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Christianity
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Audition

Updated 10 days ago

Religion & Spirituality
Society & Culture
Christianity
History
Read more

Hosted by Ken Myers, each issue of Audition contains excerpts of interviews featured on various MARS HILL AUDIO productions. Guests discuss a wide range of topics, including history, philosophy, the arts, science and technology, education, and popular culture, all guided by concerns shaped by a Christian worldview.

Read more

Hosted by Ken Myers, each issue of Audition contains excerpts of interviews featured on various MARS HILL AUDIO productions. Guests discuss a wide range of topics, including history, philosophy, the arts, science and technology, education, and popular culture, all guided by concerns shaped by a Christian worldview.

iTunes Ratings

14 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
1
0
0
1

This is the one

By Field357 - Mar 19 2019
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So glad to hear this podcast. Very important thoughts and discussions.

Well worth attention

By Hoosierjew - May 11 2013
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Fantastic analysis and references. I can cut the grass and be challenged to think. I don't agree with all, of course, but tremendous for understanding a particularly Christian worldview.

iTunes Ratings

14 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
1
0
0
1

This is the one

By Field357 - Mar 19 2019
Read more
So glad to hear this podcast. Very important thoughts and discussions.

Well worth attention

By Hoosierjew - May 11 2013
Read more
Fantastic analysis and references. I can cut the grass and be challenged to think. I don't agree with all, of course, but tremendous for understanding a particularly Christian worldview.
Cover image of Audition

Audition

Updated 10 days ago

Read more

Hosted by Ken Myers, each issue of Audition contains excerpts of interviews featured on various MARS HILL AUDIO productions. Guests discuss a wide range of topics, including history, philosophy, the arts, science and technology, education, and popular culture, all guided by concerns shaped by a Christian worldview.

Rank #1: Oliver O'Donovan on political theology

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The campaign leading up to the presidential election of 2016 has been an unsettling season for many Americans. Against the disturbing backdrop of social and cultural fragmentation, the two principal candidates for the office seem to be equally divisive, so that whoever wins in November, we are certain to be living through a time of further discord and discontent.

Is what we’re living through a sign of the failure of our political structures, or is it the logical outcome of a system with critical design flaws? Does a more hopeful future require the radical revision of some basic beliefs about the public life: about the relationship between state and society, about the purposes of government, and about how the ordering of temporal affairs accounts for the full reality of what we are as human persons? These and other relevant questions are finally theological questions, even if they aren’t always acknowledged as such.

In the first of a MARS HILL AUDIO series of special interviews that discuss politics and theology, moral philosopher Oliver O’Donovan (The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology) discusses the Church’s historic belief that governments are an expression of God’s rule, that the reality of the kingdom of God is a necessary point of reference if we are to understand politics correctly.

This feature is hosted by Ken Myers, producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. For more information, visit our website at marshillaudio.org.

Oct 10 2016
29 mins
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Rank #2: Patrick Deneen on democracy and liberalism

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In Democratic Faith (Princeton University Press, 2005), political theorist Patrick Deneen examined what he saw as a state of crisis and a sense of quiet desperation underlying much of contemporary democratic theory. At the end of this month, St. Augustine’s Press will publish a collection of Deneen’s essays entitled Conserving America?: Essays on Present Discontents. In those essays, Deneen advances the case that our discontent, anxieties, and uncertainties are due to problems in the basic liberal principles embedded in the American Constitutional order.

In a lecture given in 2010 examining the relationship between community, culture, and liberalism, Deneen offered this summary of the origins and nature of classical liberalism.

Liberalism begins with the political philosophy of Hobbes, with refinement by John Locke, with the idea that humans by nature are naturally free and equal. These thinkers sought to describe the natural human condition to be one of autonomous and whole individuals who have no past, no culture, no history, no relationships, no memory. They are like Athena, sprung from the head of Zeus.

Deneen went on to describe the effects of this understanding of human persons on their sense of membership in communities or cultures. Before liberalism, persons were members of a whole and understood their identity in light of that membership. They were not — in Michael Sandel’s term — unencumbered selves. Liberalism, said Deneen, aims to liberate individuals from the claims and duties of membership

The autonomous individual at the heart of liberal theory cannot in fact come into being in reality without first liberating him or her from the inheritances of cult and culture. Liberal theory thus redefines all human relations in its wake. . . . Whether one’s religion, one’s community, one’s nation, even one’s family, all human relations are redefined by liberalism’s logic.

In this interview, Patrick Deneen talks with MARS HILL AUDIO's Ken Myers about the relationship between democracy and liberalism.

For more information, about the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. visit our website at marshillaudio.org.

Nov 16 2016
26 mins
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Rank #3: Peter J. Leithart on the 2016 election

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In the second of a MARS HILL AUDIO series of special interviews examining politics and theology, theologian Peter J. Leithart (Between Babel and Beast: America and Empires in Biblical Perspective) discusses some of the issues raised explicitly during the current presidential campaign and the failure of many voters and observers to ask how the explosive mood of the present moment reveals deep problems in American political culture.

