On this month's episode of Discourse, Dr. Irene Oh (Director of the Peace Studies Program, George Washington University) and Dr. Carolyn Davis (independent consultant) spoke with Ben Marcus about a few key stories in religion and public life from February.

Listen Now

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

Consider a donation to pay for the cost of editing a transcript?

About this episode

On this month’s episode of Discourse, Dr. Irene Oh (Director of the Peace Studies Program, George Washington University) and Dr. Carolyn Davis (independent consultant) spoke with Ben Marcus about a few key stories in religion and public life from February.

In Dunn v. Ray, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the execution of Dominique Ray could move forward and denied Ray’s request to have an imam at his side in the execution chamber (though a Christian chaplain could be present). This case prompted an outcry by many religious freedom advocates in the U.S. and generated a debate about the unequal application of religious freedom protections and accommodations.

In South Carolina, the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services granted Miracle Hill Ministries, a foster care agency, a waiver to receive federal funding despite its commitment to only place children with Protestant foster parents. We discuss how this case ties in with broader questions of judicial empathy and how we care for children in the United States.
Ellen Page made headlines when she asked Chris Pratt to explain his membership in Zoe Church, an evangelical church in Los Angeles accused of promoting anti-LGBT teachings. We discuss individual versus communal religious identity and the responsibility individuals have for their communities’ doctrine.

Ilhan Omar was accused of anti-Semitism by politicians on the right and left for her criticism of AIPAC’s lobbying efforts. We discuss what we should make of the debate about differentiating between anti-Semitic tropes and critiques of Israel.

You can download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us. And remember, you can use our Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com, or Amazon.ca links to support us at no additional cost when buying academic texts, the Sabbatic Goat Baphomet Wine Goblet Drink Beverage Chalice, Sabrina the Teenage Witch on VHS, and more.

 Fund the RSP while you shop! Use an Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, or Amazon.com affiliate link whenever you make a purchase. There’s no additional cost to you, but every bit helps us stay on the air! 

We need your support!

Want to support us directly? Become a monthly Patron or consider giving us a one-time donation through PayPal

Related Resources

Of Demon Kings and Protestant Yakṣas

Response

The disappointment of Western pacifists here is not unlike the reaction of early Orientalists who, disappointed by the ritualism and deity-worship they found in living Buddhist cultures, described a degenerate Buddhism. Let me begin by saying that this is not a critique, but an effort to contribute to a conversation about issues that have affected me personally as a scholar. In particular,...
What’s Nonreligion?

Playlist

If it isn't religion, then why are we talking about it? Learn more about nonreligion in these hand-picked episodes!
Understanding Evangelical Opposition to Climate Action

Podcast

Evangelicals don't oppose climate activism for the reasons you think. Listen to expert Robin Veldman and find out why "embattlement" matters more than eschatology when it comes to rejecting climate science.

Other EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY

Ariela Keysar on “What does ‘belief’ mean to Americans?”

Podcast

'Belief' lies at the core of E.B. Tylor's canonical definition of religion as belief in 'spiritual beings'. However, in the last decades of the twentieth century the concept became unfashionable in the social sciences, with scholars from all parts of the world denouncing its centrality as a Western, Protestant bias which has limited application to other religions. Ariela Keysar disagrees...
Demons, possessions, and exorcisms: Sean McCloud on “Spiritual Warfare”

Podcast

How should one approach the study of demons and spiritual warfare? In this conversation with University of North Carolina, Charlotte professor Sean McCloud, demons, possessions, and exorcisms that might have once been considered fringe or marginal elements of the American religious scene are now part of a robust “haunted” or supernatural landscape.
Sexual Ethics and Islam

Podcast

Sexual ethics and Islam? How might one begin to study such a vast and "problematic" topic? What are some of the most prescient issues that recur in this contested field? And what is the broader significance of this discussion for Religious Studies in general?
Discourse, Australia Edition

Podcast

Breann Fallon, Carole Cusack and Ray Radford approach the Australian news from a Religious Studies perspective. We cover the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, the drama around Israel Folau, and the impact of Christianity on the recent Australian federal election results.
BASR 2019: The State of the Discipline

Podcast

Vivian Asimos and Theodora Wildcroft took the opportunity to ask the delegates of BASR 2019 what inspired them about the conference theme, their opinion about major trends in the discipline, and how they were personally feeling about REF 2021.
RE Commission report: A Way Forward?

Podcast

At a recent RE research and policy conference #2020RE, Dr Wendy Dossett had the opportunity to chat with two of the Commissioners and authors of the Religion and Worldviews report, Dr Joyce Miller and Prof Eleanor Nesbitt, along with Religious Education sociologist (and convener of SOCREL), Céline Benoit. Their conversation ranged over some of the following issues: the rationale for the move from calling the subject ‘Religious Education’ to ‘Religion and Worldviews’; the inadequacy for the classroom of a world religions approach; the degree to which faith communities are entitled to influence what gets taught in schools; and the anomaly of the so-called withdrawal clause.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750).