82 episodes

Religious studies teacher John Brooks talks with friends, special guests, and experts about the wide world of human beliefs. Why do we believe what we believe, and how do those beliefs show up in our world?

Hard to Believe - A Podcast About Belief John Brooks

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 121 Ratings

Religious studies teacher John Brooks talks with friends, special guests, and experts about the wide world of human beliefs. Why do we believe what we believe, and how do those beliefs show up in our world?

    The Matrix Resurrections - KeanuClub #83 - January 2022

    The Matrix Resurrections - KeanuClub #83 - January 2022

    As promised, John reunited with #KeanuClub to discuss the latest (and almost definitely final) installment of The Matrix. Enjoy our loving discussion of The Matrix: Resurrections

    • 1 hr 29 min
    JANUARY 6th RERELEASE - Dr. Kelly J. Baker - The Klan, Jesus, and Trump

    JANUARY 6th RERELEASE - Dr. Kelly J. Baker - The Klan, Jesus, and Trump

    In light of the anniversary of the January 6th terrorist attack on the Capitol, we're republishing our episode from September with Dr. Kelly J. Baker, in which we discuss the Klan, Trump, Christian Nationalism, and how all those thing coincided one year ago today.
    The Klan is little more than a cultural joke at this point. Following its ill-fated attempts to gain public legitimacy by appearing on Donahue and Jerry Springer in the 1990s, the organization largely retreated to the internet. But there it metastasized and festered and eventually spawned new hate groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
    The Klan remains the template for and spiritual common ancestor to all of America's white nationalist hate groups, and importantly it was and is, at its very core, a Christian movement.
    In our first post-hiatus episode, John is joined by scholar and author Dr. Kelly J. Baker, whose book The Gospel According to the Klan remains one of the most important and authoritative texts on modern white Christian nationalism, to talk about the Klan, Jesus, MAGA...and zombies.
    Dr. Baker is on Twitter @kelly_j_baker
    You can buy The Gospel According to the Klan here, or wherever you get your books.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    John Masefield and The Box of Delights - Featuring Philip W. Errington and Piers Torday

    John Masefield and The Box of Delights - Featuring Philip W. Errington and Piers Torday

    John Masefield's 1935 novel "The Box of Delights" is a haunted Christmas fantasy very much in the tradition of the haunted Christmas fantasy that started them all - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".
    And the 1984 BBC television adaptation is, for a certain group of people of a very narrow age, a beloved Christmas staple. But in spite of Masefield's wild fame in his time, he is largely forgotten today, and despite the numerous adaptations of the book over the decades, it remains a niche pop culture curiosity.
    John happens to be of the very particular demographic for whom the 1984 adaptation was formative - as were Masefield scholar Philip W. Errington and acclaimed children's fantasy book author Piers Torday, who recently adapted "The Box of Delights" for the stage for the first time.
    In the final episode of season two of Hard to Believe, John explores the story and legacy of John Masefield and his enduring, magical tale of Christmas.
    You can find Errington's work here.
    Piers Torday's website is www.pierstorday.co.uk

    • 42 min
    The Matrix Reissued - Part 3: #KeanuClub #50 - The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

    The Matrix Reissued - Part 3: #KeanuClub #50 - The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

    Everything that has a beginning has an end

    • 1 hr 41 min
    The Matrix Reissued - Part 2: #KeanuClub #49 - The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

    The Matrix Reissued - Part 2: #KeanuClub #49 - The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

    Even though the first Matrix and the last, Revolutions, are the films that contain my favorite scenes and moments from the trilogy, it’s the second film, Reloaded, that is my favorite.
    Reloaded is where I fell in love with the Matrix – when I realized it had a lot more on its mind than the typical philosophical terrain of popular science fiction tends to.
    Here, the series moves away from the ancient Eastern philosophical and theological roots of the first film and immerses itself in ideas borrowed mainly from ancient Greek myth and philosophy.
    Here the series opens itself up to a much bigger world, drawing from a much deeper pool of historical and conceptual reference points. And it all brings us to the single best scene in the series – indeed, one of the best scenes in all of science fiction – Neo’s encounter with the Architect. 
    This is part two of our reissue of KeanuClub - The Matrix: Revolutions.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    The Matrix Reissued - Part 1: #KeanuClub #41 - The Matrix (1999)

    The Matrix Reissued - Part 1: #KeanuClub #41 - The Matrix (1999)

    This week, something I never thought would happen is happening – the release of a new Matrix movie.
    The Matrix series means a lot to me – even though I have some conflicting opinions about it. Weirdly I didn’t go crazy over the first movie at the time of its release like everyone else did, but went on to love it more as I fell more in love with its sequels.
    Which I know is an unpopular opinion that I hope I can help explain in what you’re about to hear.
    Almost 5 years ago, on #KeanuClub, one of our network’s flagship shows, I was invited to join Joey Lewandowski and Mike Manzi to cover all three Matrix movies.
    I have to say – I don’t agree with EVERYTHING 5-years-ago me had to say. I have changed my mind on some things, like the idea that the term “gnostic Christianity” is actually especially useful, but that’s a good reminder that you should never stop reading, learning, and changing your mind.
    So over the next three days, leading up to the release of The Matrix Resurrections, I’m reissuing all three episodes on the Hard to Believe feed.
    Enjoy.
    And remember.
    There is no spoon. 

    • 1 hr 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
121 Ratings

121 Ratings

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Great Show!

I downloaded episodes starting from 2019 and the content is still relevant. Thank you and keep the good work!

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