We welcome Andrew Preston and speak about his book, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith.

    In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.

According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction.

    Irshad Manji is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University and she will be speaking at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams Thursday night at 7PM.

  Just days after the Pope announced his resignation; we will talk about the priesthood with Garry Wills. Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic?, Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself.

But after a lifetime of study and reflection, he now poses some challenging questions: Why do we need priests at all? Why did the priesthood arise in a religion that began without it and opposed it? Would Christianity be stronger without the priesthood, as it was at its outset?

His new book is Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition.

WIkimedia Commons / Rvin88

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.

He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."

We welcome Alain de Botton and speak with him about his book, Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion.

Clearstory Collective

        The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts recently launched a new initiative to reach out to people of faith who have become disaffected by the institutional church. It’s called  Clearstory Collective and it promotes opportunities for people seeking faith based communities and  alternative worship.  It is the brainchild of Rev. Christopher Carlisle, the diocesan missioner to higher education.  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Bancroft Prize-winning historian and legal expert Michael Klarman joins us this morning to discuss his account of modern litigation over same-sex marriage.

After looking at the treatment of gays in the decades after World War II and the birth of the modern gay rights movement with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, Klarman describes the key legal cases involving gay marriage and the dramatic political backlashes they ignited.

In God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage, Gene Robinson makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument.

The debate over hydraulic fracturing in New York will take on a religious and spiritual flavor tomorrow. An event called the Blessing of the Waters will take place at noon tomorrow at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown at the shores of Otsego Lake. The organizer of the event is Reverend Craig Schwalenberg, the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.