Danny Anderson, Jordan Poss, and Jay Eldred discuss the complicated, sometimes appalling legacy of Jack Chick and his "Chick Tracts." What theological tradition do these comic books participate in? Where do they go off the rails? Is there anything laudable about Jack Chick's bleak theology? Special Treat: hang around for about the 1 hour 45 minute point to hear Danny's impromptu Alex Jones imitation!
Chick Tract Evangelism on YouTube
"The Imp" Chick Tract Parody
LA Magazine Retrospective
Jack Chick 'Official' Biography from Chick.Com
"The Wiles of the Devil" by Charles Fuller
"Meet Jack Chick," by Jimmy Akin https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/meet-jack-chick
"The Death Cookie" http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0074/0074_01.asp
"Dark Dungeons" https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp
"Somebody Loves Me" https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0006/0006_01.asp
MST3K style parody of "DD" https://www.fecundity.com/darkdung/darkdung.php?page=1
In addition, this episode introduces the first of an occasional new segment for the show: "Spider-Web Christianity" (provisional title). In these brief segments, we explore institutions that structure Christian Culture. What are the networks that drive Christian thought and conversation? To start us off, Danny talks about the publicity company Grace Hill Media.
Grace Hill Media website
"Disney Sells Faith Side of Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' with Whispers, Not Shouts"
"Secular Hollywood Quietly Courts the Faithful"
"The Secret Christian Message in This Weekend's Highly-Anticipated Horror Film"
In this episode of the Sectarian Review Podcast, Danny Anderson is joined by Peter Mommsen and Veery Huleatt for a discussion about the Bruderhof, an Anabaptist tradition with communities throughout the world. Learn about how this faith community lives out its ideals and rejects many of the spiritual trappings of Modernity. Work without hierarchy, common ownership, and communal worship. Also, how does this expression of the Christian faith compare with Rod Dreher's Benedict Option? A fascinating look into a fascinating faith.
Links for the deep thinkers among us:
The official Bruderhof website: www.bruderhof.com/en
Bruderhof Communities Podcast
Homage to a Broken Man, by Peter Mommsen
"What Does the Bruderhof Think of the Benedict Option?" by Peter Mommsen
C-Span video of panel discussion about The Benedict Option featuring Peter Mommsen
Join Danny and C. Derrick Varn for an *in-depth* discussion of the the 1967 Soviet horror film, Viy (based on the Gogol short story). Danny and Derek talk about the cultural significance of Cossacks in Russian history, the Soviet film industry, Ideology, and Eastern Christianity. The film is freely available on YouTube if you want to watch beforehand, but this episode will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Soviet movies where witches terrorize seminary students who don't believe in God.
Link to full film (subtitled)
Four perspectives about a film about four perspectives. Pretty meta, eh?
In this episode, Danny welcomes Todd Pedlar, Carter Stepper, and Michial Farmer for a discussion about Akira Kurosawa's groundbreaking 1950 film, Rashomon. Why is this film so revered in the history of cinema? How does Kurosawa's technical mastery contribute to the existential philosophical questions Rashomon poses? How does this film's famous exploration of subjectivity speak to our current "Post-Truth" moment? All this and a new intro!
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In this episode, the Sectarians talk about Dante's Inferno, but not in a conventional way. Imagine reading a poem about Hell while engaged in war. Joining the show for this episode is Neil Gussman, who led a reading group of American soldiers who were fighting in Iraq. What is it like reading Inferno in 130 degree heat? What does Dante have to say about war? How does the experience of reading the great work of Western Canon change when it is ripped from institutional education and placed in the battlefield? Also, contest announcement!
Solidarity in the Christian Humanist Radio Network. Danny and Megan Von Bergen of the Sectarian Review Podcast join forces with Victoria Reynolds Farmer of the Christian Feminist Podcast to discuss the controversy about "Fearless Girl," a recent Wall Street craze. If you are unfamiliar with the Fearless Girl, she is statue that has been placed in direct confrontation with the famous Wall Street charging bull. To many, she has become the symbol of an emerging girl power in the boys club of American finance. There is an opposing viewpoint, however. Jillian Steinhauer, writing for Hyperallergic, labels her "Fake Corporate Feminism." This episode of Sectarian Review takes Steinhauer's article as its jumping off point. Is there something redeemable for feminism and anti-institutional resistance in Fearless Girl? Is it a corporate shell game that co-opts the language of resistance just to tame it for the PR benefit of the existing power structure?
Also in this episode, Danny announces a special contest for Sectarian Review listeners with special prizes at stake!
