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The Political Animals

The Political Animals

By Jonathan Cole

Honest conversations about the political, theological and cultural ideas that shape who we are in the 21st century.

The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, scholar, translator and writer specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics.

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Are Women Fully Human? Gender Norms and the Politics of Feminism, with Dr Holly Lawford-Smith

The Political Animals

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Anti-Communism, the Labor Party Split, the Rise of the DLP and Catholic Tribalism: Remembering B.A. Santamaria, with Gerard Henderson
Anti-Communism, the Labor Party Split, the Rise of the DLP and Catholic Tribalism: Remembering B.A. Santamaria, with Gerard Henderson
Author and political commentator Gerard Henderson joins Jonathan for a conversation about B.A. Santamaria and the seminal political moments in Australia history that he was involved in. Drawing on his personal recollections of knowing and working with Santamaria, as well as the three books he has written on this "most unusual man," Gerard tells the story of communist influence in the trade union movement and Santamaria's efforts to combat it through "The Movement," the Labor Party split and Labor Party leader Bert Evatt's efforts to lay the blame at the feet of Santamaria and Victoria's catholics, the creation of the Democratic Labor Party, as well as the role of Archbishop Daniel Mannix and Santamaria as tribal Catholic leaders in an age of anti-Catholic sectarianism. Gerard Henderson is an author, columnist and political commentator. He is Executive Director of The Sydney Institute, a privately funded Australian current affairs forum, and author of Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. Jonathan posts regularly about political theology, political philosophy and conservatism on Facebook and Twitter.
01:27:59
November 20, 2022
Are States Illegitimate, Dangerous and Unnecessary? Radical Consociationalism, with Prof Gary Chartier
Are States Illegitimate, Dangerous and Unnecessary? Radical Consociationalism, with Prof Gary Chartier
Jonathan is joined by Gary Chartier for a critical dialogue about his forthcoming book, Christianity and the Nation-State: A Study in Political Theology. The book provocatively contends that states are fundamentally illegitimate and dangerous, notwithstanding many Christian attempts at justifying their existence, and that they can be replaced with a stateless world constituted by multiple forces of independent, self-organising, overlapping associations. Gary Chartier is Distinguished Professor of Law and Business Ethics and Associate Dean of the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University, Riverside, California. He is a theologian, philosopher, legal scholar and political theorist. You can find out more about Gary and his writing here. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. Jonathan posts regularly about political theology, political philosophy and conservatism on Facebook and Twitter.
02:12:44
November 13, 2022
Evangelicals Working for the Renewal of the Uniting Church, with Anna White-Atkins
Evangelicals Working for the Renewal of the Uniting Church, with Anna White-Atkins
Jonathan is joined by Anna White-Atkins for a deep-dive on the Uniting Church from the perspective of its Evangelical pastors and congregations. They explore the good, the bad and the ugly of the Uniting Church and the commitment of its Evangelical members to work for its renewal. Anna White-Atkins is a project officer at Propel Network, a new national network of evangelical leaders, congregations and agencies in the Uniting Church in Australia. Prior to joining Propel, she was pastor of a Uniting Church congregation in Melbourne for ten years. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:30:00
November 06, 2022
Monarchy vs Republic and the Power of Political Symbols, with Dr Joshua Neoh
Monarchy vs Republic and the Power of Political Symbols, with Dr Joshua Neoh
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession to the throne of King Charles III, Jonathan engages in a friendly debate with legal philosopher Joshua Neoh about Australia's constitutional monarchy and its republican alternatives. Joshua outlines his case for monarchy per se, and the British monarchy specifically, followed by Jonathan outlining his case for a minimalist republic. The conversation covers the role of the British monarchy in the Australian constitution, its symbolic force, the changing nature of Australian culture and its evolving relationship to the United Kingdom, the dangers of a popularly elected head of state and the way that different political theologies might lead to the embrace of monarchism or republicanism. Dr Joshua Neoh is an Associate Professor of Law at the Australian National University. He teaches courses in legal theory and law and the humanities. His research interest is in the philosophy of law, including political theology. He is the author of Law, Love and Freedom: From the Sacred to the Secular (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He has a Bachelor of Laws from the ANU, a Master of Laws from Yale, and a PhD in Law from Cambridge. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:45:03
