A scholarly-but-informal monthly chat at the intersection of religion and politics.
#65: What Is Religion, Anyway? What Is Politics?
After five-plus years of talking about the intersection of religion and politics, this month we step back and actually try to define our terms, with the help of our old friend Courtney Bruntz. And in our year-ending One Last Thing, Dan reaches for a hopeful note and Tim gives up on humanity.
Some of the things we talked about this month:
Dan and Courtney discussed definitions of religion by Schliermacher, Durkheim, Freud, Ninian Smart, and Stephen Prothero.
Dan mentioned this article by Kathryn Loughton.
Courtney discussed this new book by Richard Jaffee.
Tim's six-word definition of religion comes from this book by Harold Lasswell.
Dan's year-ending One Last Thing was the podcast Office Ladies.
Tim's year-ending One Last Thing was the film God's Not Dead.
Happy New Year! Thanks for listening in 2020.
1:37-43:00: Conversation with Dr. Bruntz
43:04-47:16: Dan's OLT
47:17-49:57: Tim's OLT
#64 1/2: The Orange Wave, Episode 0
We're taking a month off to lick our psychic wounds, so this month friend of the show Bradley Onishi has graciously agreed to allow us to share Episode 0 of his Orange Wave project, which we discussed on our last episode. If you like what you hear, you can find all ten episodes at their web site, along with transcripts and suggested readings. Happy listening!
#64: The Orange Wave
This month we talk to friend-of-the-show Bradley Onishi from the podcast Straight White American Jesus about his extraordinary podcast miniseries The Orange Wave. And in One Last Thing, Dan goes highbrow and Tim does...not.
Some of the things we talked about in this episode:
Brad mentioned several books: The End of Empathy by John Compton, The Shadow Network by Anne Nelson, Unholy by Sara Posner, and The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart. (And here's last month's show, featuring Ms. Stewart!)
Brad also mentioned President Trump's declaration that "I don't think science knows" and Senator Mike Lee's recent tweets about democracy, which drew a lot of attention.
Tim discussed the empirical literature on conspiracy theories, including the finding that there are about as many truther Democrats as birther Republicans.
Dan's One Last Thing was the podcast Erroll Garner Uncovered.
Tim's One Last Thing included this Channel 4 report, but was mostly about the trailer for Fatman. (Note: In the episode, Tim wrongly identified Channel 4 as part of the BBC. It is a for-profit, commercial station. He regrets the error.)
0:00-2:04: Introductions and an announcement
2:08-35:54: Onishi interview
35:59-38:30: Dan's OLT
38:31-40:41: Tim's OLT
#63: The Power Worshippers
In this episode, we talk to Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers, about her deep dive into the world of Christian nationalism. And in One Last Thing, we're both seeking solace and a sense of normalcy in the midst of these weird and turbulent times.
NOTE: This interview was conducted before Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away.
Some of the things we talked about on this show:
Ms. Stewart mentioned the work of Kristen Kobes Du Mez, author of, among other things, Jesus and John Wayne.
She also referenced the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans United for Life (AUL).
Dan's One Last Thing was Street Food: Asia.
Tim's One Last Thing was Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame.
1:36-38:46: Stewart interview
38:50-41:25: Dan's OLT
41:26-43:31: Tim's OLT
IC Supplemental: RBG
America lost an icon on Friday, so we called our friend Ann Duncan to help us process the news. We talked about why Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant so much to so many, about what her legacy might be, and about what's likely to happen now that she's gone.
#62: The Politics and Religion of QAnon
This month we talk to Marc-André Argentino about where QAnon came from, where it might be going, and how it's starting to look more like a religion than a simple belief or set of beliefs. And in One Last Thing, Dan is relaxing with a cartoon, and Tim is grumbling about a cartoonish theological argument.
Some of the things we discussed in this episode:
Mr. Argentino made reference to theodicy, Dominionism, and "red pilling."
He also mentioned Pizzagate, the Wayfair conspiracy theory, the "Satanic panic," Plandemic, and the recent "Save the Children" rallies. And he talked about the Omega Kingdom Church, though he didn't mention it by name.
Finally, he discussed the work of Joseph Uscinski and the idea of hyperreality invented by the philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Here is an article Argentino published about QAnon as a "hyperreal religion."
Dan brought up the fact that QAnon is global now, and referenced a recent Atlantic article by Adrienne LaFrance.
Tim discussed his own Twitter run-in with the tribe of Q.
Dan's One Last Thing was about Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Tim's One Last Thing was about God's Not Dead.
1:25-37:39: Argentino interview
37:44-40:43: Dan's OLT
40:43-45:37: Tim's OLT
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Always interesting, always well done
Interesting subjects involving religion and politics--some timely, some timeless, all well done.