage you to join our Facebook page for weekly updates about the show, special insights into the interviews, and sneak peeks of what topics will be coming up.  You can also use our social media links at the bottom of each episode’s summary to share the interviews you like with your friends and colleagues via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and many other outlets.

Finally, if you know of anybody you would like to hear on the show, or particular topics that might interest you, please feel free to drop me an email.

Tony Gill

Anthony Gill, Ph.D.
Political Science, Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
Host of Research on Religion
Author of The Political Origins of Religious Liberty