Cover art for podcast The Classical Ideas Podcast

The Classical Ideas Podcast

253 EpisodesProduced by Gregory SodenWebsite

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 U… read more

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EP 251: Stealing My Religion w/Dr. Liz Bucar

September 13th, 2022


Dr. Elizabeth Bucar is the Director of Sacred Writes, Professor of Religion, and Dean’s Leadership Fellow at Northeastern University. An expert in comparative religious ethics who has published on topics ranging from …

EP 249: Islamophobia: What Christians Should Know (and Do) about Anti-Muslim Discrimination w/Jordan Denari Duffner

August 16th, 2022


Arson and vandalism at houses of worship. Bullying at schools and harassment at the grocery store. Political scapegoating and institutionalized …

EP 248: How Yogi Bhajan Created An Empire w/Stacie Stukin & Philip DeSlippe

July 29th, 2022



Stacie Stukin is an arts and culture writer born and raised in Los Angeles. She has written about travel, design, women's health and food for …

EP 247: Visions of Zion, Ethiopianness, and Rastari w/Dr. Erin MacLeod

July 21st, 2022


Dr. Erin MacLeod's work situates itself in the perspectives of postcolonial studies, social movements, intercultural communication, migratory …

EP 245: Roman Catacombs w/Dr. William "Chip" Gruen

July 2nd, 2022


Dr. William "Chip" Gruen is professor of religious studies at Muhlenberg College and is Director of the Institute for Religious and Cultural …

EP 244: The Other Side of Nothing w/Brad Warner

June 26th, 2022


Brad Warner was born in Ohio, grew up in Africa, and lived in Japan for eleven years, where he got ordained as a Zen monk. He now resides in the Hipsterville part of Los Angeles. He began …

EP 243: Anarcho-Punk w/Dr. Edward Avery-Natale

June 17th, 2022


Dr. Avery-Natale specializes in race and racism, identity, social movements, and social theory. He is the author of the book, Ethics, Politics, and …

EP 242: The Dharma Bum's Guide to Western Literature w/Dean Sluyter

June 8th, 2022


Dean Sluyter (pronounced slighter) has taught meditation and led workshops and retreats since 1970, at venues ranging from Ivy League colleges to …

EP 241: Dr. John Modern & Alison Renna discuss "Neuromatic: Or, A Particular History of Religion and the Brain

May 23rd, 2022


John Lardas Modernis professor of religious studies at Franklin & Marshall College. He is the author of The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions …

EP 239: Sincerely Held w/Dr. Charles McCrary

May 12th, 2022


Dr. Charles McCrary is a scholar of American religion, focusing on secularism, religious freedom, race, and science. He is the author of Sincerely …

EP 238: "Buddhish" and the History of Buddhist Medicine w/Dr. C. Pierce Salguero

May 2nd, 2022


C. Pierce Salguero is a transdisciplinary humanities scholar who is fascinated by the historical and contemporary intersections between Buddhism, …

EP 237: Teaching About Religion and Astronomy w/Dr. Brent Landau

April 28th, 2022


Dr. Brent Landau is on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Religious Studies. 


EP 235: New Rome: The Empire in the East w/Dr. Paul Stephenson

April 7th, 2022


Paul Stephenson is a historian of late antiquity and the author of New Rome: The Empire in the East and Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor.

EP 234: Borderlands Curanderos w/Dr. Jennifer Koshatka Seman & Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

March 23rd, 2022


Jennifer Koshatka Seman is a lecturer in history at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Her work has appeared in Studies in Religion/Sciences …

EP 231: Religion, Public Health, and Media w/Dr. Amanda Furiasse

January 28th, 2022


Amanda Furiasse received her PhD in Religion and Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Florida State University in 2018. Her research unfolds …

EP 230: The Rise of the Muslim Sitcom w/Dr. Kristian Petersen

January 16th, 2022


Kristian Petersen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the …

EP 229: Migrational Religion and Latinx Diaspora w/Dr. João Chaves and Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

January 2nd, 2022


In this episode, Dr. João Chaves and Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh discuss Brazil and the book “Migrational Religion: Context and Creativity in the Latinx Diaspora,” out now from Baylor University Press.


EP 228: Mexican American Religions w/Dr. Brett Hendrickson and Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

December 19th, 2021


In this episode, Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh is in conversation with Dr. Brett Hendrickson on the book "Mexican American Religions: An Introduction …

EP 227: Meatpacking, Migration, and Faith w/Dr. Kristy Nabhan Warren & Dr. Arlene Sanchez Walsh

December 3rd, 2021


Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren is the V. O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair of Catholic Studies and a professor in the Departments of Religious Studies and …

EP 226: Jewish-Christian Dialogue w/Dr. Alana Vincent

November 30th, 2021


Dr. Alana M. Vincent is Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination at the University of Chester. She works on post-Holocaust …

EP 225: Catholic Library, Muslim Books w/NA Mansour

November 20th, 2021


N.A. Mansour is a historian and a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, where she is writing a dissertation on the transition between manuscript and print in Arabic-language …

EP 224: Religious Pluralism in South Africa w/Dr. Lee Scharnick-Udemans

November 13th, 2021


Dr. Lee-Shae Salma Scharnick-Udemans is the Senior Researcher in the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice at the University of the Western Cape. With degrees in religious studies and media from the …

EP 223: Muslim Religious Spaces and the Lives of Muslim College Students w/Dr. Krista Riley

November 9th, 2021


Dr. Krista Melanie Riley (she/her/hers) is a pedagogical advisor at a college in Montreal, Quebec. She holds a PhD in Communication Studies from …

EP 222: Working Beyond the Academy w/Dr. Shannon Trosper Schorey

November 6th, 2021


Dr. Shannon Trosper Schorey is a scholar, writer, and researcher in the tech industry. She is an expert in science and technology studies, American …

EP 221: The Two Faces of Religious Freedom w/Dr. Jolyon Thomas

October 24th, 2021


Jolyon Baraka Thomas (he/him/his) is assistant professor and interim graduate chair of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the …

EP 220: Comedy and Islam w/Dr. Samah Choudhury

October 18th, 2021


Dr. Samah Choudhury is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Ithaca College. She speaks and writes about Islam, humor, and the politics that …

EP 219: The Young Lords w/ Dr. Jorge J. Rodriguez V

October 12th, 2021


Jorge Juan Rodríguez V, the son of two Puerto Rican migrants, was raised by his mother, father, grandmother, and uncle in a small affordable housing community outside of Hartford, Connecticut. He has completed degrees …

EP 218: Weddings, Marriage, and Divorce in Islam w/Dr. Kecia Ali

October 6th, 2021


Kecia Ali (Ph.D., Religion, Duke University) is Professor of Religion at Boston University, where she teaches a range of classes on Islam. Her research focuses on Islamic law; women and gender; ethics; and biography. …

EP 217: Religion, Science, and the Brain w/Dr. Andrew Ali Aghapour

September 30th, 2021


Andrew Ali Aghapour (he/him/his) is a scholar and comedian based in Durham, North Carolina. He is the Consulting Scholar of Religion and Science for …

