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Ultimate Concerns features interviews and discussions with religion experts about their research. Insights from these discussions are applied to contemporary cultural and political questions. Topics are related to many different religions (such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and methods of study (such as literary studies, history, theology, and philosophy). Ron Mourad, professor of religious studies at Albion College, hosts the show.

Jan 7, 2018

Christopher Davidson discusses his book, Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East. We talk about American and British covert operations in the Middle East, both historically and in contemporary conflicts. We focus particularly on Western support for fundamentalist Islamic political movements.

Special music...


Dec 26, 2017

Vasudha Narayanan discusses how Hindu temples are transformed by the minority status of Hinduism in America. Temple practices preserve many traditions while also helping Hindus assimilate to American culture. We also discuss the idea of a "dialogue of action" between Hindu temples and other religious communities, which...


Feb 4, 2017

Are contemporary Americans who profit from the business of yoga appropriating Indian culture? Are they stealing its intellectual property or misrepresenting its religious traditions? We can’t answer these questions without understanding the origins of modern yoga. In this episode Peter Valdina argues that...


Dec 13, 2016

Can we achieve our highest moral aspirations through political effort? Can we even expect significant, long-term moral improvement in government? If not, what kinds of community are most worthy of our time and energy? Peter Kaufman and I discuss these questions, drawing on the countercultural, pessimistic political...


Nov 17, 2016

What is causing contemporary Islamophobia and how should we think about it ethically and politically? This episode features Carl Ernst, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. We discuss his book, Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance. It's available here: