This month's Discourse! features our co-founder Chris Cotter, Lauren Horn Griffin, and Kristi Boone complicating and unpacking oversimplified binaries—be sure to tune in!

Listen Now

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

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

About this episode

What unites the death of an emeritus pope, a Brazilian insurrection and the debate about the relationship between science and religion? Oversimplified boundaries! Join us as Lauren Horn Griffin describes reactions to Pope Benedict’s death on “Catholic Twitter,” — how traditionalists (#Trad or #RadTrad on social media) typically hate Pope Francis (as he symbolizes “wokeness” and “modernism”) while Benedict was seen as a symbol of traditional piety and social teaching. Kristi Boone tells us about the parallels between the Brazil insurrection and the invasion of the Capitol Building in Washington DC on Jan 6th, 2021. And your host, co-founder Chris Cotter, unpacks the data from a survey that suggests that different demographics have different ideas about the so-called problem of the relationship between science and religion.

Articles Referenced

 Fund the RSP while you shop! Use an,, or 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

Religion After Darwin


Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species was published in 1859, and had an immediate and dramatic effect on religious narratives. Traditional religions were forced to adopt an evolutionary worldview, or to go on the offensive; whereas New Religious Movements like Wicca or New Age adopted an environmental concern as a central part of their belief. And possibly, ...
Religion and Memory


In the year 2000, English-speaking scholars interested in ‘religion’ were introduced (in translation) to one of the most important texts in the sociology of religion in recent years, Danièle Hervieu-Léger’s “Religion as a Chain of Memory”. This book placed the study of ‘religion and memory’ firmly on the academic agenda,


Patrons Special: RSP Discourse #1 (September 2018)


Welcome to "Discourse", where our editors and guests take a critical look at how the category "religion" is being used in the media, the public sphere, and the academic field. This episode, David and Chris are joined by RSP Associate Editor Breann Fallon from Sydney, Australia, to discuss new Aussy Prime Minister ScoMo's Pentacostalism, an Abductee Democratic candidate in Miami, Scottish Nationalism as "religion-like", and more.
Patrons Special: RSP Discourse #2 (October 2018)


Welcome to the second issue of “Discourse”, where our editors and guests take a critical look at how the category “religion” is being used in the media, the public sphere, and the academic field. This episode, Chris (Cotter) is joined by Chris (Silver) and Theo Wildcroft, both long-time friends and contributors to the RSP, for a cross-Atlantic discussion. After the inevitable discussion of US identity conflicts and terrorism, and ugly manifestation of the KKK in Northern Ireland, discussion moved on to the accepted protocols of trick or treating, and the use of patisserie in debates on LGBT human rights vs religious freedom.  Can’t access this episode? Subscribe at
Discourse #5, February Edition: With Irene Oh and Carolyn Davis


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.
Discourse #6, March Edition: With Joel Ritala, Jarno Sandberg, Anton Stranden, and Martta Tenhu


This special edition of #Discourse was recorded at the University of Helsinki in mid-February, with Chris and Study of Religion students Joel Ritala, Jarno Sandberg, Anton Stranden and Martta Tenhu. Topics covered include conspiracy theories, the entanglement of 'religion' in education and festive celebrations in Finland and the UK, the first amendment of the United States constitution, and a controversial conversion in the Netherlands.
Discourse #7, April Edition


This month on Discourse, Jaqueline Hargreaves, Jennifer Uzell and Theo Wildcroft approach the news from a Religious Studies perspective. We cover public responses to the Christchurch attack and the wearing of religious symbols as an act of solidarity. We discuss the boundaries of culture and religion, secularism and Buddhism, talking about the translation of mindfulness practices into indigenous Australian languages. Finally, we contemplate the intricate relationships between religious practice and materials, considering a number of recent news stories that involve fire and ash in acts of purification and consecration.