EP 216: The Unraveling of Nepal's Hindu Monarchy w/Dr. Anne Mocko

September 24th, 2021


Anne Mocko is Associate Professor of Asian Religions at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. She is a specialist in the religions of South Asia, and …

EP 215: Transnational Online Shinto and Educational YouTube w/Kaitlyn Ugoretz

September 18th, 2021


Kaitlyn Ugoretz (she/her) is a digital anthropologist and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the …

EP 214: Social Media and Hinduism w/Dr. Dheepa Sundaram

September 12th, 2021


Dr. Dheepa Sundaram (she/her/hers) is scholar of performance, ritual, yoga, and digital culture in South Asia at the University of Denver which sits …

EP 213: Ecological Ethics in the Jewish Community Farming Movement w/Dr. Adrienne Krone

September 6th, 2021


Dr. Adrienne Krone is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Jewish Life at Allegheny College. She has a Ph.D. in American Religion …

EP 212: Heaven Narratives w/Dr. Brook Wilensky-Lanford

August 31st, 2021


Brook Wilensky-Lanford is the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011), and former editor-in-chief of the online …

EP 211: Paid Family Leave and the Catholic Church w/Dr. Annie Selak

August 25th, 2021


Annie Selak (she/her/hers) is a systematic theologian, specializing in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. She earned her Ph.D. from …

EP 210: Muslim Women and French Anti-Separatism w/Sahar Ahmed

August 19th, 2021


Sahar Ahmed is a PhD candidate in the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin. Her research examines and offers a reinterpretation of the right to …

EP 209: Muslim Philanthropy and Pillars Fund w/Kashif Shaikh

August 2nd, 2021


Kashif Shaikh is the Co-Founder and President of Pillars Fund. In 2010, Kashif and a small group of Muslim philanthropists founded Pillars to strategically organize wealth within their communities and support American …

EP 208: Medieval Queer Magic w/Kersti Francis

July 23rd, 2021


Kersti Francis is a writer, editor, and medievalist based in Tucson and Los Angeles. Francis’ works at the intersections between religion, magic, gender, and sexuality is so interesting. I loved this conversation, and I …

EP 207: A conversation w/ Dr. Felipe Hinojosa and Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh

July 2nd, 2021

Dr. Arlene Sánchez-Walsh: Guest host Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh, Ph.D., is a professor of religious studies and the author of the award-winning book Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical …

EP 206: How God Becomes Real w/Dr. Tanya Luhrman and Dr. Brian Carwana

June 23rd, 2021


Dr. Tanya Luhrmann is the author of "How God Becomes Real" and is the Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department. She is a …

EP 205: Texts After Terror w/Dr. Rhiannon Graybill

June 17th, 2021


Dr. Rhiannon Graybill is Associate Professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and a scholar of the Hebrew Bible whose work brings together …

EP204: Roman Catholic Womanpriests w/Dr. Jill Peterfeso

June 3rd, 2021


Download "Womanpriest" for free as an eBook from Fordham Press here:

Jill M. Peterfeso is Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at Guilford …

EP 203: Early Christian Magic w/Dr. Shaily Patel

April 22nd, 2021


Dr. Shaily Patel is Assistant Professor of Early Christianity at Virginia Tech. She is an expert on ancient magic, early Christian literature, and …

EP 202: Himalayan Histories w/Swati Chawla

April 14th, 2021


Swati Chawla is assistant professor at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University and a Ph.D. candidate in …

EP201: Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and Gorampa Sonam Senge w/Dr. Constance Kassor

April 7th, 2021


Dr. Constance Kassor is an assistant professor of religious studies at Lawrence University, where she teaches courses on Buddhist thought and Asian religious traditions. Her research focuses on Tibetan Buddhist …

EP200: Early Christian Deathscapes w/Sarah F. Porter

April 1st, 2021


Sarah F. Porter (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D candidate in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University with a concentration in New …

EP 199: Trafficking Hadassah and Book of Esther w/Dr. Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar

March 26th, 2021


Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar (she/her/hers) is an adjunct professor at Spelman College (Atlanta, GA) in the Religious Studies Department. She received …

EP 198: Protestant Sex Scandals w/Dr. Suzanna Krivulskaya

March 20th, 2021


Suzanna Krivulskaya (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor of History at California State University San Marcos, where she teaches courses in U.S. and …

EP 197: We Who Must Die Demand a Miracle and MCC San Francisco w/Dr. Lynne Gerber

March 14th, 2021


Dr. Lynne Gerber (she/her/hers) is an independent scholar. She is the author of Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual-Reorientation …

EP 196: Sacred Sites, Indigenous History, and Spanish Colonialism w/Abel Gomez

March 8th, 2021


Abel R. Gómez (he/him/his) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religion Department and earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Syracuse University. His research focuses on …

EP 195: Black religion, Music, and Friendship w/Ambre Dromgoole

March 2nd, 2021


Ambre Dromgoole (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate in the Departments of Religious Studies and African American Studies at Yale University. She …

EP 194: Your Life is Meditation w/Mark Van Buren

February 22nd, 2021


Mark Van Buren is a Mindful Living Trainer, yoga/meditation instructor, personal trainer, and musician, that has been promoting health and wellness …

EP 193: A Life in Buddhism w/Gary Gach

February 8th, 2021


Gary Gach is the author of Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. 

Follow Gary Gach's work online at:

Follow …

EP 192: Ripples in the Universe, QANON, and January 6 w/Dr. Susannah Crockford

January 29th, 2021


Dr. Susannah Crockford is Crockford, an anthropologist with interests in spirituality, politics, ecology, economics, and survivalism.

Follow Dr. …

EP 191: Affect Theory and Religion w/Dr. Donovan Schaefer and Dr. Brian Carwana

January 22nd, 2021


Dr. Donovan Schaefer is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Schaefer is the author of

EP 190: "Abusing Religion" w/Dr. Megan Goodwin

January 17th, 2021


Megan Goodwin, PhD, is Program Director for Sacred Writes,
a Luce-funded project promoting public scholarship on religion hosted by Northeastern …

EP 189: The Lives of Objects w/Dr. Maia Kotrosits

January 8th, 2021


Dr. Maia Kotrosits is assistant professor of religion at Denison University and is the author of the book “The Lives of Objects.” 

Follow Dr. Maia …

EP 188: Hope in a Secular Age w/Dr. David Newheiser

December 27th, 2020


Dr. David Newheiser is a research fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University. His first book, Hope …

EP 187: The Saint Makers w/Joe Drape

December 22nd, 2020


Joe Drape is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times. He is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen and 

EP 186: Awakening My Heart w/Andrea Miller

December 13th, 2020


Andrea Miller is an editor at Lion’s Roar magazine and is the author of "Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles and Interviews on the Buddhist Life," out now from Pottersfield Press. 

