Here's what we have done so far on the countdown of the best interviews of 2012. Stay tuned today for more and join us Friday, January 4 for the top three!!!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 24
#33 - The Hobbit Hits Theaters At Midnight: A Literary Professor Reviews It
Nearly a decade after the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the first film in the Hobbit trilogy hits theaters at midnight tonight. Literary professor and Tolkein expert Dr. Henry Russell is here to discuss the film and offer his expert review.
#32 - China Expert Steven Mosher: “Chen Guangcheng Key to China's Future”
Chinese human rights activist and longtime political prisoner Chen Guangcheng has escaped from house arrest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The blind, self-taught attorney has been a vocal advocate of the rights of women and a strong critic of the oppression of the Chinese government. As the Secretary of State is scheduled to travel to China later this week, this turn of events poses a difficult situation for Chinese-American relations. Steven Mosher, one of America's leading China experts, says, "Chen Guangcheng and I have been fighting the same battle for years. I am an eyewitness to forced abortions, coercive sterilizations and infanticide in China. Chen is the blind attorney who documented 7,000 cases of forced abortions in one small part of Shantung province, and sought justice for the women and children thus victimized.” Steven joins us.
#31 - Napa Institute / Hawking, Chopra and God
With the incredible popularity of recent books championing agnosticism or atheism, many people might never know that such books almost completely ignore the considerable evidence for theism uncovered in both physics and philosophy over the past four decades. We talk with Fr. Robert Spitzer about Stephen Hawking, Deepak Chopra and God. We also discuss the Napa Institute and its missions and events.
5:20 – #30 - Columbus Day: How Religion Drove The Voyages That Led to America
500 years after he set sail, the dominant understanding of Christopher Columbus holds him responsible for almost everything that went wrong in the New World. Historian Carol Delaney is here to radically change our interpretation of the man and his mission. She argues that he was inspired to find a western route to the Orient not only to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown but primarily to help fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims—a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Rather than an avaricious glory hunter, Delaney reveals Columbus as a man of deep passion, patience, and religious conviction. On this Columbus Day, we explore her work.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25
#29 – Born Believers: The Science of Kid’s Religious Beliefs
Infants have a lot to make sense of in the world: Why does the sun shine and night fall; why do some objects move in response to words, while others won’t budge; who is it that looks over them and cares for them? How the developing brain grapples with these and other questions leads children, across cultures, to naturally develop a belief in a divine power of remarkably consistent traits––a god that is a powerful creator, knowing, immortal, and good—explains noted developmental psychologist and anthropologist Justin L. Barrett in this enlightening and provocative book. In short, we are all born believers.
#28 - A Year of Faith and Evangelization
“Until we have encountered Jesus at a deep and personal level, at a heart level, our engagement in the life of his bride, the Church, will remain quite limited. … Jesus calls us his friends. Friendship is built on communicating with one another. Prayer is communicating and so we need to pray….We also need to pray because the task ahead is daunting. In begging God’s help, we acknowledge that what we cannot do ourselves can be accomplished by the grace of God.” So begins the Pastoral Letter from Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea declaring a year of prayer in the diocese. Bishop Boyea joins us.
#27 - Religious Freedom Internationally and At Home
Leonard Leo is the former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom for both the Bush and Obama administrations. We talk about the state of religious freedom worldwide and how it has become an issue in our own country.