Thinking Religion is a podcast hosted by Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson tackling various topics that deal with the intersection of religion and society, often times with a bent towards critical analysis. The show includes three segments on current news stories, ancient religion, and a featured thought piece.
Thinking Religion 87: Trading Places: Most Christians are Republicans and a few liberal ones are Democrats (or something like that). That’s been the conventional thinking for the past few decades, especially with the rise of the Moral Majority and Evangelical movement going back to the late 60’s and early 70’s. However, the election of 2016 is pointing to a possible shift in perception of this old adage. Are we seeing a role reversal where the Democratic Party becomes the party of patriotism, American Exceptionalism, and faith while the Republican Party becomes the party of angst, cynicism, and Russian influence? We discuss the last two weeks of both parties’ conventions and why that role reversal might just be the case.
Thinking Religion 86: Permission Slip: Thomas and Sam discuss how to use social media effectively, why you shouldn’t invoke God when comparing others to Lucifer, and ways to save money on all of your internet subscription services.
Thinking Religion 85: Growing Up Evangelical in the 90’s: Thomas and Sam are joined by Merianna Neely Harrelson to talk about True Love Waits, Kissing Dating Goodbye, Promise Rings, and all the interesting parts of Evangelical Christian culture of the ’90’s (and how much of that is being reexamined)… and why Sam still calls himself an Evangelical.
Thinking Religion 84: Generational Eschatological Expectations: Thomas and Sam discuss their iPhone homescreens, favorite apps, the complexity of generational eschatological expectations, and Christian dating apps.
Thinking Religion 83: The Privilege of Knowing How To Read: Dr. Thomas J. Whitley and The Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss Sam’s use of iPad Pro as his main computer, Evernote, and the privilege of knowing how to read.
Thinking Religion 82: Consolation of Communication: Dr. Thomas J. Whitley, Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss Big Macs, livestreaming, bastardized religion, and tiny apocalypses.
Thinking Religion 81: You Only Want a New Cultural War When You’re Losing the Last One: Dr. Thomas J. Whitley, Rev. Sam Harrelson, and Chad Gardner discuss cultural gnosticism.
Thinking Religion 80: An Eclectic Text: Dr. Thomas J. Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss the gender politics of Sam’s new personal assistant, language as a power mechanism, a listener question about Paul’s Gospel, and what in the world The Donald is thinking.
Thinking Religion 79: The Weird Thing That Happens When You Realize People Know You: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss conference outfits and gear, “Uber Boomers,” Thomas’ new leather good, and the need for female leadership in a male dominated society.
Thinking Religion 78: Homoeroticism, Paul, and James: This week, Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss the cloud, smaller phones, homoeroticism in the Bible, the Jerusalem Church and Paul, and why social media is not making us pick or choose our beliefs.
Thinking Religion 77: Figuring It Out: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss figuring out email workflows, whether woman should be ordained as deacons in the Roman Catholic Church, and the United Methodist Church’s current debate over LBTQi and wider cultures.
Thinking Religion 76: Can’t Stop the Feeling!: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson are back this week (fresh from Dr. Whitley’s graduation) to talk about Evernote, iPads, Apple’s lineup, their favorite bags and pens, Justin Timberlake’s new song of the summer, #JesusSoWhite, taco bowls, and chest hair.
Thinking Religion 75: Supersessionism as a Tortured Metaphor: The Rains Down in Africa, cultural adoption, gender identities, and the supersessionism of “The American Dream.”
Thinking Religion 74: Trump 3:16: Soup, signal cues, sex demons, and how a Trump Standard Version of the Bible (TSV) would translate passages. There’s also a BeardCast segment at the end for Friends Of The Show.
Thinking Religion 73: Unknown Futures: The future of medium sized churches, marketing to millennials, and the role of self-selecting in our identity formations
Thinking Religion 72: The Hustle: Marketing yourself and finding jobs in bleak and uncertain times.
Thinking Religion 71: Something About Easter?: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss the how apocalyptic religious movements become religions, insider and outsider language, the uniqueness of christianities, their ongoing personal revelations about privilege, and the intertextuality of Trump.
Thinking Religion 70: And You Never Ask Questions When God’s On Your Side: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss the religion of college football, Rip and Dip vs Common Cup vs Shot Glasses, Rubio’s odd theological farewell speech, the power of professing God’s Will, and why the Republican Party enabled Trump.
Thinking Religion 69: Act Like You’ve Been There Before: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss m
Thinking Religion 68: There Is No Such Thing as Christianity: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss
Thinking Religion 67: A Little Gnod to the Gnostics: Dr. Thomas Whitley and Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss Dan’s
Thinking Religion 65: Gotta Have Faith: This week, Thomas and Sam discuss the live streaming of life and debates, the Trump Red Zone™, Presidential endorsements by leading religious figures, the myth of evangelicalism, and performativity in public religion.
Thinking Religion 64: Two Corinthians Walk Into a Bar: This week, Thomas and Sam discuss their favorite bags to carry their everyday items, what’s wrong with college admissions, Two Corinthians, Climate Change, Dura Europos, and the intentions of heavily armed angry white men.
Thinking Religion 63: Defining Yourself by the Controversies Around You: New Year’s Resolutions (and how they are holding up), tonight’s Republican Debate in North Charleston, and how early christianities developed orthodox beliefs and creeds from the contentious arguments over the nature of their faith.
Thinking Religion 62: No one gets crucified for being too nice: The demise of Evernote but their renewed use, why app stores are the new platform, love of This Is Ground products, and how Christians should and could deal with violence.
Thinking Religion 61: “We took the toys out of the box, and now we get to play with them a little bit.”: The past year of Thinking Religion, add some new commentary, and what’s next in 2016 for the podcast.