Buy the book:

EP 185: Stories from Baltimore 21217 w/Karim Amin

December 5th, 2020


Karim Amin is an Educator and Arts Activist from West Baltimore. Karim is currently a graduate degree candidate pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Baltimore. Karim was a charter member of …

EP 184: Mural Art and Latinx Islam w/Dr. Harold Morales

November 27th, 2020


Dr. Harold D. Morales is responsible for developing the center’s vision, recruiting committee members, organizing and overseeing committee work, and …

EP 183: Identifying Roots w/Dr. Richard Newton

November 16th, 2020


Richard W. Newton Jr. is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. His research examines the making of social difference …

EP 182: Dr. Steven M. Taylor and "The Clear Light: Spiritual Meditations and Reflections"

November 9th, 2020


Dr. Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, and the author of several best-selling books on psychology and …

EP 181: Carving the Divine and Busshi with Yujiro Seki

October 30th, 2020


Yujiro Seki is the documentary filmmaker of the film "Carving the Divine." Carving the Divine offers a rare and intimate look into the life and artistic process of modern-day Busshi – practitioners of a 1400 year …

EP 180: Firefighter Zen w/Hersch Wilson

October 20th, 2020


Hersch Wilson is a thirty-year veteran volunteer Firefighter-EMT with the Hondo Fire Department in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. He is also a …

EP 179: "Hidden Zen" w/Meido Moore

October 10th, 2020


Meido Moore Roshi was a disciple of the lay Zen master Tenzan Toyoda Rokoji, under whom he endured a severe training in both Zen and traditional martial arts. He also trained under Dogen Hosokawa Roshi, and later under …

EP 178: The Spirituality of Dag Hammarskjöld w/Dr. Roger Lipsey

September 30th, 2020


Dag Hammarskjöld served as secretary-general of the United Nations from 1953 until his tragic death in a suspicious plane crash in 1961. During those years he saw the fledgling international organization through …

EP 177: Dharma Relief and the Essence of Chan w/Guo Gu

September 22nd, 2020


Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu) is the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center ( and is also the guiding teacher for the Western Dharma Teachers Training course at the Chan Meditation Center in New York and …

EP 176: Pentecostals in America w/Dr. Arlene Sánchez Walsh

September 12th, 2020


Dr. Arlene Sánchez Walsh is a professor of religious studies and the author of the award-winning book Latino Pentecostal Identity, which was released …

EP 175 - Japanese Buddhist Art: KU Meets KU

September 2nd, 2020


Rachel Quist specializes in East Asian Buddhist imagery with focuses in pre-modern Japan and China. Her research centers on questions of interaction with imagery, materiality and object agency, and the accessibility …

EP 174: Religion and Film with Dr. S. Brent Plate

August 26th, 2020


S. Brent Rodriguez Plate is a writer, editor, public speaker, and college professor. He's interested in how sensuality affects spirituality. His …

EP 173: "Lifeblood of the Parish" w/Dr. Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada

August 17th, 2020


Dr. Maldonado-Estrada is Assistant Professor of Religion at Kalamazoo College where she teaches classes on religion and masculinity, Catholics in the …

EP 172: Teaching Classical Ideas w/Jonathan McFarland

August 10th, 2020


Jonathan McFarland teaches Classical Ideas and World Religions at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. 

EP 171: In Memory of George Frissell

August 3rd, 2020


In this special episode, friends, family, past students, and colleagues of George tell stories about why they loved him. George founded Classical …

Ep 170: What Mindfulness Is and Where It Comes From w/Dr. Sarah Shaw

July 27th, 2020


Dr. Sarah Shaw is a faculty member and lecturer at the University of Oxford. She has taught and published numerous works on the history and practices …

EP 169: "The Lover and The Jealous" w/Dr. Laury Silvers

July 20th, 2020


About Dr. Laury Silvers:

The Sufi Mysteries arise out of my desire to talk about the people and places I researched as a scholar of early Islam and …

Ep 168: Ayahuasca and Icaros w/Chris Hannah (Propagandhi)

July 13th, 2020


Chris Hannah is the vocalist and guitarist of the band Propagandhi. 

Propagandhi "Duplicate Keys Icaro":

EP 167: Tibetan Buddhism, Gender, and the Life of Mingyur Peldron w/Dr. Alison Melnick Dyer

July 3rd, 2020


Alison Melnick Dyer is Assistant Professor of Asian Religions at Bates College. She is an expert on gender and Tibetan Buddhism. She is currently …

EP 165: "Dying to Be Normal," LGBTQ History, and The Revealer w/Dr. Brett Krutzsch

June 23rd, 2020


Dr. Brett Krutzsch is an expert on LGBTQ politics and religion in the United States and a scholar at NYU's Center for Religion and Media, where he …

EP 164: American Islam and the 2020 Election w/Dr. Sajida Jalalzai

June 16th, 2020


Dr. Sajida Jalalzai is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is an expert in the study of North …

EP 163: Dr. Kayla Wheeler on Contemporary Black Islam and the Black Islam Syllabus

June 9th, 2020


Dr. Kayla Renée Wheeler is an assistant professor and an expert in contemporary Black Islam in the United States. Dr. Wheeler is writing a book on the history of Black Muslim fashion in the United States. The book is …

EP 162: Yoga, Cultural Appropriation, and Racism w/Dr. Shreena Gandhi

June 3rd, 2020


Dr. Shreena Gandhi is a multi-faceted cultural historian of religion with expertise in religion, race, the Americas and Hinduism. Trained at …

EP 161: Yoruba Christianity and Music w/Dr. Vicki Brennan

May 27th, 2020


Dr. Vicki Brennan is an anthropologist who studies religion, sound, music, and urban space in Africa and the African Diaspora. She is an Associate …

EP 160: Catholic Sex Abuse w/Dr. Brian Clites

May 21st, 2020


Dr. Brian Clites is a professor at Case Western Reserve University. He is an expert in clergy sexual abuse, and he has spent the last eight years …

Ep 159: Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt on African-American Catholic Identity, Sex Abuse, and Systemic Racism

May 15th, 2020


Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt is a higher education professional, researcher, and inclusion & diversity specialist based in Philadelphia, PA. She received …

EP 158: Vodun, Voodoo, and the Movies with Emily Crews

May 8th, 2020


Emily Crews is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her dissertation project traces the …

EP 157: Seasons of Moon and Flame w/Danielle Dulsky

May 1st, 2020


Danielle Dulsky is a heathen visionary, painter, and word-witch. The author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild., she teaches internationally and …

EP 156: Witchcraft in the Early Modern Period w/Dr. Julia Gossard

April 27th, 2020


Julia M. Gossard is Assistant Professor of History at Utah State University. She specializes in early modern European and Atlantic history with an …

EP 155: Mormon Fundamentalism w/Dr. Cristina Rosetti

April 18th, 2020


Dr. Cristina Rosetti completed her Ph.D., in religious studies at the University of California Riverside. She writes about Mormon fundamentalism.

