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Brandon G. Withrow
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Brandon G. Withrow teaches religious studies at The University of Findlay, is the author of nine books, his most-recent (co-authored with Menachem Wecker) is Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher Education. He blogs on science and all things related to curiosity at His work has appeared in The Daily Beast, The Religion News Service, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and On Faith. Book and author information may be found at He can also be found on Twitter, Google Plus , and Facebook.

Entries by Brandon G. Withrow

Study: Thinking "It Could Be Worse" Increases Belief in God

(7) Comments | Posted April 17, 2016 | 10:13 AM

Every day at almost exactly 8:30 a.m., you take exit 159 to get to work. Today there is a five car pile-up around that time and several individuals are seriously injured, except for you; you were home sick that day.

We all know what might happen next.

"That could have...

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How Westminster Theological Seminary Came to Define Fundamentalism for Me

(7) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 5:36 PM

Would you be surprised to learn that a tenured professor of the Old Testament is the center of controversy at a Christian seminary? What if I said he's "retiring" by action of the school's board -- another way of saying "terminated," according to a former department chair?

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The Casualties of Bryan College's Anti-Evolution Revolution

(3) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Dayton, Tennessee, perhaps best-known for being the location of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, is back in the news with a controversy at Bryan College, named for William Jennings Bryan, the anti-evolutionist counsel at Scopes. As of a recent board meeting, the faculty at the college are now...

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How to Find the Secular at The American Academy of Religion

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 1:49 PM

Every year, a gathering the size of a small city happens in a major city in the United States. The joint meeting of The American Academy of Religion and The Society of Biblical Literature (November 23-26) brings scholars together from across specializations within the academic world...

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Satan's Birthday: A Brief Discussion on Halloween and Christianity

(58) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 11:11 AM

Co-authored by Brandon Withrow, Professor of Religious Studies; Author; Blogger.

So Satan's Birthday is coming up and I wanted to talk to an expert about it. Here's the transcript of a conversation I recently had with a Religious Studies professor about Halloween and the Christians who hate/boycott/are...

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Who Is Pope Francis, Really?

(5) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 3:19 PM

It is impossible to doubt Pope Francis's popularity. He's feeling the love everywhere he goes. I wonder, however, if this adulation is premature. Or is his fame really just the result of being a decent person who happened to have a crankpot predecessor?

Why the Pope Seems Different


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Do the Beliefs of Others Infuriate You?

(6) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 12:50 PM

Few books in the medieval world made a splash like Bernard of Clairvaux's "On Loving God." In it the Cistercian monk unravels the intricate nature of loving God. The degree to which he, as the author of such a book, could also become a co-opted preacher for the miserable Second...

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Will 2013 Be the Year of the Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers?

(2) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 1:12 PM

Rich white males issuing edicts on women's health -- while dismissing the medical details -- was not the only comparison to contemporary issues I noticed on Downton Abbey this season. As a cord-cutter, I could not help but see Lord Grantham and his resistance to modernization as a metaphor for...

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Why Do Some Theologians Blame The Victim?

(115) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 2:50 PM

Bad things happen to good people; this is a tragic truth in life. How religious individuals explain the "why" can be very different from faith to faith. When people turn to God for solace it is never shocking, but when they turn to God to blame the victim, the rest...

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Why Blasphemy Laws Are Not About Religion

(16) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 5:39 PM

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, there is an increase of intolerance toward the religious globally. "The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the year ending...

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Celebrating the 500-Year-Old Activist Queen Catherine Parr

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 8:06 AM

England's historic Sudeley Castle is observing the quincentenary of Queen Catherine Parr (1512-2012) this year. The highlight of the six-month celebration at Sudeley, which was once Parr's home, is the Sept. 9 reenactment of her 1548 funeral -- the first Royal Protestant funeral in England.

By commemorating her...

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How Google's Artificial Intelligence Killed Plato

(6) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 2:38 PM

The big announcement in artificial intelligence at the end of June was that Google's computers taught themselves to recognize cats. I'm really hoping this won't lead to more animated gifs of cats in various stages of things wacky and madcap.

Google's been experimenting with artificial intelligence and the ability...

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Can Amazon Save Your Life?

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 1:31 PM

This last week I went to Amazon to look for a book. Did you know they sell those too?

Their home page directed me to an article (also published here at The Huffington Post) by Jessica Park ("How Amazon Saved My Life"), author of several...

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C. S. Lewis on Discarding Old Ideas for New Ones

(4) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 10:11 AM

C. S. Lewis is known by most for his work of fiction, particularly "The Chronicles of Narnia." Others are more aware of his theological accomplishments, such as "Mere Christianity" or essays like "Myth Became Fact."

Did you know that Lewis, a professor in medieval and renaissance...

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Science and the Ups and Downs of Christ's Ascension

(212) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 8:01 AM

May 17 is known as Ascension Thursday (the 40th day of Easter). It is the day many Christians observe Christ's ascension into heaven, though some will do it on the following Sunday. The day means many things to Christians, including the idea that Christ will also one day...

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Study Shows That Left-handers Are Not the Product of Witchcraft After All

(11) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 4:57 PM

A new study at Northwestern University shows that left-handedness is the product of cooperation and competition in evolution (see ScienceDaily, "Shedding Light On Southpaws: Sports Data Help Confirm Theory Explaining Left-Handed Minority in General Population").

Being left-handed, I am among the minority of the population (10 percent),...

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What Stephen Colbert Is Not Telling You

(9) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 4:25 PM

I'm on to you, Colbert.

The Colbert Report is your way of accomplishing your over-the-top bucket list, isn't it? You just have a bigger budget than the rest of us.

To justify my conspiracy theory, let me point out that just this last week he interviewed and sang with...

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Enough with Co-opting Jesus for Every Political Agenda

(9) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 3:59 PM

For centuries, portraits of Jesus have provided not only a good look into the history of art, but also the chemistry produced when theology meets culture. Depictions of Jesus' humanity pull from a cross-section of society, including every race, ethnicity, and culture, and a variety of ideological and theological positions.

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Research Shows Acceptance of Evolution Requires a Gut Feeling

(100) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 3:13 PM

In a recent study at The Ohio State University, facts alone were not enough for one to accept the theory of evolution (read press release). Researchers studying pre-service biology teachers at two South Korean universities, all with an adequate understanding of the science behind evolution, discovered that facts...

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New Survey of Protestant Pastors Shows Rejection of Human Evolution

(113) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 12:15 PM

In a new survey of American Protestant pastors by Lifeway, 73 percent of ministers disagree with the statement "I believe God used evolution to create people." Of that large number, 64 percent strongly disagreed. As you might expect, the numbers were close to the same for the question,...

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