All Episodes


October 06, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

The rise of ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has sparked debate about the role of religion — specifically Islam — in violent extremism. This week, Dr. Adam Silverman offers us a glimpse into the theology of ISIS, and tackles some difficult questions; What does ISIS believe and how do its religious …

September 29, 2014

Chris Mooney

Josh Zepps is off, and since this week is the 5th International Blasphemy Rights Day, we’re rebroadcasting this interview by Chris Mooney with Austin Dacey, CFI’s former UN representative and an expert on the subject of blasphemy laws. *** This week, our guest is a return one: Austin Dacey. He’s a philosopher, a writer, a human rights …

September 22, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week Point of Inquiry welcomes journalist Mark Oppenheimer. Mark writes the Beliefs column for the New York Times, and is the author of the e-book The Zen Predator of The Upper East Side. He is an expert on how religious and philosophical communities deal–or refuse to deal–with allegations of abuse in their ranks. Mark joins …

September 02, 2014

Josh Zepps

It’s been ten years since the publication of Sam Harris’s book The End of Faith kicked off the cultural phenomenon of “new atheism,” bringing frank criticism of religion into mainstream conversation. In the decade since, Harris has emerged as something of a maverick among nonbelievers and progressives, frequently at the center of controversy with his opinions on …

August 25, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week Point Of Inquiry welcomes Dr. Adia Benton, a professor of medical anthropology at Brown University. She joins host Lindsay Beyerstein to talk about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Medical anthropologists bring a unique expertise to epidemics because they study both the physiology of illness and the cultural factors that influence its transmission. That’s why …

August 11, 2014

Josh Zepps

One hundred years ago, Great Britain declared war on Germany, joining in what we now refer to as World War I, a conflict which cost more than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians their lives, and shaped the the world we know today. How did reasonable people let “The Great War” begin, and what …

August 04, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Laurel Braitman, a TED fellow with a PhD in History and Anthropology of Science from MIT, and the author of Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. It might sound strange to say that animals suffer from mental illness, but the brain …