In a recent on-line commentary, Leithart observed that “contemporary political culture is the product of a convergence of two strains of liberalism: a leftist cultural libertarianism that took off during the 1960s and 1970s, and a rightwing free-market liberalism that reached its apogee with the Reagan-Thatcher alliance.”

Leithart continued: “Though they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both strains of liberalism are founded on a concept of freedom as the emancipation of individual choice.”

Leithart suggested that the sense of dismay many currently have about our political possibilities offers Christians “a rare opportunity to take stock and ask some basic questions about our polity.” He proceeds to list a dozen or so questions we should be asking far beyond who to vote for in November: “Are gay marriage and legalized abortion deviations from American values, or expressions of them? Can we disentangle the two strains of liberalism? Can we defend free markets without endorsing free love? What does ‘freedom’ mean? . . . Can politics be humane without recognizing that human beings are souls? Are campaigning and voting the be-all and end-all of Christian political action, or are we better off diverting some of those dollars and hours to less flashy projects that have the potential to leaven political culture over the long haul?”

This feature is hosted by Ken Myers, producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. For more information, visit our website at marshillaudio.org.

Oct 20 2016
28 mins
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Rank #4: Michael Hanby on technological politics

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In an article entitled “A More Perfect Absolutism” published in the October, 2016 issue of First Things, philosopher Michael Hanby observed that: “It is part of the absurdity of American life that we decide questions of truth under the guise of settling contests of rights. Which means that we decide questions of truth without thinking deeply or even very honestly about them.” One reason this deciding process is a particularly American convention is that Americans “have no common faith, history, or culture outside the decision to found the nation on eighteenth-century philosophical principles, we have always looked to politics and the law to perform the work of faith, culture, and tradition in giving us an identity as a people.” But what happens when politics that are all we know fails us?

Unfortunately, those eighteenth-century philosophical principles (i.e. political liberalism) are deeply committed to certain metaphysical assumptions about nature. These assumptions treat nature as merely material stuff, significant to us only insofar as we can act upon it and manipulate it to our advantage. In his article, Hanby argues that this is a deeply technological way of viewing the world that ultimately offers little guidance for political order.

In this fourth feature of our series on political theology, Michael Hanby discusses what he means when he says that liberalism is fundamentally technological in its assumptions.

This feature is hosted by Ken Myers, producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. For more information, visit our website at marshillaudio.org.

Nov 04 2016
25 mins
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Rank #5: Michael Sandel & Scott Moore on liberalism

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“Our public life is rife with discontent.” So claims political philosopher Michael Sandel, in his 1996 book Democracy’s Discontent: American in Search of a Public Philosophy. Sandel identifies two prominent symptoms of that discontent. “One is the fear that, individually and collectively, we are losing control of the forces that govern our lives. The other is the sense that, from family to neighborhood to nation, the moral fabric of community is unraveling around us.”

Sandel’s book examines the ideas of liberty that have spawned what he calls “unencumbered selves,” atomistic individuals with no abiding sense of responsibility, duty, or binding attachments. The political mechanism that encourages this care-free sensibility is what Sandel calls the “procedural republic,” the product of a view of the state that envisions government as a guarantor of rights and fairness, scrupulously indifferent to questions of truth or goodness. This issue of Audition includes excerpts from a 1996 interview with Sandel in which he outlines a public philosophy committed to promoting civic virtue.

Also featured here is a 2009 interview with philosopher Scott Moore, author of The Limits of Liberal Democracy: Politics and Religion at the End of Modernity. In his book, Moore argues that the Enlightenment views of reason and human autonomy are unsustainable, and that much of our contemporary confusion about political, social, and cultural matters is a symptom of the unraveling of those views. He says that the invention of our democratic institutions was motivated by a desire to accommodate and encourage “the autonomy of the individual and the expansion of personal liberty,” and he asks whether such institutions and their founding assumptions haven’t subtly captured the highest allegiances of many Christians, transforming what we believe about what counts as happiness and success. He asserts that “in a world with fewer and fewer Christians, democratic faith makes ever more exclusive demands.”

To follow up that 2009 interview, Ken Myers phoned Moore to ask him about his views on the political moment that has resulted in the 2016 presidential campaign, and the kinds of questions about political responsibility that aren’t being asked very loudly right now.

Oct 28 2016
23 mins
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Rank #6: Audition - Program 1 (July 2006)

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Audition is the new podcast produced by MARS HILL AUDIO. Hosted by Ken Myers, this first issue includes an exclusive interview with theologian and bioethicist Nigel Cameron on how bioethical issues are discussed in public debate. It also features excerpts from interviews that can be heard on current and future issues of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal.

Guests and topics include:
• Cultural historian Stephen McKnight on the religious beliefs of Sir Francis Bacon
• Biologist Tim Morris on why Creation and Redemption have to be seen as part of the same story
• Music historian Calvin Stapert on how Mozart's music conveys a sense of the goodness of Creation
• Orthodox theologian and master gardener Vigen Guroian on how the senses convey the transcendent
• Humanities professor Paul Valliere on why Orthodox thought on politics differs from that in the Western churches
• Law professor Russell Hittinger on the origins of the idea of "society" in Catholic social thought
• Historian Mark Noll on how Protestants flourished in America by not asking some important questions
• Journalist Stephen Miller on his book, Conversation: A History of a Declining Art.