October 30, 2022
Neoliberalism: The Scope, Application and Limits of Free Markets, with Dr Gordon Menzies
Neoliberalism: The Scope, Application and Limits of Free Markets, with Dr Gordon Menzies
Jonathan is joined by economist Dr Gordon Menzies for a deep dive on neoliberalism. They discuss the concept of free markets and the logic of extending free market thinking to aspects of human life that are not obviously economic. They examine and evaluate the neoliberal economic reforms of the 1980s, including floating the dollar, trade liberalisation and privatisation. They explore the causes of the global financial crisis and the role of neoliberalism in the near collapse of the financial system and the policies employed to deal with it. They discuss poverty and the purported role of neoliberal economic policies in generating, or failing to ameliorate, poverty. And they close with a discussion about the likely moral and economic consequences of a libertarian utopia based on a society organised primarily by market forces.  Dr Gordon Menzies is an award-winning Associate Professor in economics at the University of Technology Sydney. In the 1980s, he worked as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. His recent book, Western Fundamentalisms: Democracy, Sex and the Liberation of Mankind, was shortlisted for the 2021 Australian Christian book of the year award. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:30:00
October 16, 2022
Andrew Thorburn and the Death of Pluralism, with Religious Freedom Lawyer John Steenhof
Andrew Thorburn and the Death of Pluralism, with Religious Freedom Lawyer John Steenhof
John Steenhof, Principal Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Alliance, joined Jonathan for another conversation about the kinds of cases he works in the religious freedom/discrimination space. The conversation was scheduled prior to, but coinciding with, the the eruption of the Andrew Thorburn case—the CEO of the Essendon Football club forced to resign his position just 24 hours after being appointed because of his affiliation with a church. So while the pair do still discuss a number of recent freedom of religion/discrimination cases in Australia at the beginning of the conversation, they naturally end up focusing on the Thorburn episode and its implications for pluralism, religious freedom and the place of Christianity in contemporary Australian culture. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:21:56
October 06, 2022
Are Women Fully Human? Gender Norms and the Politics of Feminism, with Dr Holly Lawford-Smith
Are Women Fully Human? Gender Norms and the Politics of Feminism, with Dr Holly Lawford-Smith
Holly Lawford-Smith returns to the show for a discussion about her new book, Gender-Critical Feminism (OUP). Following a quick tour of significant developments in the transgender space since Holly and Jonathan last spoke (December, 2021), the pair delve into gender norms, including their connection to sex, distinction from identity, cultural and political significance, the balance of nature versus nurture in gender differences, whether women can genuinely enjoy and embrace gender norms of femininity, the gender-critical feminist critique of liberal feminism, the problem with intersectionality and woke feminism and the place and role of men in the feminist movement.  Dr Holly Lawford-Smith is an Associate Professor in political philosophy in the school of historical and philosophical studies at the University of Melbourne. She works in social, moral and political philosophy with a particular interest in feminism, climate ethics and collective action. She is the author of Gender-Critical Feminism (OUP, 2022). The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
02:02:26
October 02, 2022
A History of Conservatism in Australia, with Prof Greg Melleuish
A History of Conservatism in Australia, with Prof Greg Melleuish
In this episode, Jonathan is joined by Prof Greg Melleuish for a conversation about conservatism in Australia. They explore the dominant liberal tradition in Australian history and the place of conservatism in that tradition, the reasons why the language of conservatism emerges late in Australian political history, the general conservative nature of Australian settler culture, the evolution of the Liberal Party of Australia into a party with liberal and conservative wings and the recent influence of American conservatism on the developing conservative movement in Australia. Greg Melleuish is Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong, where he teaches Australian politics. He has written widely on Australian political thought and is the author of Cultural Liberalism in Australia, Despotic State or Free Individual and (with Dr Stephen Chavura) The Forgotten Menzies. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:22:47
September 25, 2022
God and Religion in the Australian Constitution, with Dr Ben Saunders
God and Religion in the Australian Constitution, with Dr Ben Saunders