EP 154: "The Hungry Ghost" with Dalena Storm

April 10th, 2020


Dalena Storm Is a writer and educator. Her undergraduate training at Williams College was in Asian Studies with a Religious Studies Concentration, …

Ep 153: Apocalypse Stories w/ Dr. Kelly J. Baker

April 2nd, 2020


Dr. Kelly J. Baker is the author of the award-winning Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930 (University Press of Kansas, 2011); The Zombies Are Coming!: The Realities of the …

Ep 152: The Clunky Oars (Oran Parker interviews Greg)

April 1st, 2020


In this special dual-published episode, Oran Parker of Find the Good News Podcast interviews Classical Ideas host, Greg Soden. 


Find the Good News on Twitter

Oran Parker on Twitter


Ep 151: Online Churches and Religion w/Dr. Tim Hutchings

March 25th, 2020


Dr Tim Hutchings is a sociologist of digital religion. His PhD (Durham University, 2010) was an ethnographic study of five online Christian churches. …

EP 150: Staying Grounded in Uncertain Times w/Deborah Eden Tull

March 17th, 2020


DEBORAH EDEN TULL is the founder of Mindful Living Revolution. She is a Zen meditation and mindfulness teacher, public speaker, author, activist, and …

EP 149: Jukai and Zen training with Robert Schaefer

March 14th, 2020


Robert Schaefer is a professional chef and lifelong Buddhist practitioner. He received the Jukai ceremony at the Korinji Rinzai Monastery in Wisconsin under the direction of Roshi Meido Moore. 

You can find his Zen …

EP 148: Roshi Grace Schireson on "Naked in the Zendo"

February 29th, 2020


Roshi Grace Schireson is a teacher in the Suzuki Roshi Lineage of Soto Zen, empowered by Sojun Mel Weitsman. She has also practiced in the Rinzai tradition and was encouraged to teach koans by Keido Fukushima Roshi. …

EP 147: Religious Literacy and Teacher Education w/Chris Murray

February 16th, 2020


Chris Murray is a social studies classroom teacher and religious literacy teacher education facilitator in Maryland. 

You can find him on Twitter

Read about Chris Murray in the …

EP 146: The Krampus Conundrum w/Madison Tarleton

February 1st, 2020


Madison Tarleton is a Ph.D. candidate and scholar of Medieval Judaism in Christian Europe, antijudaism & antisemitism. Madison is studying at …

EP 145: Tibetan Buddhist Vegetarianism w/ Dr. Geoffrey Barstow

January 22nd, 2020


Dr. Geoffrey Barstow is assistant professor of religious studies at Oregon State University. His research focuses on the history and theory of …

EP 144: Havamal with Dr. Jackson Crawford

January 11th, 2020


Dr. Jackson W. Crawford is Instructor of Nordic Studies and Coordinator of the Nordic Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Crawford is the …

EP 143: Teaching and Sikh Visibility with Dr. Simran Jeet Singh

December 27th, 2019


Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is columnist for Religion News Service, Senior Fellow at the Sikh Coalition, Chaplain at New York University & Columbia …

EP 142: "Beyond Chrismukkah" with Dr. Samira Mehta

December 16th, 2019


Dr. Samira Mehta a scholar of religion and the politics of the American Family and an assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies and Jewish …

EP 141: Pious Fashion and Muslim Women with Dr. Liz Bucar

December 6th, 2019


Dr. Liz Bucar is a professor in the department of philosophy and religion and Dean’s Leadership Fellow at Northeastern University in Boston. Dr. Bucar is the author of the award-winning Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women  …

Black Friday Birthday Bonus Podcast with Dr. Liz Bucar

November 29th, 2019


Dr. Liz Bucar is a religious ethicist who studies sexuality, gender, and moral transformation within Islamic and Christian traditions and communities. She is author of three books, including the award-winning Pious …

EP 140: American Jews: How 1789 Created 2019 w/Dr. Shari Rabin

November 24th, 2019


Dr. Shari Rabin is a scholar of modern Judaism and American religions. Her first book, Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in …

EP 139: Brad Warner on Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen

November 15th, 2019


Ordained as a Soto Zen priest, Brad Warner is also a punk bassist, filmmaker, and blogger. He is the founder of Angel City Zen Center in Los Angeles and the author of Hardcore ZenSit Down and Shut Up, and several …

Ep 138: Undergraduate Religious Studies & Study Abroad w/ Jordan Baggs

November 5th, 2019


Jordan Baggs is a senior at The Ohio State University. She double-majors in International Religions and Religious Studies and minors in French. She is a member of The Ohio State Marching Band. 


Cycling Through the End of History with Mike Dimkich of Bad Religion (BONUS EPISODE)

November 2nd, 2019


Mike Dimkich is a guitarist in the band Bad Religion, a cyclist, and a runner. 

Follow him on Instagram at:

Ep 137: America's Most Famous Catholic, Stephen Colbert (w/Dr. Stephanie Brehm)

October 13th, 2019


Dr. Stephanie Brehm, author of the brand new book, America’s Most Famous Catholic (According to Himself): Stephen Colbert and American Religion in …

EP 136: Conversion Therapy w/ Dr. Chris Babits

October 6th, 2019


Dr. Chris Babits is an Andrew W. Mellon Engaged Scholar Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his Ph.D. in …

Ep 135: Dr. Amy Artman on Charismatic Christianity and the Life of Kathryn Kuhlman (Featuring Dan Jones)

September 29th, 2019


Dr. Amy Artman teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Missouri State University. Her research interests are in Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity, focusing on women in American religions, such as …

Ep134: From Suffering to Peace with Mark Coleman

September 24th, 2019


Mark Coleman has taught meditation retreats and trainings worldwide for twenty years. He is the founder of the Mindfulness Institute and Awake in the …

Ep 133: Charismatic Religions and the Vineyard Movement w/ Dr. Maren Freudenberg

September 16th, 2019


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: 

Ep 132: The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul with Dr. Alex Gardner

September 8th, 2019


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 …

Ep 131: Tonglen Meditation w/Lama Palden Drolma

August 25th, 2019


Lama Palden Drolma is a western teacher trained by Tibetan Buddhist masters. She the founder of Sukhasiddhi Foundation. She is a licensed …

Ep 130: The First Amendment and "Our Non-Christian Nation" w/Jay Wexler

August 17th, 2019


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, …

Ep 129: Prescribing the Dharma w/Dr. Ira Helderman

August 10th, 2019


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

Buy "Prescribing the Dharma" (University of North …

Ep 128: The Character Gap w/Dr. Christian Miller

August 1st, 2019


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 …

Ep 127: Gesshin Claire Greenwood on "Just Enough," Oryoki, and Japanese Cooking

July 26th, 2019


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, …

Ep 126: The Epic of Gilgamesh w/Dr. Stanley Lombardo

July 22nd, 2019


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, …

Ep 125: The Myth of Disenchantment w/ Dr. Jason Storm

July 15th, 2019


Jason Josephson-Storm is Professor of Religion and Chair of Science and Technology Studies at Williams College in Massachusetts. He received his …

Ep 124: The Enchanted Politics of Marianne Williamson and Jonathan Cahn w/Sam Kestenbaum