"Facebook Feminism, Like it or Not" by Susan Faludi
General Electric Millie Dresselhaus ad
Mayor de Blasio gives official public approval to Fearless Girl
A peek behind the curtain of academia. Danny and two of his colleagues, Dr. Jessica Jost-Costanzo and Christopher Burlingame, deliver conference papers at the 2017 Pennsylvania College English Association conference at Indiana University, Pa. The panel was about trigger warnings, safe spaces, and the teaching of violent comic books. Danny's paper applies Lionel Trilling's moral anxiety to his experience teaching Alan Moore's Jack the Ripper book, From Hell. Burlingame explores the possibilities for teaching critical thinking through Fight Club II. Jost-Costanzo, talks about Art Spiegelman's Maus and her own experiences encountering disturbing literature. Each brief paper (about 15 minutes each) engages with the ongoing controversies around political correctness and the college campus.
We'd love to hear any responses or questions you might have. Feel free to comment either here or at the show's Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/SectarianReview/
Incidentally, if you haven't done so yet, please be sure to like the Facebook page. Very soon, we will be having a contest giveaway and that will be the best place to find updates. Also, please consider clicking over to iTunes and leaving the show a nice review - Click here.
Link to the panel's accompanying slide show.
In many ways, this episode continues the line of inquiry established in the show's very first episode on "Vocation." Danny is joined by Todd Pedlar and Drew Van'tland to discuss Matthew B. Crawford's great 2009 book Shop Class as Soulcraft. A searing investigation into the degradation of work, Crawford's book provides our trio with a lot to talk about. How does Marx provide a language to describe the ways that work has been stripped of dignity? What are the implications of this process for both blue and white collar work? Why don't we teach industrial arts in school anymore? What is an ethical approach to labor? A few pop culture references thrown in as well: The Office, anyone? These and many more issues, plus a lot of fun.
Link to an early, essay version of the book, by Crawford, for The New Atlantis
Danny gets his Blade Runner on! For this episode, Micah Redding of the Christian Transhumanist Podcast joins the show for a discussion about the Singularity, AI, and Transhumanism. Using Jonathan Merritt's recent Atlantic article, "Is AI a Threat to Christianity," as a jumping-off point, Christian Humanist and Christian Transhumanist come together for a enlightening discussion about technology and humanity. Are our machines part of God's creation? Will our technological offspring require salvation? Is death necessary? These questions and many more.
"Is AI a Threat to Christianity?" by Jonathan Merritt
Micah Redding's Website (Including link to his TEDx talk)
The Christian Transhumanist Podcast Facebook Page
The Christian Transhumanist Association
Crossover time! Danny welcomes Josh Mozug and Calvin Holloway, hosts of the Let god Die podcast. Introduced by mutual friend of the shows Chris Bernstorf, Danny, Josh, and Calvin discuss podcasting as kind of ministry. What prejudices and pre-conceived ideas limit our relationship with God? How do other peoples' stories impact our faith? What are the limitations and dangers of storytelling? How does podcasting serve others? These questions and more!
Let god Die website
At the end of last year, Elizabethtown College hosted a travelling copy of Shakespeare's First Folio. Danny happens to be college buddies with the librarian who directed that project and is excited to welcome Josh Cohen to talk about it. What is the origin of this text? How did 82 copies come into the hands of Mr. Folger and end up in the Folger Library? How does capitalism and culture intersect in such cultural objects? Can Danny set aside his class envy long enough to appreciate the legacies of Robber Barons? Listen for this and a lot more.
Elizabethtown College Library website, with info about the tour.
Well it was an accident, but the Sectarian Review Podcast is timely for once. In a conversation recorded before Meryl Streep's controversial political speech at the Golden Globes, Danny picks the brain of Symptomatic Redness host C. Derick Varn. The first in an anticipated series of "celebritism" episodes, listen to find out why liberalism is drawn to celebrity spokespeople. What are the possibilies and problems of this kind of politics? What does the Democratic party (and liberalism as an idea) gain or lose by handing their rhetorical authority over to the rich and famous?
The Guardian on Celebrity as the face of a corporate machine.
"Bad Ways to Criticism Trump" via Current Affairs
And The New Republic (of course)
Q1: So everybody has a “theory of everything” that explains Trump’s election, which seems like a chasing after the wind to me. Today, I just want to focus on some of American Liberalism’s failings. Specifically, its tendency to defer its rhetorical work to celebrities, I can see the roots of this in Jane Fonda’s public opposition to Vietnam. Am I wrong to place so much of this on the New Left?
Q2: You shared an article from Current Affairs recently called “Bad Ways to Criticize Trump.” John Oliver was a specific target of that piece’s scorn. What is the essential problem with the “Daily Show-style” of politics?