How did "Almighty God" come to be mentioned in the preamble to the Australian Constitution? Why and how did a whole provision (s116) find its way into the constitution setting out the Commonwealth's legislative powers in relation to religion? And what are the states' powers to establish religion and pass other laws relating to religion? Jonathan discusses these questions and much more with constitutional scholar Dr Ben Saunders in this episode of The Political Animals. Ben Saunders is an Associate Professor at Deakin Law School. His principal areas of research interest are constitutional law, the history of federation, and law and religion. Ben also has over ten years of professional experience working in private practice and advising the Victorian and Commonwealth governments on constitutional law and human rights. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:13:53
September 18, 2022
Religion and Spirituality in Australia: A Demographic Analysis with Dr Ruth Powell
Religion and Spirituality in Australia: A Demographic Analysis with Dr Ruth Powell
Sociologist Ruth Powell joins Jonathan for a conversation about religion and spirituality in contemporary Australia. They discuss the recent historic census which saw those identifying as religious drop below 50%, demographic trends within different Christian denominations, the growth of non-Christian minority religions, the surprising and growing interest in Christianity among younger generations and what surveys are telling us about spirituality and its connection (or disconnection) with religion. Dr Ruth Powell is Director of NCLS Research and an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University. She studies the sociology and psychology of religion, with a special focus on Christianity and Christian churches in Australia. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:25:49
September 11, 2022
Woke Theology, with Dr Jacqueline Service and Dr Amy Erickson
Woke Theology, with Dr Jacqueline Service and Dr Amy Erickson
In a first for the show, Jonathan hosts two guests. The topic? Woke theology. The trio explores the definition of woke theology before embarking on a critical engagement of three articles characterisable as woke theology: one on queering Jesus, one in feminist Christology and one on whiteness and Jesus. The three conclude with a discussion of how best to respond to woke theology. Dr Jacqueline Service is Lecturer in Systematic Theology in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. Her research focuses on Trinitarian theology, divine ontology and human well-being. She is on the editorial board of the journal Religion and Development and is a board member of Micah Australia. Dr Amy Erickson is Lecturer in Theology and Ethics in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. Her research interests include figural hermeneutics, ecclesiology, Sabbath and church discipline. She has a PhD in Theology from the University of Aberdeen and is a native of Texas. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
02:03:18
August 28, 2022
Sex, Singleness, Identity and the Modern Self, with Dr Dani Treweek
Sex, Singleness, Identity and the Modern Self, with Dr Dani Treweek
Dani Treweek joins Jonathan for a conversation about the place and role of sex and sexuality in contemporary Western cutlure. They examine Carl Trueman's work on the rise and triumph of the modern self, including expressive individualism, the psychologised self and the politicisation of sex. They then pivot to the place of marriage and singleness in the church, particularly against the backdrop of a culture so intent on defining humans by their sexual desires and encouraging their actualisation. Dr Dani Treweek is the founding director of Single Minded, a parachurch ministry which seeks to resource the Christian church with faithful biblical teaching about singleness. Her book, The Meaning of Singleness, is being published by IVP in 2023. She is ordained as a deacon and serves as the Research Officer and a member of the Archbishop's Doctrine Commission within the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Australia The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:22:53
August 21, 2022
Adam Smith, the Invisible Hand and the Intersection between Economics and Theology, with Prof Paul Oslington
Adam Smith, the Invisible Hand and the Intersection between Economics and Theology, with Prof Paul Oslington
Jonathan is joined by economist and theologian Paul Oslington for a wide-ranging discussion on the intersection of economics and theology. The conversation begins with Adam Smith, the great father of economics, with a particular focus on his idea of the invisible hand and its allusions to providence. The conversation covers the reception, misreception and new (theological) reading of Smith, plus the virtues and limitations of free markets, the idea of capitalism, wealth and the theological roots of economics. Professor Paul Oslington has PhDs in economics (University of Sydney) and theology (University of Divinity). He currently works at Alphacrucis College, is a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a Research Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University. He was previously a Professor of Economics at the Australian Catholic University and an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of New South Wales. He is currently working on a book for Harvard University Press on the history of economic thinking in the Christian tradition.  The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority and Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan and the show onFacebook and Twitter.
