The Classical Ideas Podcast
The Classical Ideas Podcast
Gregory Soden
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!
EP 273: Wu-Tang Forever w/Marcus Evans
Marcus Evans is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in the department of Philosophy & Religion at Western Kentucky University. Marcus is currently interested in religion and spirituality in Afro-Asian encounters and arts (e.g., music, films, novels, graphic designs, performances, etc.). His dissertation explores Afro-Asian style and spirituality in the hip-hop productions of RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan. He has recently contributed an article titled “Buddhism and Afro-Asian Masculinities in RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists” to a forthcoming volume titled Buddhist Masculinities, edited by Megan Bryson and Kevin Buckelew (Columbia University Press). This episode sponsored by Sacred Writes.  Visit Sacred Writes online: Playlist discussed in this episode: “Bring Da Ruckus” (1993) “Reunited” (1997) (music-video) “Second Coming” (1997) “One Blood Under W” (2000) “Chi-Kung” (2003) (music-video)  “Life Changes” (2007) “Ruckus in B-Minor” (2014) “Fate of the World” (2022) (music-video)
Sep 27
1 hr 2 min
EP 272: Ritual, Routine and Religion in the Brothels of New Delhi’s Red Light District w/Dr. Popy Begum
Dr. Popy Begum is an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University. She received her B.A. in International Criminal Justice and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and her MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the Centre for Criminology, Oxford University. Her dissertation study of Hindu and Muslim sex workers in New Delhi combines ethnographic field observations of the red-light district and 102 in-depth interviews via respondent-driven sampling.
Aug 18
44 min
Episode 270: Evangelical Purity Culture w/Dr. Sara Moslener
Sara Moslener is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Anthropology, and Religion at Central Michigan University, where she teaches courses on the history of religious and racial discrimination in the United States. She has been studying evangelical purity culture for over 15 years and has numerous publications, including the book Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence (Oxford University Press: 2015).  Sara’s work has been featured in The Revealer, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Sojourners Magazine, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, Religion & Politics, Religion News Service, and The Baffler. She has appeared on numerous podcasts and is a regular contributor to the podcast Straight White American Jesus.
Jul 12
54 min
EP 269: White Christian Nationalism, Social Media, and the New Apostolic Reformation w/Justin Friel
Justin Friel (He/Him) is currently a Ph.D. student in the Joint Doctoral Program with the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology. His research explores how religion, culture, and politics influence and affect one another and the ways these forces shape the formation and performance of Queer identities. Within that, Justin's research interests include white Christian nationalism, TikTok, popular culture, and utopia. Justin has an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and currently works time as a therapist focusing on sex, sexuality, spirituality, and identity. Visit Justin Friel online: Visit Sacred Writes:
Jul 6
52 min
EP 268: The Church of the Holy Apostle and the Gay Rights Movement w/Dr. Heather White
Heather R. White is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department and Gender and Queer Studies Program at the University of Puget Sound and a Research Associate at the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School. Her research focuses on religion, identity, and politics with an emphasis on queer, post-secular, and critical race theories as frameworks for interpreting recent U.S. history. White is the author of Reforming Sodom: Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). Visit Sacred Writes:
Jun 29
41 min
EP 267: Dawoodi Bohras in Montreal, public scholarship, and social media platforms w/Arwa Hussain
Arwa Hussain is a Ph.D. candidate in Religions and Cultures and 2022-23 Public Scholar at Concordia University in Montreal. Her current research interests deal with Islamic communities, particularly her own community, the Dawoodi Bohras, gender and agency, and social media platforms. Her dissertation combines digital ethnography and personal experience to understand how pious Dawoodi Bohra women embed their agency within a religious community and represent themselves on social media, the first study of  its kind to shed light on this dynamic community and its women. Her doctoral research is supported by Concordia University and the FRQSC, awarded by the government of Quebec. Arwa holds an M.A. and M.Phil. degree in History from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, where she received  the Hamida Khuhro Gold Medal of Excellence. As a Concordia Public Scholar, Arwa has produced a number of pieces of  public scholarship, including for the Montreal Gazette, The Conversation, and the Concordia blogs; as well as a spotlight roundtable discussion on the potentials and pitfalls of social media for Muslim women at 4th Space, Concordia University. Follow Arwa Hussain on Twitter: Visit Sacred Writes:
Jun 22
40 min
EP 266: Dr. Orit Avishai on Queer Judaism, LGBT Activism, and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel
Orit Avishai is an ethnographer at Fordham University, where she teaches in the Sociology Department and in the Program on Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her work considers how ideology and culture, broadly defined, shape social institutions, identities, political dialogue, and cultural practices. Her recent work has focused on Jewish Orthodoxy, and her book, Queer Judaism, LGBT Activism and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel is forthcoming from NYU Press. Her other work has been published in a variety of venues, including Gender & Society, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and AJS Review. Her recent public-facing writing has appeared in The Conversation, The Katz Center Blog, and Religion Dispatches. Dr. Avishai has degrees from The University of California at Berkeley, the Yale Law School, and Tel Aviv University Law School. Buy "Queer Judaism, LGBT Activism, and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel Visit Sacred Writes:
Jun 15
50 min
EP 265: The Apocryphal Acts of John w/Dr. Jeannie Sellick
Jeannie Sellick is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s Religious Studies Ph.D. program. She defended her dissertation, “The Strongest Seed: Jerome’s Fashioning of an Ascetic Masculinity in Late Antiquity” in June 2022, and she is perpetually excited to share it with anyone who asks. She specializes in constructions of gender and sexuality in the religious traditions of the ancient and late antique Mediterranean, with a particular focus on queer masculinities. When she’s not teaching or writing, you can find Jeannie hanging out with her geriatric dog, Missy, critiquing Marvel movies, and perfecting her buffalo wing recipe. Follow Dr. Jeannie Sellick on Twitter: Visit Sacred Writes:
Jun 8
47 min
EP 264: Cancer, Survival, and the Future w/ Dr. M. Cooper Minister
M. Cooper Minister is Associate Professor of Religion at Shenandoah University, where they teach courses on death, medicine, sex, gender, and theories of religion. Their books include Rape Culture on Campus and Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods (co-edited with Sarah Bloesch). Their current project is a memoir about being diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at 33 and learning to persist in between life and death on the dance floor. Visit Sacred Writes:
Jun 1
36 min
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