As an extension of the online magazine the Revealer, this podcast explores the social and political roles religion plays throughout the world. How should we make sense of religion's influence on politics, sexuality, race, and people's everyday lives? Produced by NYU's Center for Religion and Media and hosted by Dr. Brett Krutzsch, each month we'll sit down with experts to discuss how religion shapes our world. Join us for this important conversation.
The FBI and White Christian Nationalism
How did the Federal Bureau of Investigations contribute to the rise of white Christian nationalism? Lerone A. Martin, author of The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism, joins us to discuss the place of religion and race at the FBI. Why did J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s long-serving director, believe a Christian America was a safer America and what did he do to make that vision a reality? How did the FBI form partnerships with conservative Christian leaders and institutions, and what religious activities took place at the FBI for its special agents? And how does knowing this history about religion and race at the FBI help us make sense of the rise in white Christian nationalism today?
The Corporate Space Race and Religion
Why are corporations and billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos invested in space exploration? Mary-Jane Rubenstein, author of Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race, joins us to discuss the corporate space race and its connections to religion. We explore why the corporate space race is so concerning, what religious ideas undergird Americans’ beliefs that we have a right to colonize the cosmos, and how Indigenous religious teachings could help us think differently about our relationship to outer space in ways that could also help our planet.
Atheists in America
In what ways are atheists stigmatized, and what are some reasons for social divisions among atheists? Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, joins us to discuss the 10th anniversary of his landmark book. We explore how atheists have partnered with religious communities to address social issues, why some atheists have been drawn to right-wing politics and white supremacy, and how atheists can respond to rising Christian nationalism in the United States.
Gender Diversity in Islam and Judaism
This episode explores gender diversity in present-day Islam and in Jewish history. We chat with Dr. Katrina Thompson to learn how transgender and nonbinary Muslims are transforming Islam and creating spaces specifically for trans and queer Muslims. And we chat with Dr. Max Strassfeld to learn about the eight gender categories the rabbis of the Talmud devised during the first six centuries of the common era, and what their awareness of bodily gendered diversity can tell us about transgender politics and equality today.
Religious Cultural Appropriation
What is religious cultural appropriation, and how might many of us be engaged in it right now? Dr. Liz Bucar, author of the forthcoming book Stealing My Religion: Not Just Any Cultural Appropriation, joins us to discuss why religious appropriation is so common. We explore prominent examples of religious borrowing, from non-Muslim women wearing a “solidarity hijab” to white Americans teaching yoga. And we discuss how one can respectfully borrow from religious communities in responsible ways.
What connections can be made between horror films and novels where Catholicism is prominent to actual horrors committed by the Catholic Church? Three experts of American Catholicism – Drs. Jack Downey, Matthew Cressler, and Kathleen Holscher – join us to discuss Catholic horror, both fictional and real. We explore why Catholicism has been such a popular source of inspiration for horror filmmakers and writers, what horror can reveal about contemporary society, and why examining horror can help us make sense of the clergy abuse crisis and other atrocities committed by the Catholic Church.
Broad, Welcoming, Thorough
I *love* this show & magazine. Brett is a dream interviewer: clarifying questions that encourage scholars to get to the heart of why their work matters to general, non-specialists like me. The scope is enormous. The conversations always engaging. If you’re looking for a show about scholarship in religion? There isn’t another podcast that comes close to delivering this kind of breadth with generosity and clarity.
I love this podcast. You will hear big ideas here FIRST - directly from the researchers and professors doing the work. Their passion always comes through and they are always appreciative of the host’s thoughtful questions. A professor hosting professors.
I’ve loved all the different topics this podcast covers. The guests are fascinating, and I’ve learned several things each episode. I especially liked the one on Hasidic heretics.