Q3: In Liberalism, there seems to be a divide between believing and doing. The whole celebrity thing is a convenient way to rallying behind a belief that requires no action. It leads me to wonder what we even mean when we say “politics.” Is celebrity activism really politics or is it posturing?
Q4: So people flock to the music and movies that feature these celebrities, yet their ability to impact the voting habits of much of that fan base is uncertain at best. Why the disconnect between popularity and influence? Is the problem that these folks are “brands” and therefore necessarily limited in their ability to connect to the political lives of much of the electorate?
Q5: Much of this style of politics explains Hillary Clinton’s unexpected failing among the general electorate in certain states. However, weren’t many of Bernie Sanders’ supporters partaking in a similar type of hero-worship? And Trump himself of course is a reality TV star. Is the real question not whether celebrity politics is effective, but what type of celebrity politics we’re talking?
Danny and Jay Eldred bask in one of the show's most stimulating interviews yet. This time, prominent historian John Fea sits down for an illuminating discussion about the study of History, the role of the humanities in higher education, the disturbing popularity of Donald Trump among Evangelicals, and the possibilities of public scholarship. In addition, Fea (a New Jersey native) talks a little Springsteen with the boys.
Fea considers leaving evangelicalism Pt 1
Fea considers leaving evangelicalism Pt 2
Fea’s Patreon page
Fea’s Twitter feed
As a part of our ongoing series, "The Helpers," Danny sits down for a brief chat with some Mount Aloysius College students from Saudi Arabia about some of their charitable efforts in Central Pennsylvania. MAC's Saudi student club has undertaken a very moving and inspirational effort to assist those in need around Christmas here in America. What motivates these Muslim students to reach out to their Christian neighbors? Listen and learn about these wonderful people.
An article about the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, as mentioned in the show.
One of Danny's dreams comes true, as he interviews Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. The noted cryptozoologist describes what the field is, and what it contributes to both science and the imagination. What does the study of Mothman, Bigfoot, the Dover Demon, and other undiscovered creatures offer us? Download or stream the show to find out. Plus learn about what the International Cryptozoology Museum offers its visitors.
International Cryptozoology Museum website (link)
Danny Anderson is joined by Jordan Poss and Nathan Gilmour to talk about Political Correctness and its many discontents. What are the term's roots and when did people start worrying about it? How did the Bill Clinton era affect us? What role did identity politics play in the election, and will become of the Democratic party's reckoning in the dawn of the Trump Dystopia? And finally, Danny asks "pitchforks and torches?" Plus listener responses to subject.
Frank Bruni on Democratic failures
Aaron Hanlon on the PC Left and language wars
Larry Summers on Political Correctness
Cracked on Donald Trump
Slate Star Codex: You Are Still Crying Wolf
Mad Dogs and Englishmen Podcast
It's Halloween again and the Christian Humanist Radio Network celebrates with a massive crossover event. Here, Danny Anderson talks with Carter Stepper and The Book of Nature Podcast's Todd Pedlar about a couple of episodes from the essential TV series, The Twilight Zone. Danny, Carter, and Todd discuss two classics from the series, "To Serve Man," and "The Obsolete Man." How do these shows fit into the dystopian tradition? What political position do they assert? How much fun can three people have talking about TV? Listen for answers to these questions and more!
In the first episode of Sectarian Review’s series “The Helpers,” Danny welcomes Christa Lee-Chuvala and Elizabeth Grady-Harper to talk about Lazarus at the Gate, a small-group study curriculum designed to encourage giving. Unlike some financial programs popular in American churches, Lazarus emphasizes generosity from the beginning of financial planning, not as just a long-term goal. How has consumerism corrupted our vision of finance? How can the friendship of small-group study help us be more generous?
Once again, Sectarian Review explores the genre of Science Fiction. This time, Megan Von Bergen joins Danny for a conversation about how scifi engages with questions about God, creation, and theology. How can speculative fiction push people of faith to boldly go where no man has gone before? How can this type of story provide a safe space to try out dangerous ideas? Plus listen for Danny and Megan's recommendations. Also, if you'd like to write a review for the show's blog, visit www.sectarianreviewpodcast.com and check out the blog.
Megan has written a follow-up blog post about the show and its subject matter. You can read that here.
In this special episode, timed to celebrate Banned Books Week 2016, Danny and Jay discuss the importance of books and culture. Why are books so precious, and why should we be vigilant about keeping them with us? What are the motivations of those who would ban and burn books? These questions and a lot more, including recommendations to help the listener celebrate this important yearly event.
