The Classical Ideas Podcast

The Classical Ideas Podcast

Simply stated, religion matters. Religion matters not only for personal reasons, but also for social, economic, political, and military purposes. Unfortunately, studies suggest that religious knowledge and cultural literacy for any religious tradition is either in decline or is non-existent in the United States, despite being one of the most religiously diverse nation on earth. Today, religion is implicated in nearly every major national and international issue. The public arena is awash in religious explanations and arguments for nearly every issue. The goal of The Classical Ideas Podcast is to empower students with the core knowledge of major world religions to improve citizenship and agency in a diverse society. Welcome to the show!... Show More

Episodes

Dr. Maren Freudenberg is a research associate at the Center for Religious Studies at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, and the associate editor of the journal Entangled Religions.

You can visit her online: https://ceres.rub.de/en/people/maren-freudenberg/

Read the article "Dynamics and Stability in Globally Expanding Charismatic R... Read more

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Dr. Alex Gardner is the author of the brand new biography, “The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great,” out now from Snow Lion, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. Gardner is the director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives, which we talk about extensively in this conversation. Gardner completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan. You can follow Gardner on Twitter at Read more

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Lama Palden Drolma is a western teacher trained by Tibetan Buddhist masters. She the founder of Sukhasiddhi Foundation. She is a licensed psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, coach, and has studied Buddhism in the Himalayas with some of the preeminent Tibetan masters of the 20th century. She was authorized to become one of the first western lamas by Kalu Rinpoche. You can find Lama Palden’s work online at Read more

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Jay Wexler is a professor at the Boston University School of Law and is the author of the new book, “Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life.” The book is out from Stanford University Press.

Visit Wexler online at https://www.jaywex.com

Visit Wexler on Twitter  Read more

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Dr. Ira Helderman is a psychotherapist in private practice and he holds a PhD in religious studies.

Buy "Prescribing the Dharma" (University of North Carolina Press)  Read more

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Christian B. Miller is the A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. Miller's research is primarily in contemporary ethics and philosophy of religion. For examples of some of his work, please see recent pieces in the  Read more

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Gesshin Claire Greenwood is the author of Bow First, Ask Questions Later and the popular blog That’s So Zen. She trained in Japanese Zen monasteries, including in the kitchen, for several years before returning to the United States to obtain a master’s degree in East Asian Studies. She lives in San Francisco, where she cooks, teaches meditation, and works in the mental-health field. Find her online: https://www.gesshin.net https://... Read more

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Stanley Lombardo is Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Kansas. His previous translations include Homer's Iliad (1997, Hackett) and Odyssey (2000, Hackett), Hesiod's Works & Days and Theogony (1993, Hackett), and Sappho, Tao Te Ching (1993, Hackett, with Stephen Addiss), Poems and Fragments (2002, Hackett), a PEN Center USA 2003 Literary Award Finalist. Buy Lombardo's Epic of Gilgamesh from Hackett here.   

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Jason Josephson-Storm is Professor of Religion and Chair of Science and Technology Studies at Williams College in Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University in 2006 and has held visiting positions in the US, France, and Germany. He has three primary research foci: Japanese Religions, European Intellectual History, and Theory more broadly. He spoke to me on the cusp of a research leave for the... Read more

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Sam Kestenbaum is an independent religion journalist. He writes for The New York Times and is a contributing editor and former staff writer for The Forward. He spent several years working in Asia and the Middle East, where he edited a newspaper in Sana, a website in Ramallah, and a magazine in Beijing.  In recent pieces, Sam explores enchanted politics in his profiles of of Jonathan Cahn, a doomsday prophet-pastor who says the Bibl... Read more

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Dr. Judith  Weisenfeld teaches in the Department of Religion at Princeton University where she is the Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion and Associated Faculty in the Department of African American Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.  Weisenfeld is the author of New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity During the Great Migration, out now in paperback from New York University P... Read more

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Dr. Brett Malcolm Grainger is a scholar of American religion and an award-winning journalist. He is Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University and the author ofChurch In The Wild: Evangelicals In Antebellum American and In The World but Not of It: One Family's Militant Faith and the History of Fundamentalism in America.  You can view his work at his Academia.edu page here.

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L. Benjamin Rolsky received his PhD from Drew University in American Religious Studies. His work has appeared in a variety of academic and popular venues including Method and Theory in the Study of Religion and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion as well as The Christian Century, The Los Angeles Review of Books, CNN Opinion, and the Religion and Culture Forum at the University of Chicago. His research and teaching inter... Read more

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Anthony Kaldellis is Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at The Ohio State University. He is the author of many books, including The Christian Parthenon, Hellenism in Byzantium, and The Byzantine Republic. The focus of today’s conversation is his latest book, Romanland: Ethnicity and Empire in Byzantium, out now from Harvard University Press. Buy Romanland: here or here.     

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Ben Connelly is a Minneapolis-based Soto Zen teacher in the Katagiri-lineage. He offers a wide variety of secular mindfulness trainings, including for police departments, corporate settings, correctional facilities, and addiction recovery groups. He teaches at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center and is the author of Inside the Grass hut, Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara, and most recently Mindfulness and Intimacy, out now from Wisdom P... Read more

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Monk Yun Rou was ordained in China as a Taoist monk in 2012. His writings and teachings propagate Taoist ideas and focus on environmental conservation, and political and social justice.  Yun Rou began his formal martial arts training in 1980 and practiced a wide range of Chinese kung fu styles before settling on tai chi. A student of some of China’s top tai chi grandmasters, he was named Tai Chi Master of The Year at the 2011 World... Read more

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Philippa J. Meek is a Doctoral fellow at the University of Exeter. Meek researches public perceptions versus the realities of plural marriage within Fundamentalist Mormon communities. This episode gives a detailed overview of the court cases Loving V. Virginia, Obergefell vs. Hodges, Lawrence vs. Texas, and then discusses what possible path forward there is for legalization of plural marriage in the United States. You can find her ... Read more

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Dr. Duane Bidwell works to reduce suffering and promote abundant life in all of his teaching, writing, and research. Experiences as chaplain, pastor, spiritual director, pastoral counselor, HIV/AIDS professional, and non-profit director inform his work as teacher-scholar-clinician. CST students have given him teaching and mentoring awards three times since 2014. He is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and practi... Read more

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Mitch Horowitz is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, a lecturer-in-residence at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; Mind as Builder; and the The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality. Mitch has written on everything from the war on witches to the secret life of ... Read more

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Dr. Jolyon Thomas is the author of "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan," out now from the University of Chicago Press. Dr. Thomas is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  Follow Jolyon Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jolyonbt Buy "Faking Liberties here.  

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