New issues of Audition will be produced at the end of every month, and will contain material from the MARS HILL AUDIO archives, from forthcoming products, and unique interviews on timely cultural issues.
Thanks for listening!
Jul 27 2006
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Rank #7: Kenneth Craycraft, Jr., on religious liberty

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Attorney Kenneth Craycraft, Jr. is the author of The American Myth of Religious Freedom (Spence Publishers, 1999). In that book, Craycraft argued that the protection for religious freedom guaranteed in the Constitution is not as vigorous as many believers may hope. The underlying assumptions in 18th-century Anglo-American thought about the nature of freedom, of political authority, and of religion itself were even then predisposed to favor the interests of the state over religious claims if they came into conflict.

Craycraft observes that the liberal understanding of religious liberty is the freedom of individuals to choose from among a profusion of faiths. Religious liberty is thus just one expression of the fundamental fact of human nature and dignity as understood by liberalism: that we are beings with the capacity to make choices. Some religions, however, hold to the conviction that the most fundamental fact about us is that we are creatures made to glorify God and to live in accordance with the truth. Truth is prior to freedom. A choice is not authentically free if it is not in accord with what is true and good. By contrast, the assumption in the liberal idea of freedom as assumed by the Constitution and defended by the state is that freedom is prior to truth.

One of the consequences of Craycraft’s argument — which is similar to arguments made by many other constitutional lawyers, philosophers, and theologians — is that the actions of the government in recent years that are perceived as an erosion of religious freedom are in fact the fulfillment of latent assumptions underlying our Constitutional order.

In this fifth feature of our series on political theology, Kenneth Craycraft, Jr. contrasts the assumptions about religious liberty held by Locke, Jefferson, and others with a view maintained by many Christian theologians and philosophers.

This feature is hosted by Ken Myers, producer of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. For more information, visit our website at marshillaudio.org.

Nov 11 2016
28 mins
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Rank #8: Audition - Program 12 (Deneen on Wall Street, Berry on Limits)

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This issue of Audition features commentary by MARS HILL AUDIO host Ken Myers about recent on-line essays by political theorist Patrick Deneen. The four essays discussed were posted on Deneen's blog, What I Saw in America, and they each offered perspective on our current economic crisis gleaned from classical political philosophy. The essays were titled: "Abstraction," "Political Philosophy in the Details," "Whack a Mole," and "Democracy in America." Also referenced in Myers's comments is the 1976 book by sociologist Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. Patrick Deneen, associate professor of government at Georgetown University, was also a guest on Volume 91 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal; a portion of that interview may be heard here. In this interview, Deneen and Myers discuss the thought of Wendell Berry, whom Deneen describes as a "Kentucky Aristotelian."Ken Myers also comments on an article from the May 2008 issue of Harper's by Wendell Berry. Berry's article, "Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits," identifies the destructive (yet perennially attractive) Gnostic tendency to assume that limits are bad and always in need of breaking, a tendency implicated in many forms of cultural disorder.Finally, Myers previews a new audiobook published by MARS HILL AUDIO, called The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education, by Norman Klassen and Jens Zimmermann.[NOTE: To save this podcast as an MP3 file, right-click or (for Mac
users) Control-click on the link below and select the saving option
your browser offers.]
Oct 14 2008
20 mins
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Rank #9: Audition - Program 8 (Figures in the Carpet)

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This special issue of Audition features interviews with five cultural historians, each reflecting on how assumptions of the meaning of "the human person" has shaped some aspect of the American experience. They are all interested in how particular understandings of human nature have influenced American history, and how the distinctive shape of American history has shaped understanding of the meaning of human nature and the contours of human flourishing.Each of these thinkers contributed an essay to the anthology Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past (Eerdmans). In conversation with Ken Myers on this podcast, Wilfred M. McClay (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) discusses the differences between the terms "self" and "person." Eric Miller (Geneva College) recounts how Christopher Lasch's insightful books and essays exposed dehumanizing patterns in American cultural life. Eugene McCarraher (Villanova University) explains how many early 20th-centuury thinkers saw modern business corporations as proponents of a more communal shape to public life. Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn (Syracuse University) raises some probing questions about how television shapes moral understanding in children. Christopher Shannon (Christendom College) compares how medical institutions interpret the meaning of suffering with the Christian tradition's interpretation (aided by the writing of Ivan Illich).Each of these guests has been featured on a past issue of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal; when heard together, the resonance implied among their diverse concerns become more evident.
May 30 2007
1 hour 1 min
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Rank #10: Audition - Program 5 (30 November 2006)

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P. D. James's dystopian novel The Children of Men was the basis for a film opening on Christmas Day in the U.S. On this issue of Audition, Ken Myers talks with Ralph Wood and Alan Jacobs about the power and meaning of James's fiction, specifically of the themes raised in the bleak (but finally hopeful) story now adapted for the screen by Alfonzo Cuaron. A 1980 interview with P. D. James is also featured, in which she talks about why evil characters are more interesting than good ones, and why mysteries need murders.
Nov 30 2006
34 mins
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