3 episodes

How do you disagree with substance, respect, and a spot of laughter? Is it possible for deep difference to be the uncanny glue of a free society, and not the spark for its conflagration? What does good-faith persuasion look like anymore?

Zealots at the Gate from Comment explores these questions through the friendship of two men: Muslim political thinker Shadi Hamid and Christian theologian Matthew Kaemingk. Through frank, unapologetic dialogue interrogating the future of democracy and the role of religion in North American cultural life, this is a conversation bent on charting out a new paradigm for navigating philosophical and even tribal difference with openness, good humour, and convicted humility.

Zealots at the Gate Comment

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

How do you disagree with substance, respect, and a spot of laughter? Is it possible for deep difference to be the uncanny glue of a free society, and not the spark for its conflagration? What does good-faith persuasion look like anymore?

Zealots at the Gate from Comment explores these questions through the friendship of two men: Muslim political thinker Shadi Hamid and Christian theologian Matthew Kaemingk. Through frank, unapologetic dialogue interrogating the future of democracy and the role of religion in North American cultural life, this is a conversation bent on charting out a new paradigm for navigating philosophical and even tribal difference with openness, good humour, and convicted humility.

    The Case for Political Combat

    The Case for Political Combat

    Our most “combative” episode yet. Progressive secularism is on a winning streak. It has scored a number of significant political victories over those who hold traditional Christian and Muslim understandings of the moral life. How should people of faith respond? Our guest worries that we might be playing a little too nice. James R. Wood is one of the most exciting and controversial Christian thinkers writing today. A theologian, professor, and ordained minister, Wood argues that people of faith need to actively contest, dispute, and sometimes even mock the political ideas of their secular opponents. What do you think? Should Christians and Muslims ready themselves for rhetorical combat? Is a “winsome” approach to persuasion naive?
     
    LINKS
    Referenced essays from James Wood:
    https://comment.org/the-church-against-the-ideologies/
    https://americanreformer.org/2022/05/this-article-is-not-about-tim-keller/
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-limits-of-winsome-politics/
     
    James Wood’s critique of Christian civility and “winsomeness”:
    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2022/05/how-i-evolved-on-tim-keller
     
    Shadi explores how an Islamic approach to politics was “swallowed” by the modern state:
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2022/10/how-modernity-swallowed-islamism

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Against Political Certainty

    Against Political Certainty

    Democracy is suffering from an overabundance of ideological certainty. Few citizens are willing (or able) to honestly express their doubts about their tribe. We can only project ideological certainty, purity, and strength—no wavering or weakness allowed. How might we begin to doubt ourselves again? How might we take ourselves and our political ideas less seriously? While Islam and Christianity are often labelled “dogmatic” and “fundamentalist,” Shadi Hamid and Matthew Kaemingk explore the unique ways in which their faiths actively help them to doubt.
    Related links:
    Shadi’s article on the dangers of religious certainty in politics:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/how-resist-making-politics-theological/578851/
    Matt’s discussion of Christian political humility can be found in chapters 4, 6, and 7: https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Hospitality-Muslim-Immigration-Fear/dp/0802874584
    Andrew Tate explains his conversion to Islam
    https://twitter.com/Raaaatiba/status/1586293661360193537
    Rod Dreher on Islam:
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/islam-the-last-badass-religion/
    Zizek Devours Hotdogs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YamAsbzPKA

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Zealots at the Gate

    Zealots at the Gate

    What's happening to our democracy? It feels like we're being torn apart by deep religious, cultural, and political differences. Welcome to Zealots at the Gate, where two scholars of faith and politics—a Muslim and a Christian—make a rather surprising claim. Together Shadi Hamid and Matthew Kaemingk argue that our deep differences are not, in fact, a threat to democracy. The true threat is our response to that difference.
    In this opening episode, Hamid and Kaemingk explore how their religious difference—their Muslim and Christian strangeness—is a potential resource for democracy's renewal. Join us as we try to do difference, differently.
     
    Related links:
    Matt’s article on the politics of the headscarf:
    https://comment.org/the-headscarf-islams-gift-to-western-democracy/
    Shadi’s debate with Mehdi Hasan on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
    https://twitter.com/shadihamid/status/1585410346818338816
    Shadi’s article on the dangers of religious certainty in politics:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/how-resist-making-politics-theological/578851/
    Matt and Shadi’s books on religion and democracy:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BCR3JCLR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
    https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Hospitality-Muslim-Immigration-Fear/dp/0802874584

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

DC_Butkus ,

This is a much needed conversation

Shadi and Matt provide a much needed model for civil discourse in a culture filled with impatience and contempt. This is a valuable podcast that will add to your framework of how to see and hear others.

Gary from Washington State ,

Interesting and Engaging Conversation!

I didn’t know what to expect when I started listening and learning from the two hosts, Matthew and Shadi. The title of the podcast got my attention initially but both men shared thoughtfully yet with pointed differences in theology and life perspectives. These two friends demonstrate how to engage with courtesy but not have to agree with each other to continue. Before I knew it an hour had passed and now Looking forward to the next Zealot!

gturner1972 ,

Highly recommend

Hamid and Kaemingk offer a new fresh voice to possible ways to navigate these times of deep divides. Fun, engaging, clear. I’m a big fan. This one is definitely at the top of my podcast list.

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