July 11th, 2019


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, …

Ep 123: Dr. Judith Weisenfeld on Black Religion and Racial Identity

July 5th, 2019


Dr. Judith  Weisenfeld teaches in the Department of Religion at Princeton University where she is the Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of …

Ep 122: Dr. Brett Grainger on "Church In The Wild"

June 30th, 2019


Dr. Brett Malcolm Grainger is a scholar of American religion and an award-winning journalist. He is Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious …

Ep 121: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of the Religious Left w/ Dr. L. Benjamin Rolsky

June 26th, 2019


L. Benjamin Rolsky received his PhD from Drew University in American Religious Studies. His work has appeared in a variety of academic and popular …

EP 120: Dr. Anthony Kaldellis on Byzantium and "Romanland"

June 22nd, 2019


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

Ep 119: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness w/Ben Connelly

June 17th, 2019


Ben Connelly is a Minneapolis-based Soto Zen teacher in the Katagiri-lineage. He offers a wide variety of secular mindfulness trainings, including …

Ep 118: Taoism, Martial Arts, and Mad Monk Manifesto with Monk Yun Rou

June 12th, 2019


Monk Yun Rou was ordained in China as a Taoist monk in 2012. His writings and teachings propagate Taoist ideas and focus on environmental …

Ep 117: A Discussion on Plural Marriage w/Philippa J. Meek

June 6th, 2019


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 …

Ep 116: The Lives of Spiritually Fluid People w/ Dr. Duane Bidwell

May 30th, 2019


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 …

Ep 115: Mitch Horowitz on The New Age and Gnosticism

May 24th, 2019


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 …

Ep 114: WWII, Religious Freedom, and the Occupation of Japan w/Dr. Jolyon Thomas

May 19th, 2019


Dr. Jolyon Thomas is the author of "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan," out now from the University of Chicago Press. …

Ep 113: Religion, Food, and Eating with Dr. Nora Rubel and Dr. Ben Zeller

May 12th, 2019


Dr. Nora Rubel is the Jane and Alan Batkin Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair of the  Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester in New York. Dr. Ben Zeller is associate professor of religion …

Ep 112: Eric Ripert on Buddhism, Adventures, and Cooking Ethics

May 5th, 2019


Eric Ripert is chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin on 7th Avenue in Manhattan’s Theater District, author of the autobiography “32 Yolks: From My …

Ep 111: Early American Yoga w/Philip Deslippe

May 2nd, 2019


Philip Deslippe is a historian of American religion with a background in American Studies and literature. His research focuses on Asian, metaphysical, and marginal religions in modern America. Philip is a doctoral …

Ep 110: Exorcism w/Dr. Kate Kingsbury and Dr. Andrew Chesnut

April 25th, 2019


Dr. Kate Kingsbury obtained her doctorate in Anthropology from Oxford University. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta where she …

Ep 109: Dr. Ann Gleig and Buddhism Beyond Modernity

April 23rd, 2019


Dr. Ann Gleig is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Central Florida. She is co-editor of Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism and has published widely on contemporary …

Ep 108: Koans with Corey Ichigen Hess

April 17th, 2019


Corey Ichigen Hess is an ordained Zen monk and body therapist. He lived a monastic life for many years at Sogenji Zen Monastery in Okayama, Japan. He teaches meditation classes and works with individual clients doing …

Ep 107: Should you do a PhD? with Michael Van Hartingsveldt

April 14th, 2019


Michael Vanhartingsveldt (featured in episode 47 & 92) is a contributing columnist at Buddhistdoor Global. He works at the Los Angeles County …

Ep 105: Teaching College Religious Studies w/Dr. Chris Jones

April 5th, 2019


Dr. Chris Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Theology from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and a …

Ep 104: Myth of Divine Chosenness w/Dr. Michael Coogan

April 2nd, 2019


Dr. Michael Coogan is lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School and the director of publications for the Harvard Semitic …

Ep 103: Wanamaker's Temple w/Dr. Nicole Kirk

March 30th, 2019


Dr. Nicole Kirk is a historian of American religious history, associate professor, and the Frank and Alice Schulman Chair of Unitarian Universalist …

EP 102: Santa Muerte w/ Dr. Andrew Chesnut

March 24th, 2019


Dr. Andrew Chesnut earned his Ph.D degree in Latin American History from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1995 and joined the History …

Ep 101: The Saint John's Illuminated Bible w/ Jonathan Homrighausen

March 20th, 2019


Jonathan Homrighausen is an Episcopal writer and scholar on Scripture, art, and interreligious dialogue. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Hebrew …

Ep 100: The Epistle of James with Dr. Alicia Batten

March 14th, 2019


Alicia Batten received her BA in Humanistic Studies from McGill University, and completed an MA and PhD in Theology, with a focus on the New …

Ep 99: Rima Fujita on Nibiiro Art, the Dalai Lama, and Buddhism

March 10th, 2019


Rima Fujita was born in Tokyo and now resides in Southern California. She graduated from Parsons School of Design with her B.F.A. and has exhibited …

Ep 98: Inter-religious Diplomacy and Jain Plurality w/ Dr. Melanie Barbato

March 4th, 2019


Dr. Barbato researches the mechanisms and strategies of interreligious communication with a focus on high-level actors and cultural diplomacy, such …

Ep 97: Ásatrúarfélagið w/Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson

February 27th, 2019


Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson is the elected Allsherjargoði (high priest) of the Icelandic pagan group, Ásatrúarfélagið, or Ásatrú Association. He is also a musician and composer. 

You can find Ásatrú Association's translatable …

Ep 96: "Blogging My Religion" and Media w/ Dr. Giulia Evolvi

February 23rd, 2019


Dr. Giulia Evolvi is the author of "Blogging My Religion: Secular, Muslim, and Catholic Media Spaces in Europe," out now from Routledge. Evolvi is a …

Ep 95: Japanese Buddhist WWII Internment w/Duncan Ryūken Williams

February 16th, 2019


Buy American Sutra from Harvard Press here

Bio from:

Duncan Ryuken Williams was born in Tokyo, Japan to a Japanese mother and British father. After growing up in Japan and England …

Ep 94: "Gurdjieff Reconsidered" with Dr. Roger Lipsey

February 12th, 2019


Roger Lipsey is a biographer, art historian, translator, and, for many decades, a participant in the Gurdjieff teaching. Among his recent books is Hammarskjöld: A Life,which has been hailed as the definitive biography …

EP 93: Tao Te Ching with Sean Michael Wilson

February 6th, 2019


Sean Michael Wilson is an award-winning Scottish graphic novel/comic book writer. He has written more than 30 books, published by a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers and translated into 12 languages. His books …

Ep 92: Gyotaku w/Dwight Hwang and Michael Vanhartingsveldt

February 1st, 2019


Dwight Hwang is a California-based Gyotaku artist. His notable artistic achievements include a 2018 solo showcase by Los Angeles County Museum of Art …

Ep 91: The Lessons We Learn From Animals w/ Dr. Margaret Winslow

January 23rd, 2019


Dr. Margaret Winslow is Professor Emeritus of Earth and Atmospheric Science at City College of New York. She was a field geologist for three decades …

Ep 90: Teaching High School Religious Studies with George Coe (Teaching Series)

January 20th, 2019


George Coe is a religious studies, current events, and world history teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. He runs a popular blog with teaching …

Ep 89: Travels in Haiti with Allison Coffelt

January 13th, 2019


Allison Coffelt lives and writes in Columbia, Missouri. She works as the director of education and outreach for the annual documentary-based …

Ep 88: Hiking as Pilgrimage with Dr. Chris Ives

January 6th, 2019


Dr. Christopher Ives teaches in the area of Asian Religions at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. In his scholarship, he focuses on modern Zen …

Ep 87: Sam Kestenbaum and Religion Journalism

January 1st, 2019


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.

