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Weird Religion

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Location:

United States

Language:

English

Contact:

6179098336


Episodes

THE BACHELOR (TV romance, Bach Nation fan fav Tenley Molzahn, and Christian dating games)

1/21/2019
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This week our topic is the hit ABC TV “reality” show The Bachelor. Leah attempts to convert Brian to the philosophical and cultural merits of the show, and we unpack Bachelor memes and cliches. Our guest is none other than Bachelor Nation fan-favorite Tenley Molzahn, who was a runner-up contestant on the Bachelor, Bachelor Pad, and Bachelor in Paradise, not to mention appearances on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The Ellen DeGeneres show (and also not to mention her work as a blogger and...

Duration:01:12:30

THE FOOD (Ugly Delicious, Food, Identity, and Community with Roger Nam)

1/14/2019
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This week we’re all about food, the thing we need to live and be happy. We engage with the Netflix series Ugly Delicious, and talk about how food is a site for cultural exchange and religious ritual (and shame, and conflict). We interview Roger Nam, Dean of Portland Seminary, about food in the Hebrew Bible, his culinary adventures, and his experience growing up eating Korean food in an immigrant family. Brian spuriously claims to have invented things; Leah breaks her foot running after a bag...

Duration:01:03:10

THE TEACHER (Dangerous Minds, Teaching Fails, artist Tim Timmerman, Gurus)

1/7/2019
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We’re talking about teaching—the movies, the cliches, the fails, Dangerous Minds and Dead Poets Society. Leah and Brian share their classroom fails (and joys), specific and general, and discuss the role of education in religious settings. In the studio, we welcome a university “Teacher of the Year,” art professor Tim Timmerman, to talk about creativity, learning to handle criticism, technology, and lapsing into an Irish accent during lectures. The Kitsch Corner features a look at...

Duration:01:08:22

THE HALLMARK (Hallmark Christmas romance, marriage, dating a ghost, and kissing dating goodbye)

12/17/2018
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We’ve chosen two of the wildly popular Hallmark Channel Christmas romance movies and watched them with a keen eye for messages about the holidays and love. Spoiler alert: ladies, quit your jobs—and start dating a ghost. Leah and Brian divulge shocking details about meeting and courting their spouses. We then invite two extremely special surprise guests (!!) into the studio to talk about dual career marriages, Christmas, and romantic comedies. In the Kitsch Corner, we take a look back at the...

Duration:01:01:59

THE WAR (Ken Burns' Vietnam Documentary; professor James Byrd; rapture paintball)

12/10/2018
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This week we attempt to watch Ken Burns’ epic ten-part Vietnam documentary, and allow ourselves to get extremely depressed at the futility of war while asking: Is there some sense in which we need war? Are Americans, in particular, fond of the notion of “holy war”? Can there ever be a purely “secular war”? Is America headed for another Civil War? We interview Dr. James Byrd, professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt Divinity School, on the religious imagery of battle and...

Duration:01:00:14

THE CONSPIRACY (Trump Prophecies, QAnon, Revelation, psychology of conspiracy theories)

12/3/2018
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We’re talking about conspiracies: is the world only what it seems to be on the surface, or is there some theory about what is really happening beneath it all, behind the scenes? Are Americans particularly into conspiracy theories, or do we just think we’re the best at everything? We talk about the documentary “The Trump Prophecy,” as well as ancient conspiracies, the book of Revelation, QAnon, Plato, aliens, and whether toucans, as a species, are a hoax. Is there something at the heart of...

Duration:00:57:32

THE HOUSE (Home Mythologies and Rituals: HGTV, House Hunters, Property Brothers, Fixer Upper)

11/26/2018
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We're back with the first of the Season Two episodes! Why are all of those HGTV shows so alluring? What do they communicate about the mythology of home buying, the ritual of TV watching, and our deepest desires about fertility and space? Can attractive people be funny? Is anything really real? We're talking about all of this, somehow. And interviewing a home-buyer featured on a real House Hunters episode. And introducing a new segment we're calling "The Kitsch Corner."

Duration:00:56:24

WEIRD RELIGION SEASON TWO TRAILER

11/20/2018
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The next set of Weird Religions episodes is coming soon! Starting next week, on Tuesdays, we’ll be releasing an episode per week through Christmas. Merry Christmas already!

Duration:00:02:32

BONUS MATERIAL: RAPTURE PAINTBALL

11/13/2018
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Behold: 8 minutes of material that didn't quite rise to the level of a coherent episode! We talk about a very weird religious artifact: a flyer advertising a themed paintball contest, based on the idea of the rapture...

Duration:00:08:11

BONUS MATERIAL: CHRISTIAN BUMPER STICKERS

11/13/2018
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Behold: 44 minutes of Leah and Brian trying to make each other cringe and laugh while assessing very weird religious artifacts: Christian bumper stickers...