01:27:11
August 14, 2022
A Voice to Parliament, Acknowledgment of Country, Cultural Safety and Cancel Culture, with Dr Anthony Dillon
A Voice to Parliament, Acknowledgment of Country, Cultural Safety and Cancel Culture, with Dr Anthony Dillon
Indigenous commentator Anthony Dillon returns to The Political Animals for a conversation about the mooted Indigenous voice to parliament and other aspects of the evolving culture around the place of Aboriginal people in contemporary Australia, including welcome to and acknowledgement of country, the idea of cultural safety, reconciliation, cancel culture in relation to Indigenous issues and the evolving language used to describe Aboriginal, now First Nations, Australians. Dr Anthony Dillon is an indigenous commentator and behavioural scientist and researcher at The Australian Catholic University. He blogs at www.anthonydillon.com.au and tweets at @Athonywodillon. You can read Anthony's article, discussed in the show, here. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:17:54
August 07, 2022
Religious Liberty: A History, with Dr Sarah Irving-Stonebraker
Religious Liberty: A History, with Dr Sarah Irving-Stonebraker
Intellectual historian Sarah Irving-Stonebraker joins the show for a conversation about the history of religious liberty, exploring the emergence and development of the concept from its first explicit usage by the third century church father Tertullian to its more recent secular evolution towards the present. Key moments in the history of religious liberty are covered, including the medieval period, the Reformation, colonisation, the American constitution and the French Revolution, conscientious objection and the Australian context.  Dr Sarah Irving-Stonebraker is Senior Lecturer in History at Western Sydney University and co-editor of the Journal of Religious History. She was awarded her PhD in History from Cambridge University (2007) and has been an Assistant Professor at Florida State University and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford University. Her first book, Natural Science and the Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge), was awarded The Royal Society of Literature and Jerwood Foundation Award for Non-fiction. She has two current book projects: Forgotten Histories of Religious Liberty in Australia, 1788- Present and The Death of History and the Hope of Christianity. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:23:04
July 24, 2022
Robert Menzies: An Exploration of the Faith and Politics of Australia's Longest Serving Prime Minister, with Dr David Furse-Roberts
Robert Menzies: An Exploration of the Faith and Politics of Australia's Longest Serving Prime Minister, with Dr David Furse-Roberts
Jonathan is joined by historian David Furse-Roberts for an exploration of the faith, political philosophy and political career of Australia's longest serving prime minister, Robert Menzies (over 18 years). They explore the Christian theological influences that shaped the faith of Menzies and his worldview, the way his Christian faith shaped his understanding of and approach to politics, society and civilisation, significant moments in Menzies' political career, particularly in the area of education, Menzies' liberal philosophy and the founding of The Liberal Party of Australia, and the contemporary fight over Menzies' legacy on the centre right in Australia today. Dr David Furse-Roberts is a Research Fellow at the Menzies Research Centre and works for a member of the NSW parliament. He is the author of God & Menzies: The Faith that Shaped a Prime Minister and His Nation, The Making of a Tory Evangelical: Lord Shaftesbury and the Evolving Character of Victorian Evangelicalism and the editor of several collections of political speeches by Australian prime ministers, including Menzies, John Howard and Tony Abbot. He has a PhD in history from the University of New South Wales. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:41:33
July 17, 2022
Karl Marx: Myths, Misconceptions and Other Marxist Heresies, with Prof Wayne Hudson
Karl Marx: Myths, Misconceptions and Other Marxist Heresies, with Prof Wayne Hudson
Intellectual historian Wayne Hudson rejoins the show for a fresh look at the thought and impact of Karl Marx. They look at Marx's philosophy of freedom, the German intellectual tradition in which Marx arose, Marx's view of utopia, the negative impact of eschatology in Marx's thought, his poor philosophy of history and politics, his reception (or misreception) in Russia, China and the West, the Christian engagement of Marx, Marxist corruptions of Marx's thought, and the relevance of Marx to a critique of contemporary capitalism. Wayne Hudson is an adjunct professor at Charles Sturt University, the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania. He is a world authority on the philosophy of East German Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch and author of The Marxist Philosophy of Ernst Bloch (1982) and Reforming Utopia (2003). He is also the author of The English Deists: Studies in Early Enlightenment (2009), Enlightenment and Modernity: The English Deists and Reform (2009), Atheism and Deism Revalued (2014) and Australian Religious Thought (2016).  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:12:48