Sam Kestenbaum on Twitter:

To …

Ep 86: Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik on "Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam"

December 22nd, 2018


Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She talks, teaches, and writes about the intersections of race, gender, and …

Ep 85: Dr. Charles Haynes on the Religious Freedom Center and the First Amendment

December 18th, 2018


Charles C. Haynes is vice president of the Freedom Forum Institute / Religious Freedom Center and a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center.

Ep 84: A Conversation with Chris Grosso

December 11th, 2018


Chris Grosso is a youth mental health group facilitator with Newport Academy, public speaker, writer, and author of Indie Spiritualist (Beyond …

Ep 83: Andrea Miller on Children's Books, Pilgrimage, and Lion's Roar

December 5th, 2018


Andrea Miller is the deputy editor of Lion's Roar magazine (formerly the Shambhala Sun), a publication force within Buddhism that so many of you will already know,  and the author of two picture books: The Day the …

Ep 82: Religion for Breakfast with Andrew M. Henry

November 28th, 2018


Andrew M. Henry (M.A.) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion at Boston University and founder of the educational YouTube channel, Religion for Breakfast. Andrew has produced over 50 video lectures on a …

Ep 81: Impermanence, Embodiment, and Conscious Intention with Deborah Eden Tull

November 21st, 2018


DEBORAH EDEN TULL is the founder of Mindful Living Revolution. She is a Zen meditation and mindfulness teacher, public speaker, author, activist, …

Ep 80: A Rinzai Zen Life in Japan w/ Corey Ichigen Hess

November 18th, 2018


Corey Ichigen Hess is an ordained Zen monk and body therapist. He lived a monastic life for many years at Sogenji Zen Monastery in Okayama, Japan. He teaches meditation classes and works with individual clients doing …

Ep 79: Interfaith Activism, Sikhism, and Hinduism w/Tahil Sharma

November 14th, 2018


Tahil Sharma grew up in an interfaith family and practices Sikhism and Hinduism. He is a Program Manager for Faith Outreach at Brave New Films and an Interfaith Minister in Residence at the Episcopal Diocese of Los …

Ep 78: "Christian: The Politics of a Word in America" w/ Dr. Matthew Bowman

November 7th, 2018


Matthew Bowman received his PhD. in history from Georgetown University. He is associate professor of history at Henderson State University, where he teaches courses in American history since the Civil War, race, and …

Ep 77: Witchcraft and The Holy Wild w/Danielle Dulsky

October 31st, 2018


Danielle Dulsky is the author of “The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman,” out now from New World Library.

Visit her online:

Ep 76: Mary Magdalene w/Dr. Margaret Arnold

October 25th, 2018


Margaret Arnold is the Associate Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, Massachusetts. She received her PhD in Religious and Theological …

Ep 75: Mark Van Buren and "A Fool's Guide to Actual Happiness"

October 17th, 2018


Mark Van Buren is a Mindful Living Trainer, yoga/meditation instructor, personal trainer, and musician, that has been promoting health and wellness …

EP 74: An Introduction to Sikhism with Special Guests

October 12th, 2018


This episode introduces Sikhism, including an overview of the basic beliefs, practices, important people, and specific goals of the Sikh religion, practiced by around 25 million people worldwide, with its spiritual home …

EP 73: Ben Marcus on Religious Literacy in American Education

October 7th, 2018


Benjamin P. Marcus is the religious literacy specialist with the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, where he examines the intersection of education, religious literacy, and identity formation in the …

Ep 72: Deborah Eden Tull on Relational Mindfulness

September 28th, 2018


DEBORAH EDEN TULL, founder of Mindful Living Revolution, teaches the integration of compassionate awareness into every aspect of our lives. She is a …

Ep 71: Dr. Daniel Hummel on Evangelical Christian Nationalism in the Cold War

September 20th, 2018


The topic of this episode focuses on Dr. Daniel Hummel's piece, “The Limits of Evangelical Christian Nationalism during the Cold War,” which appears …

Ep 70: "The Devil's Music" w/ Dr. Randall J. Stephens

September 10th, 2018


Randall J. Stephens is an Associate Professor of British and American Studies at the University of Oslo. He previously taught at Northumbria …

Ep 69: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel on Sanctuary and San Francisco Zen Center

August 30th, 2018


Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author, Zen priest, teacher, divine seer, artist, and Drum medicine woman. Her work has been featured in Essence …

Ep 68: High School Religious Studies w/ John Camardella

August 16th, 2018


John Camardella teaches religion and social studies at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois. This conversation touches on the …

EP 67: Living With Pain w/ Sarah Anne Shockley

August 8th, 2018


A native of Connecticut, Sarah Anne Shockley is a multiple award winning producer and director of educational films, including Dancing From the …

Gospel of Mark (BONUS EPISODE)

August 5th, 2018


This bonus episode is a recording of me reading the Gospel of Mark in its entirety. This is meant to serve as a classroom or educational resource. 

You can find the text I read here: 

Ep 66: An Introduction to Shinto with Eric Lancaster

July 28th, 2018


Eric Lancaster is an instructor of Japanese at the University of Missouri and an instructor of religious studies at Columbia College. He is a member …

Ep 65: Sita's Ramayana with Samhita Arni

July 18th, 2018


Samhita Arni is the author of the NYT Bestselling graphic novel, Sita's Ramayana, (collaboration with Patua artist Moyna Chitrakar) available from …

Ep 64: Sanctuary Churches and the Role of Christianity with Rev. Sarah Klaassen

July 6th, 2018


Sarah Klaassen is the pastor of Rock Bridge Christian Church in Columbia, Missouri. In September 2017, her church congregation voted to become a …

Ep 63: Why Socrates Died and the Context of Ancient Athens w/ Robin Waterfield

June 25th, 2018


Robin Waterfield is the author of numerous books about ancient Athens including Xenophon's Retreat, Why Socrates Died, Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens, and more. He has also translated the works of Aristotle, Plato, …

Ep 62: "Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant?" w/ Dr. Preston Jones

June 15th, 2018


This episode is a discussion with Dr. Preston Jones about the book “Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant: A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism, and CHristianity.” Jones is the editor …

Ep 61: St. Francis of Assisi, Sultan Malik al-Kamil, and the Crusades with Paul Moses

