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Welcome to the American Freethought podcast! American Freethought was produced from 2007 to 2016 and ran 265 episodes. We're currently featuring encore releases of all episodes, one a day, starting on January 1, 2017. If you like what you hear, please share with your friends. For more content (blog posts and not just podcast episodes) visit AmericanFreethought.com. Thanks!

Sep 1, 2017

Encore release September 1, 2017

We interview Dr. Bart D. Ehrman about his new book Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior. Dr. Ehrman looks at what research on memory--how it's formed, how it's recalled, how it can change when transmitted from person to person, and how it can be remolded based on historical perspective and current events--and what it can tell us about how the written accounts of Jesus' life were created. Jesus Before the Gospels is available in hardcoveraudiobook and for Kindle. For more about Dr. Ehrman's work, visit bartdehrman.com.

Plus:

Here are some recent and upcoming books our listeners might find interesting:

Scientology: A to Xenu by former Scientologist Chris Shelton. It's a detailed and critical analysis of every aspect of Scientology, focusing on its organization and the damaging actions it takes against its current and former members. Also, check out Shelton's  YouTube channelpodcast and blog.

The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse by Phil Torres. Would you trust science or religion to tackle ther existential risks facing the world today--risks like synthetic biology, nanotechnology, nuclear weaponry, and (possibly, soon) superintelligence

Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy by Rick Heller of the Humanist Community at Harvard University. In this book, Heller has attempted to filter out anything that sounds like woo from meditation and put it on a purely secular basis, as a kind of exercise for the mind.

The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime by Elicka Peterson Sparks. This book focuses on the negative impact of Christian nationalism on violent crime in the US, as well as the impact of this belief system on criminal justice policies.