Duration:00:44:40

EXTRA: ROSE CITY COMIC CON

11/6/2018
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A special extra shot of Weird Religion as an add-on to Season One: Brian & Leah take on the Rose City Comic Con, reflecting on the victory of geek culture, interviewing artists like Midnight Furies author Jessica Herron, Junior Braves of the Apocalypse authors Greg Smith and Michael Tanner, and more. We also seek out the dark underbelly of the comic-con circuit—WILL WE FIND IT?!

Duration:00:32:40

BONUS MATERIAL: BRIDE OF CHRIST

11/6/2018
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Behold: 43 minutes of meandering material that didn't quite rise to the level of a coherent episode! Classic Brian and Leah! LARPing! Why Leah doesn't LARP! Hidden Satanic symbols in Christian music and your everyday life! "It's a relationship not a religion!"

Duration:00:43:16

BONUS MATERIAL: IHOB

10/30/2018
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Behold: 37 minutes of meandering material that didn't quite rise to the level of a coherent episode! Classic Brian and Leah! The joke of avocado toast! Brian and Leah disagree! Mormons and Bob Jones University and change and revelation! Ridiculing the state of Wisconsin and the IHOP>IHOB name change and Gwyneth Paltrow!

Duration:00:37:35

THE REVELATION (Come Sunday)

10/23/2018
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This episode considers the life and spiritual vision of the Rev. Carlton Pearson, subject of a popular This American Life episode as well as the recent Netflix bio-pic Come Sunday. When Rev. Pearson hears God reveal to him a potentially heretical view by way of a special revelation—universal salvation (everyone goes to heaven, and there is no hell)—he risks losing his congregation and jeopardizing his spot as a rising Christian star. How would people know whether God revealed new information...

Duration:00:46:07

THE MOUNTAIN (Meru)

10/23/2018
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We’re climbing the mountain in this final episode for season one of the podcast! Why do people climb mountains? What do mountains mean, spiritually? We explore aspects of these questions through the film Meru, documenting three adventurers who attempt to climb a never-before-summited peak in the Himalayas. Brian reveals deep emotional problems, and Leah doubles down on her reluctance to ever climb a mountain while yet promising on tape to climb Mount St. Helens. We’ll glance at some research...

Duration:00:42:09

THE AUDIENCE (Audience of One)

10/16/2018
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This episode introduces listeners to the little-known documentary Audience of One. We hear the story of Richard Gazowsky, Pentecostal pastor and amateur filmmaker, who, after watching his first movie at the age of 40, believes God has given him a vision to create the biggest and best film ever made (!?). Along the way we talk about aesthetics in American Pentecostal-Charismatic movements, Christian appropriations of the Shofar, finger streamers and tambourines, Charles Finney and the New...

Duration:00:44:03

THE GAMERS (King of Kong)

10/9/2018
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In this episode, we watch King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters, a film documenting the surprisingly engrossing contest over who will be the reigning champion of the 80s classic video game, Donkey Kong. Will it be the self-aggrandizing favorite, restaurateur and hot sauce salesman Billy Mitchell? Or down-on-his luck, everyman challenger Steve Weibe? Come for the epic sports drama. Stay for discussions of David & Goliath and other ancient epics, cheating, virtuosity, masculinity and gender...

Duration:00:45:55

THE HERETIC (The Heretic)

10/2/2018
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In this episode, we discuss The Heretic, a documentary about the life and ministry of former megachurch evangelical pastor Rob Bell. We introduce listeners to the (often misunderstood!) subcultures of conservative and progressive American evangelicalism. Along the way, we talk about American revivalism, evangelicalism, the liberal-fundamentalist controversy and its fallout, epic culture wars (and Twitter battles) within middle-class white evangelicalism (from Harry Fosdick vs. Billy Sunday...

Duration:00:47:53

THE WOMEN (Handmaid's Tale)

9/26/2018
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In this episode we consider the women in the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s stunning dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale (season one only!). Does The Handmaid’s Tale TV series present, religion, race, and gender cynically, or help us understand anything about our lives today? Leah and Brian imagine life in the other gender role; Leah wonders what it would be like to have a traditional wife, and Brian regales the audience with stories of being a stay-at-home dad while writing his...

Duration:00:45:31

THE KINDNESS (Won't You Be My Neighbor)

9/25/2018
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In this episode, we talk about Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the new documentary about the legendary creator and star of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Rev. Fred Rogers. Along the way, we talk about Mr. Rogers’ vision of neighborly love, character formation, and TV ethics (for adults as well as kids!), catharsis in ancient theater and 21st century film, screen time (and parenting guilt!!), William Penn, Quentin Tarantino, Phineas & Ferb, Peep and the Big Wide World, and how Mr. Rogers inspires us to...

Duration:00:54:52