July 10, 2022
Transhumanism and the Quest for Technological Immortality: A Conversation with Prof Ben Mitchell
Transhumanism and the Quest for Technological Immortality: A Conversation with Prof Ben Mitchell
In this episode, Jonathan talks to bioethicist Ben Mitchell about transhumanism. They discuss the origins, philosophy and goals of the transhumanist movement, the movement's desire for a post human future, the impact of technology on the human being, including the possibility of uploading consciousness to a computer, or merging the human brain with technology, and finally what it actually means to be human. Prof Ben Mitchell recently retired after serving ten years as the Graves Chair of Moral Philosophy at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee. He taught ethics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, where he also served for a time as director of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. He has served on the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Committee, been a consultant with the Center for Genetics & Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University and currently serves as Distinguished Fellow of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:45:50
July 03, 2022
Anglicanism: A House Divided, with The Rt Rev Prof Stephen Pickard
Anglicanism: A House Divided, with The Rt Rev Prof Stephen Pickard
In this episode, Jonathan tackles Anglicanism with recently retired Anglican bishop and theologian Stephen Pickard. They explore Anglicanism's long struggle with unity, through the prism of history, ecclesiology, theology, Scripture and the pressures, tumult and anxieties of contemporary secular culture, in relation to both the national church in Australia and the Anglican communion globally. The Rt Rev Prof Stephen Pickard has served as an Assistant Bishop in the Anglican dioceses of Adelaide and Canberra-Goulburn and held many positions in the church and academy, including director of St Mark's National Theological Centre and Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:56:01
June 19, 2022
The Dark Arts of Political Campaigning and the Recent Federal Election in Australia, with James Flynn
The Dark Arts of Political Campaigning and the Recent Federal Election in Australia, with James Flynn
Political campaigner James Flynn joins Jonathan for a conversation about the techniques, tactics and strategies of contemporary political campaigning, followed by analysis of the recently concluded federal election in Australia. James Flynn has run 19 campaigns across federal, state and local levels, including House and Senate races in the most recent federal election. He has served as an advisor to ministers and MPs across all levels of government and has worked in business (tech sector). The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:45:01
June 12, 2022
Christianity and Science: A Conversation with Astrophysicist Dr Frank Stootman
Christianity and Science: A Conversation with Astrophysicist Dr Frank Stootman
Jonathan is joined by astrophysicist Dr Frank Stootman for a discussion about the relationship between Christianity and Science. They cover the origins of the universe, young earth creationism, the place of Scripture in science, fine tuning, the multiverse, Darwin's theory of evolution, change and diversity in nature, naturalism, subjectivism and the rise of science scepticism amongst Christians. Dr Frank Stootman is a retired Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Western Sydney. He is Director of L’Abri Fellowship in Australia: a place where people can receive hospitality and work through questions related to Christianity. He has taught extensively in Australia and internationally on the relationship between Christianity and science. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection between religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:23:06
June 05, 2022
Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, Male Headship and the Role of Women in the Church: A Conversation with Prof Graham Cole
Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, Male Headship and the Role of Women in the Church: A Conversation with Prof Graham Cole