June 5th, 2018


Paul Moses, former Newsday city editor and senior religion writer, is a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College and the City University of New …

Ep 60: A Conversation with Twin Temple

May 29th, 2018


TWIN TEMPLE dwells within a dark legacy of classic American music; from the funeral jazz & Voodoo of New Orleans, to the haunting sounds of Delta blues murder ballads, to the noir-1920’s big band sounds of smoky …

Ep 59: Middle Eastern Archaeology and the Historical Jesus with Dr. Carrie Duncan

May 22nd, 2018


Dr. Carrie Duncan is an Assistant Professor of ancient Mediterranean religions at the University of Missouri. She is a senior staff member on the …

Ep 58: Mary Democker on Climate Change, Spirituality, and Parenting

May 14th, 2018


Mary DeMocker is cofounder and creative director of’s Eugene, Oregon, chapter. She has written about conscious parenting and climate activism for the SunEcoWatch,, Spirituality & Health

Ep 57: Dr. Francis Stewart on the Religious Surrogacy of Straight Edge Punk

May 8th, 2018


Dr. Francis Stewart completed her doctoral thesis on punk rock as a surrogate for religion, with a particular emphasis on Straight Edge punk, in 2011 …

Ep 56: Dr. Michael R. Cohen and "Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era"

May 2nd, 2018


Michael R. Cohen is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University, where he holds a Sizeler Professorship. He is the author of the newly …

Ep 55: Dr. Pablo Mendoza on Taoist Practice

April 26th, 2018


Dr. Pablo Mendoza is Assistant to the President for Social Equity at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from the University of …

Ep 54: Michael Downing on Zen in America, Shunryu Suzuki, and S.F. Zen Center

April 20th, 2018


Michael Downing teaches creative writing at Tufts University. This conversation features a deep dive into Michael’s nonfiction book "Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center, …

Ep 53: Linda K. Wertheimer and Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance

April 13th, 2018


A veteran journalist, essayist, and award-winning education writer, Linda K. Wertheimer is the author of  Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age …

Ep 52: Raghunath on ashram life, the Bhagavad Gita, and teaching yoga

April 10th, 2018


Raghunath tours the world, leading yoga workshops, yoga teacher trainings, kirtans, & the practical applications of yogic philosophy. He annually …

Ep 51: Shulem Deen on leaving Hasidism and "All Who Go Do Not Return"

April 6th, 2018


Shulem Deen is a writer, journalist, and author of the award-winning memoir "All Who Go Do Not Return." He is a regular contributor to the Forward

Ep 50: The Death Penalty With Griffin Hardy (MADP)

April 1st, 2018


Griffin Hardy is the Communications Director for Ministry Against the Death Penalty (MADP), founded by Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking." 

Mission Statement: "The Ministry Against the Death Penalty …

Ep 49: Dr. Daniel Hummel on Israel, Palestine, and Christian Zionism

March 28th, 2018


Dr. Daniel Hummel is a Scholar, writer, researcher, and teacher of religion, politics, and foreign policy in the United States and the modern Middle …

Ep 48 Meido Moore Roshi on the Rinzai Way and Korinji Monastery

March 23rd, 2018


Meido Roshi is the abbot of Korinji monastery in Wisconsin. In 2008 Meido Roshi received inka shomei ("mind seal"), designating him an …

Ep 47: Japanese Buddhist art with Michael Vanhartingsveldt

March 16th, 2018


Michael Vanhartingsveldt is a contributing columnist at Buddhistdoor Global. He works full-time at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art. He did his …

Ep 46: Hugo Bernard on "Naked Monk," Diligence, and Buddhist Practice

March 13th, 2018


Hugo Bernard is the author of "Naked Monk." His first work of Buddhist fiction was a short story written in high school. He is working on several …

Ep 45: Dr. Rabia Gregory on Medieval Christianity and Monastic Worlds

March 11th, 2018


Professor Rabia Gregory’s primary research interest is the history of Christianity in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. She approaches the study of …

Ep 44: Sonny Zaide of The Purple Cloud Center for Eastern Medicine

March 7th, 2018


Sonny Zaide is a 23rd Generation Quanzhen Longmen (Qingcheng Shan) Taoist / Daoist Initiate and the owner of the Purple Cloud Center for Eastern Medicine. He is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Certified Practitioner and …

Ep 43: Dr. Peter Adamson and the History of Philosophy...Without Any Gaps!

March 1st, 2018


Professor Peter Adamson holds a joint appointment with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and King's College London. His primary areas of …

Ep 42: Janica Anderson on the Zen Odyssey of Ruth and Sokei-an Sasaki

February 24th, 2018


Janica Towne Anderson (author of "Zen Odyssey)" is a master falconer and has been a student and teacher of esoteric traditions for fifty years. She …

Ep 41: Miguel Chen on "I Wanna Be Well," punk, meditation, and yoga

February 20th, 2018

Miguel Chen is the bass player for long-running Fat Wreck Chords punk rock band Teenage Bottlerocket. He is the author of I Wanna Be Well, out 2/20/2018 on Wisdom Publications. He is a meditation practitioner, an …

Ep 40: Shozan Jack Haubner on the Writing and Monk Life

February 17th, 2018


Shozan Jack Haubner is the pen name of a Zen monk whose essays have appeared in The Sun, Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and the New York Times, as well as in the Best Buddhist Writing series. His book Zen Confidential: …

Ep 39: Honest conversations about American Evangelicalism w/ Kevin Singer

February 15th, 2018


Kevin Singer is co-host of the Neighborly Faith Podcast. After graduating from college at N. Illinois University, he planted (a term indicating the …

Ep 38: Fr. Robert Kennedy, Roshi, on the meeting place of the Jesuits and Zen

February 10th, 2018


Robert Kennedy, S.J. is one of several practicing Catholic men and women who are recognized by the Buddhist community as zen teachers.  He is a …

Ep 37: Yujiro Seki on Bushi sculpting, Filmmaking, and "Carving the Divine"

February 6th, 2018


Born and raised in Japan, Yujiro Seki discovered his passion for film-making when he was in high school. Yujiro earned a BA Degree in Film from the …

Ep 36: Guo Gu on Chan Buddhism and NYHC

February 2nd, 2018


Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu) is the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center ( and is also the guiding teacher for the Western Dharma Teachers Training course at the Chan Meditation Center in New York and …

Ep 35: Linda Kohanov on Master Herders and Pastoral Social Roles

January 28th, 2018


The author of The Five Roles of the Master Herder and the bestseller The Tao of Equus, Linda Kohanov speaks and teaches internationally. She …

Ep 34: Queer and Feminist Religious Studies with Dr. Melissa Wilcox

January 23rd, 2018


Melissa M. Wilcox received her doctorate in Religious Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2000. Her transdisciplinary research program focuses on …

Ep 33: The Life of Alan Watts (Part Two with Anne Watts)

January 18th, 2018


Anne Watts is one of the co-editors of the new book, “The Collected Letters of Alan Watts,” released in January 2018 from New World Library. Anne …

