June 6, 2014 – How Jesus Became God

This program features a conversation with one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world, Bart D. Erhman, about his most recent book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is the author of more than twenty books, many of which are listed below. He has Continue reading

May 9, 2014 – Jesus of Nazareth

My guest on this program is Reza Aslan, the author of the bestselling books No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and most recently Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California and a research associate at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in the history of religion from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

January 31, 2014 – A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of the bestseller Doubt: A History, a history of religious and philosophical doubt all over the world, throughout history. Her new book is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won Phi Beta Kappa’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “For scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”  Her The Happiness Myth brings a historical eye to modern wisdom about how to lead a good life.

November 8, 2013 – Buddhism with Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman is a Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including The Central Philosophy of Continue reading

September 13, 2013 – The Problem with God

This program features an interview with Peter Steinberger, author of The Problem with God: Why Atheists, True Believers, and Even Agnostics Must All Be Wrong. The book confronts the question of whether or not the idea of God is coherent, and in coming to grips with our deep-seated beliefs shows that asserting, denying, or even just wondering about God’s existence prevents us from seeing the truth–which, it turns out, is far more interesting and encouraging than anyone would have thought. Peter Steinberger is the Continue reading

August 30, 2013 – “The Devil Within” with Brian Levack

On this show we talk with Brian Levack, the John E. Green Regents Professor in History at the University of Texas, Austin. His recent book is The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West. From Amazon: “In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the era of the Reformation, thousands of Europeans were thought to be possessed by demons. In response to their horrifying symptoms—violent convulsions Continue reading

October 26, 2012 – Michael Nagler on Living Nonviolently

My guest on this program is Michael Nagler, Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley, where he co-founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award; Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence (2005); The Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran, 1987); and other books as well as many articles on peace and spirituality. He is the founder and President of the Continue reading

September 14, 2012 – Science and Creationism

On this program, we will discuss the scientific critique of creationism with Andrew J. Petto, Ph.D. Co-editor of Scientists Confront Creationism: Intelligent Design and Beyond, and editor of the newsletter for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), Professor Petto’s interests over the last twenty years have evolved to the question of scientific literacy and science education. The main goal is to promote the understanding of the nature and process of scientific inquiry as a context for all the factual information that scientific research generates. His research in science education has focused on Continue reading

August 3, 2012 – Religion: Islamophobia & Muslims in America

My guest on this edition of Consider This is John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He specializes in Islam, political Islam from North Africa to Southeast Asia, and Religion and International Affairs. He is Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Series Editor: Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Editor-in-Chief Continue reading

June 22, 2012 – History of God, Satan & Early Christianity

My guest on the next edition of “Consider This” is Eric Thompson, Ph.D. He is a professor of religious studies at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he teaches such courses as the History of God, History of Satan, Introduction to Religious Studies, Early Christian Literature, The Hebrew Bible, & Comparative Mythology. He can read many ancient, “dead” languages (no longer spoken by any communities), such as Ancient Greek, Ancient Hebrew, & Aramaic. This means he can read all the Jewish and Christian Scriptures in their original languages, and he is also competent in several other dead languages, as well as German & French, and he is working on Arabic. Recommended reading list below. Continue reading