Thinking Religion 60: The When, Where, and Why of the Nativity: Examining the When / Where / Why of the Nativity and discussion of historical accuracies of the stories as we’ve interpreted them in our present culture.
Thinking Religion 59: Trump and Symptoms of a Deeper Problem: Domestic terrorists and the Carolinas, the myths of American Progressivism, creation stories, Trump’s views of citizenship, hate licenses, and the soft cultural underbelly of fear.
Thinking Religion 58: Personal Branding and the Academy: The issues involved with marketing and p
Thinking Religion 57: We Can’t Stop and We Won’t Stop: The role of N.C. State as an upsetter along with the role of religion in presidential politics with talk about private and public hermeneutics of the 2016 candidates (and the weather in Tallahassee).
The Bible Doesn’t Speak for Itself: Research and sermon prep with Evernote, every day carry, church history puns, translations and interpretations, fundamentalism, personal hermeneutics, and Synodal spin.
Just Performatives and Adjectives: Thomas Whitley and (Rev.) Sam Harrelson discuss Star Wars, Papal politics, purity culture, halal tourism, and whether Joe Biden is Frank Underwood or a devout person of faith this week.
Benjamin bin Samuel: This week, Thomas and Sam discuss baby names, Sam’s upcoming ordination, the South Carolina floods, the problem with rating systems, Paul as the ultimate poser, why Ben Carson should just stop trying to make points, and Thomas’ favorite leather goods.
Bieber’s Tacos for Jesus: Thomas and Sam discuss Papal politics, academic uses of apps such as Evernote, drawing a smiley face on Codex Sinaiticus, Bieber’s affection for Jesus, religious themes hidden in pop music, and whatever happened to U2.
How We Get The Religion: This week, Thomas and Sam discuss iOS 9 and academics, why students don’t bring laptops to class anymore, Slack and universities, how scholarship impacts the pews, canonization, the BJC and the ERLC, and shifting perceptions of the Pope and Islam.
GOP Debate BINGO Part 2!: Thomas and Sam bring back the Thinking Religion GOP Debate Bingo game and go over their choices for the second debate. Plus, questions about Jacob’s Trouble, Thecla’s seals, and the troubles with tribulations.
Episode 50 Celebration (or Maybe You’re Like Me and You’re Super Liberal): Celebrating episode 50 of the best religion podcast in the universe and answering questions about resurrection, sex, and misogynistic churches.
Jesus on the Kinsey Scale: Questions and answers about the Prayer of Jabez, sex and the Bible, and discussions of pansexuality, the Pope’s new chair, and why Islam isn’t limited to the originating text.
Gun Violence and Cultural Fragmentation: This is an emotional and raw episode that “shows our humanity” as Thomas says at the end. Thomas and Sam start the show as usual but then turn to deal with the tragic shooting of a young television reporter and camera person in Virginia this morning. This isn’t a typical Thinking Religion, but Thomas and Sam address a number of important issues involving religion, social media, race, cultural de-sensitivity and our possible ways forward as we learn to deal with our own creations and angels (or demons) and how this plays into our own churches, universities, and politics.
Biblical Trigger Warnings and Eve’s Origins: Thomas Whitley and Sam Harrelson discuss syllabi (or syllabuses as Thomas advocates), the most educated cities in the US, trigger warnings and political correctness, consecrated virgins, and whether Eve came from Adam’s rib or his … baculum.
A Christian Chicken Company and The Evangelical Trump Card: Thomas and Sam give their study of religion book suggestions for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club on Facebook, discuss how Evangelicals can support Donald Trump, and whether or not churches will keep their tax free status in the future.
Religion and the GOP Debates – What to Expect: Thomas and Sam discuss religious themed keywords to lookout for at the first Republican Presidential Debate of the 2016 election on FOX News in August 2015.
The Death (and Salvation?) of Religious Studies: A Conversation with Carrie Schroeder: Thomas and Sam are joined by Prof. Carrie Shroeder to discuss the present and future of the Humanities (and Digital Humanities) and what implications such studies have for our cultures and societies.
Christian Colleges and Homosexuality: Thomas Whitley and Sam Harrelson tackle the complicated issue of how Christian colleges, universities, and even churches are responding to both the Supreme Court marriage equality decision and the growing acceptance of sexual orientation equality in American culture this week.
Should You Major in Religion?: Thomas Whitley and Sam Harrelson both have majors in religion from their respective colleges. However, their lives took different paths. This week, they examine whether or not a person should still major in Religion or Religious Studies during their undergraduate years. If so, what does the future hold for them?
Are Religion Departments Doomed?: Discussions of of religion and politics, the evangelical vote, biblical definition(s) of marriage, symbols, Abraham, and being a religious / religion scholar.
Mystical Aphorisms of a Fortune Cookie (or The Next Marriage Equality Battles): Discussions of being a true Christian American, what the 10 Commandments mean to our country, rainbows, and the incredible Supreme Court rulings this week.
Charleston, Confederate, Climate: Discussions of pastors ratings, cooperative baptists, church marketing to men, papal encyclicals, new perspectives on Paul, how ancients used dates, and what’s next after the tragedy in Charleston last week.
(Pro)Creation Theology: Discussions of procreation politics and theologies, agendas and searches for antiquities, and whether or not the earth is ours to dominate.
One App To Rule Them All: Discussions of playing politics with religion, church apps, Twitter Communions, Caitlyn Jenners, the Apocalyptic Paul and the post-Enlightenment triumphalism.
Suspicions of Hermeneutics: Discussions of encyclicals, Perry’s campaign, victim mentality, church satellite campuses, Revelation and Paul, and reading the Bible.
Smuggling Religion: Discussions of the Watchmen, Rambo Jesus, Westboro Church, Southern Baptists and Obama, Palmyra, Indiana Jones, and the next reformation.