Ep 32: The Life of Alan Watts (Part One With Joan Watts)

January 12th, 2018


Alan Watts was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Joan Watts, Alan's eldest daughter, is the co-editor (along with …

Ep 31: Korean (Soen) Zen Buddhism with Anita Feng (Jeong Ji)

January 7th, 2018


Anita Feng (Zen Master Jeong Ji) serves as the guiding teacher at Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, Washington.  She has practiced Zen in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn since 1976. In the late ’70s she lived …

Ep 30: Sufism, Mysticism, and Esoteric Practices with Patricia Riely

January 4th, 2018


Patricia Riely is a student in the Ruhaniat, a universal Sufi order founded by Samuel Lewis, whose teacher, Inayat Khan, lived from 1882-1927. Riely also is an important organizer for the Ozark Sufi Camp, a large, …

Ep 29: Ian Johnson on resurgence of Taoism and Christianity in China

December 29th, 2017


A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Ian Johnson is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the New York Times; his work has also …

Ep 28: Dr. Max Perry Mueller on Mormonism, Race, and Politics

December 22nd, 2017


Max Perry Mueller received his PhD from Harvard University. He  is a historian of American religion and an assistant professor of religious studies …

Ep 27: Dinty W. Moore on Accidental Buddhism and the Writer's Life

December 16th, 2017


Dinty W. Moore is author of The Accidental Buddhist and The Mindful Writer. He is a professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, the editor of …

Ep 26: Leaving Apocalyptic Splinter Groups

December 12th, 2017


Brandon used to be a member of a church called the “Church of God Preparing for The kingdom of God." The group holds an apocalyptic view of end times …

Ep 25: Podcasting, Publishing, and New World Library with Kim "Skipper" Corbin

December 7th, 2017


Kim 'Skipper' Corbin is the host of the New World Now podcast at New World Library, where she serves as a senior publicist/social media manager. She …

Ep 24: Gregg Deal on Indigenous America, Art, Activism, & Stereotypes

December 4th, 2017


Gregg Deal is an artist, a husband, a father and a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. 

Ep 23: Confucius and Confucian Values with Dr. Li Dan

November 30th, 2017


Dr. Li Dan is professor of Chinese Literature in the College of Humanities and Communications at Shanghai Normal University, China. She was appointed …

Ep 22: Brad Warner on Soto Zen, Writing, and Dogen

November 25th, 2017


Brad Warner is most recently the author of It Came from Beyond Zen! and numerous other titles including Don’t Be a Jerk, Sit Down & Shut Up, Zen …

Ep 21: Unitarian Universalism with Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

November 18th, 2017


Rev. Molly Housh Gordon started her tenure as the third settled minister of the Columbia, Missouri Unitarian Universalist congregation 2012. …

Ep 19: Indigenous American Religion with Dr. Dennis Kelley

November 5th, 2017


Dennis Kelley is an associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He received his Master’s and Doctorate from the …

Ep 18: United Church of Christ, Liberation, Theology, and Ferguson with Rev. Josh Privitt

October 31st, 2017


Rev. Josh Privitt was called as Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s UCC in Ferguson, Missouri in August of 2014 after graduating from Eden Theological …

Ep 17: Baha'u'llah 200th birthday with Dr. Sahba Jalali & Kurt Saxton

October 26th, 2017


Baha'u'llah is the founder of the Baha'i Faith. 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of his birth. This discussion with Dr. Sahba Jalali and Kurt Saxton offers insight into the auspicious nature of 2017 for the world's …

Ep 16: Rinzai Zen Buddhism with Seido Ray Ronci

October 20th, 2017


Seido Ray Ronci is a Rinzai Zen monk and the director of the Hokoku-An Zendo meditation center in Columbia, Missouri. He is the author of the poetry …

Ep 15: Brahma Kumaris with Dr. Sheetal Dharmadhikari

October 14th, 2017


Dr. Sheetal Dharmadhikari is a member of the Brahma Kumaris. The Brahma Kumaris are a spiritual movement associated with the United Nations and are present in UNICEF. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma Kumaris has spread …

Ep 14: Hinduism with Dr. Gopal and Anantha Gopalaratnam

October 7th, 2017


Dr. Gopal and Anantha Gopalaratnam are founding members of the Shanthi Mandir Hindu Temple and Community Center of Mid-Missouri. 

EP 13: Discussing Quakers with Jessie Starbuck

October 1st, 2017


Jessie Starbuck, a Columbia, Missouri native, grew up attending the Columbia Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  She went on to study art at the …

Ep 12: Islam, Palestinians, Al-Aqsa, and Peace Fellowship

September 22nd, 2017


This is a discussion about Islam, Palestinians, Al-Aqsa, and Peace Fellowship. 

EP 11: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints & Mormonism with Ryan Jenkins

September 18th, 2017


Ryan is the author of “The Assassination of Joseph Smith: Innocent Blood on the Banner of Liberty,” published in 2015. After obtaining his Master of Education from Weber State University in 2004, Ryan began writing …

EP 10: Travel, Teaching, Exploration, and Spirituality with Dr. Gabrielle Malfatti

September 14th, 2017


Dr. Gabrielle Malfatti serves as Director of Global Engagement and Associate Teaching Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of …

Ep 9: Jainism and Ahimsa with Nishant Jain

September 8th, 2017


Jainism is an ancient Indian religion emphasizing non-violence. This conversation is an introduction and a deep dive all at once with Nishant Jain. 

EP 8: Discussing Judaism, Conversion, and Israel with Mary Hartigan

September 3rd, 2017


Mary Hartigan is a conservative Jewish woman and has been an ardent Zionist since age 15. She converted to Judaism in the 1980's and is an active presence in her local congregation. 

Ep 7: Brahma and Sarasvati (Hindu Creation)

September 1st, 2017


This episode features the Hinduism creation story. The story features Brahma, the creator god, and Sarasvati, the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music, and art. 

Ep 6: The Euthyphro Dilemma w/ Mackenzie Everett-Kennedy

August 26th, 2017



Episode 6 is a full cast performance of Plato's classic text, Euthyphro. The questions …

Ep 5: Talking about Baha'i with Kurt Saxton

August 20th, 2017


Kurt Saxton has been a member of the Columbia Missouri community for about 15 years. Kurt has been a Baha'i for over 10 years, and has served on the …

Ep 4: African Indigenous religions with Dr. David Amponsah

August 17th, 2017


David Amponsah is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a PhD from Harvard …

Ep 3: Teaching religious studies w/ Eric Lancaster

August 13th, 2017


Eric Lancaster is an instructor of Japanese at the University of Missouri and an instructor of religious studies at Columbia College. He is a member …

Ep 2: Teaching religion in public school w/ George Frissell

August 10th, 2017


George Frissell retired in 2017 and taught high school English and religious studies in Texas and Missouri. In 1990, he founded Classical Ideas and …

Ep 1: An Introduction to the Classical Ideas Podcast

August 8th, 2017


This episode outlines the premise for the Classical Ideas Podcast. 

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