Conversations about places where faith and politics overlap, with particular interest in extremism and violence. Run by the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence www.csbvbristol.org.uk. Meet our hosting team. Helen Paynter is a Baptist minister and biblical specialist, and director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Matthew Feldman is an expert on the radical right and director of the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right, although he speaks here in a private capacity. Maria Power is a Catholic social historian and an expert on peace-making initiatives in Northern Ireland. She is director of the Human Dignity Project at the Las Casas Institute, Oxford and research associate at the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Michael Spalione is a political theologian and research associate at the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. We usually have an invited guest. Conversations focus on a diverse range of topics, such as antisemitism, the myth of redemptive violence, BLM, Islamism, and MAGA. Music at the beginning and end of each episode was from "Pride Cometh", used by kind permission of FALL Hardcore.
In this episode, Helen speaks with Revd Dr Simon Woodman. Simon is minister at Bloomsbury Baptist Church London, and formerly New Testament lecturer at Cardiff University. He is the author of a number of books and articles including two which are under discussion here: The Book of Revelation (SCM core texts) and a chapter entitled “Fire from heaven” in a book he co-edited: The Book of Revelation. Currents in British research on the...
In this episode, Helen speaks with Dr Rachel Havrelock about her new book The Joshua Generation: Israeli Occupation and the Bible. Rachel is Professor of English at the University of Illinois. In our conversation we discuss how the first Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion used the conquest of Joshua to assist him in state-building; and the resources which the book itself offers to readers who wish to resist such nationalism.
In this episode Helen talks with Revd Anthony Peck, General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation. In the light of current challenges such as migration, the Crimean conflict, and the rise of far right populism, they discuss the challenges that Baptists face, and the distinctives that they can offer to their societies. During the conversation, Tony and Helen make reference to this paper on Christian nationalism.
In this episode Michael and Helen interview Dr Maria Power. Maria is a Catholic social historian, and Senior Research Fellow in Human Dignity at the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice. We discuss the role of Cardinal Cahal Daly in Northern Ireland, and his pursuit of a peaceable kingdom. Our discussion is focussed around Maria's new book Catholic Social Teaching and Theologies of Peace in Northern Ireland.
In this episode Michael and Helen talk with Dr Samuel Brody about Martin Buber's theology of the kingship of God, and how this might influence modern politics. Sam is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas. We discuss his latest book Marbin Buber's Theopolitics , and also - briefly - this blog post.
In this episode, Michael Spalione and Helen Paynter talk with Dr Ron Sider about non-violence, with particular reference to his recent book If Jesus is Lord: Loving our enemies in an age of violence. Ron is Emeritus Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at Palmer Theologial Seminary.
In this episode, Michael Spalione and Helen Paynter speak with Danielle (D.L.) Mayfield, author of The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power. Danielle tells how her own experience of living with the 'exiled' changed her view of how her Christian faith should be expressed. This conversation takes place 'within' the (broadly) evangelical Christian tradition, and Helen ev...
In this episode we introduce Dr Michael Spalione, who will be co-hosting some future episodes. Michael has recently gained his PhD in political theology from Durham University (UK), although he is a native and resident of the USA. He is also one of the Research Associates of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Helen and Michael talk about the role of the church, Christian nationalism and the evangelical label, and music...
In this episode, Helen and Matthew speak with Dr John Heathershaw, professor in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at Exeter University. Is Central Asia really a crucible for Islamic terrorism? And how are such myths instrumentalised by others? In our conversation, we refer to two briefing papers. This one was written for Chatham House in 2014, and this one was published three years later by Open Democracy.
In this episode, Helen and Matthew speak with Dr Richard Middleton, Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary, Rochester. Our conversation centres on ideas discussed in Richard's book The Liberating Image. We discuss the extent to which the biblical creation myths endorse or challenge violence in the ancient and modern world.
The German Church and the Confessing Church in the lead-up to World War II - with guest Frank McDonough
In this episode Helen and Matthew speak with historian Dr Donal Lowry, senior member of Regents Park College, Oxford. Donal is an expert on the British Empire, particularly Rhodesia and Northern Ireland, and in our conversation he traces fascinating links between the situation in 1920s Ireland and Britain's colonial history in Rhodesia.
The chapter we discussed is in the book The Break-up of Greater Britain, which will be ...
In this episode, Helen and Matthew talk with Dr. Valerie Hobbs, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. We talk about the way that religious language pervades and influences mainstream political discourse. Valerie's book, An Introduction to Religious Language, was released on 14th January, 2021.
Listeners may also be interested to read this blog post which Helen and Valerie co-wrote about th...
Matthew and Helen talk with Muslim community leader Hifsa Haroon Iqbal, MBE, about political elements of Islam, violence within the Q'ran and the Bible, dialogue between Jewish and Muslim women, and Christmas. Hifsa is trustee of the Islamic-Jewish women's network Nisa-Nashim.
Hifsa's website is here and the blog post we discuss is here.
We finish the year on an optimistic note!
Can we defeat the dragon without becoming the dragon? In this episode, Helen and Matthew talk with Revd Dr Steve Harmon, Professor of Historical Theology at Gardner-Webb University, North Carolina. Steve is the author of a number of books, most recently co-editor of Sources of Light: Resources for Baptist Churches Practicing Theology. We begin our discussion with reference to this blog post which he wrote.
In this episode Helen and Matthew talk with Paul Lusk about the role that the church should occupy within the public square. Paul is the author of The Jesus Candidate: Political Religion in a Secular Age, and this blog post on the origins of the Religious Right.
Helen and Matthew talk with Dr Julia DeCook, assistant professor at the School of Communication, Loyola University, and Research Associate of the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right. Julia is a specialist on online extremist movements, specifically male supremacist groups. In this episode, we begin with a discussion about a blog post she wrote on the connections between the manosphere and the radical right.
In this episode, Helen and Matthew talk with Dr Jonas Kurlberg, about his book Christian Modernism in an Age of Totalitarianism. In the book Jonas explores 'The Moot', an informal think-tank composed of a wide diversity of intellectuals, which met in Britain before, during and after the Second World War. The Moot was committed to trying to help Britain find its way out of the mire of the political crisis of its day. What...
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