In an episode from beyond the universe, Danny is joined by Carter Stepper for a stellar discussion about science fiction and its role in social critique. Our intrepid explorers discuss the genre’s history of social criticism, and aim their blasters at the work of such mind-bending authors as H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick. In addition, find out what Dune has to say about messianic authoritarianism and learn about what we can learn about our own current flirtations with authoritarian politics. Plus, Uhura! And stay to the end for some recommendations from across the galaxy!
In this, the first of two episodes about cultural monuments, Danny Anderson is joined by Jay Eldred and Jordan Poss. The three discuss the indeterminacy of symbols in collective memory. From the Confederate Flag to the erasure of dissent in Stalin’s Soviet Union, we explore the controversies inherent in our cultural monuments.
Memento Park in Budapest
The problem with Rhodes in Britain
College Campus protest culture
The Confederate Flag
Jay gets philosophical
The lack of unified memory
Italians and the American Confederate Flag
KKK and local power
The Confederate Flag, the Swastika and “controlling the brand”
Confederate Flag(s) and their history
Monuments not an Aristotelian process
ISIS, Rome and the Damnation of memory
Stalin and making “history”
The Crusades: Churches into Mosques, Mosques into Churches
Should we even remember?
Memory as Mourning
In Praise of Forgetting
Protesting Building names
Audience Homework! Figure out where Jay and Jordan went to college
Chief Wahoo's demise
Clemson's racist history?
Best practices in naming things
Nazis and NASA!
The Twilight Zone!
The pain of our being
Wernher Von Braun, Project Paperclip, and more Nazis at NASA
Freestyle Christianity Podcast - Marika Rose appearance
De-complicating history is bad
John C. Calhoun
Danny hates Oberlin
Jay hates feedback
Memory is individual
Jordan's hall-of-fame quote
Danny's critique of the Left
In Praise of Forgetting by David Rieff
Why Study History? by John Fea
The Monuments Men by Bret Witter and Robert M. Edsel
Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question, by Don H. Doyle
Who Are Public Monuments For? http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2016/06/who-are-public-monuments-for/
America’s War On The Confederacy Is Really A War On The Past. http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/24/war-on-the-confederacy-is-a-war-on-the-past/
A God Who Remembers by Elie Weisel. http://www.npr.org/2008/04/07/89357808/a-god-who-remembers
Hope, Despair, and Memory - Elie Weisel’s Nobel Lecture upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-lecture.html
To Be a Historian is to Speak Over Gravesides by Chris Gehrz. https://pietistschoolman.com/2016/04/25/to-be-a-historian-is-to-speak-over-gravesides/
Rod Serling’s Deaths-Head Revisited Narration. https://youtu.be/2WwyvTY7M4w
“Wernher von Braun,” Tom Lehrer
Freestyle Christianity interview with Marika Rose
At the 2016 Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC, Danny Anderson had the opportunity to sit down with the Rev. Julian DeShazier, who is also a hip hop artist performing under the name J. Kwest. In addition to discussing J. Kwest's latest album, Lemonade, the discussion built on the Sectarian Review Wild Goose theme of Hipness, applying it to a specific performer and the philosophy and ethics driving his art. J. Kwest discusses the ethics and theology of occupying the margins in his art and his ministry. In addition, this interview was recorded the day after the shooting of another African-American man by a police officer. In the shadow of that tragedy, Danny and Rev. DeShazier discuss race, the possibilities and problems with progressive Christian politics, and art. Download or stream for an powerful conversation with a Christian artist working our God's will in the margins.
Listen to Lemonade by J.Kwest on @AppleMusic.
Wild Goose 2016 has come and gone. Danny Anderson and the Sectarian Review had a great (if not always comfortable) experience. For this special episode, Danny is joined by the Christian Feminist Podcast's Carla Ewert and also by Michael Kimpan of the OPEN Initiative. The subject is hipness and hipsterism; not as a form of cultural elitism, but rather as an ethical decision to stand at the margins of society and its institutions. Is there something about the edges that offers us a chance to critically engage culture, not escape it? The OPEN initiative offers a fascinating example of what this vision of hipsterism may look like in practice. Join us for a great discussion and stay tuned at the end for a surprise question from our studio audience! Yes a real live studio audience!
The Christian Humanist Podcast's Nathan Gilmour joins Danny Anderson for discussion about the Theological and Philosophical underpinnings of Marvel's Netflix series' Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Listen for the following and more:
Why are the villains so important to these heroes? Why is Daredevil a Catholic? How is Jessica Jones able to offer a rich and complex matrix of feminisms? Why are minor characters so important to the philosophical questions the shows ask? How do Daredevil's action sequences demonstrate the philosophical arguments the show makes? This was a fun talk and we hope you enjoy listening as much as we did talking.
This episode also has some important announcements, along with listener responses and this week's new Facebook Page followers!