Jonathan is joined by biblical and systematic theologian Graham Cole for a discussion about men, women, the Bible and the church. They explore complementarianism, egalitarianism, Male headship and the place of women in the church according to the Bible and theological doctrines such as the Trinity. They also discuss the views and applications of these doctrines in different institutional settings, including the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Moore Theological College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Graham Cole is Emeritus Dean and Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago, US. He was previously the Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, US, Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia, and has lectured in Christian thought at Moore Theological College, Sydney Australia, and in the philosophy of religion at the University of Sydney. He is the author of many books, including He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit; God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom; The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of the Incarnation; Against the Darkness: The Doctrine of Angels, Satan and Demons; and Glorification: An Introduction. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:07:45
May 29, 2022
Islam and Christianity: Theological Continuity or Discontinuity? A Conversation with Dr Mark Durie
Islam and Christianity: Theological Continuity or Discontinuity? A Conversation with Dr Mark Durie
In this episode Jonathan talks to Dr Mark Durie, author of The Qur'an and Its Biblical Reflexes: Investigations into the Genesis of a Religion. They explore the theological relationship between Christianity (and Judaism) and Islam, with a particular focus on explaining the large presence of Biblical material in the Qur'an and whether this constitutes theological continuity or discontinuity. The pair also discuss the implication's of Mark's thesis that Islam constitutes a theological innovation rather than a continuous development from Christianity for inter-faith dialogue and pluralism in Western liberal democracies. Dr Mark Durie is a Senior Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology. He has earned two PhDs, in Linguistics and Islamic Theology, and has held visiting academic positions in linguistics at MIT, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford. In 1992, while head of the Department of Linguistics and Language Studies at Melbourne University, he became the youngest person elected to the Australian Academy of Humanities. Mark speaks and writes on relations between monotheistic faiths, Christian missions, and religious freedom. He is the author of The Qur’an and Its Biblical Reflexes: Investigations into the Genesis of a Religion. The Political Animals is hosted by Dr Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Jonathan was a senior terrorism analyst at Australian intelligence agency the Office of National Assessments where he worked on Islamist terrorism and the global jihadist movement. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:45:52
May 08, 2022
Euthanasia: A Conversation with Dr Megan Best
Euthanasia: A Conversation with Dr Megan Best
This episode covers all things euthanasia, from the origins and drivers of the pro-euthanasia movement, to the medical, social, cultural, economic, political, legislative and ethical circumstances surrounding it. The episode, however, is much more than merely a deep dive on euthanasia; it is an exploration of death, existential crisis and the way Western liberal democracies handle (and mishandle) the important role and function of death in the lives of its citizens. Megan Best is an Associate Professor with the Institute for Ethics and Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia. She has a clinical background in palliative medicine and her research interests include spirituality in healthcare, existential suffering, psycho-oncology, and whole person care and ethics at the beginning and end of life.  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:26:12
May 01, 2022
Ukraine and the Future of Warfare, with Mick Ryan
Ukraine and the Future of Warfare, with Mick Ryan
Jonathan talks to strategist, author and former Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan about the war in Ukraine and the future of warfare. They discuss the current strategic, operational and tactical situation in Ukraine, failures of the Russian military, the role and future of the tank, the role of human will and cognitive ability in warfare, the role of technology, the significance of time management and exploitation in warfare, the critical role of failure and adaptation in the outcome of war, the multi-domain nature of modern warfare and the prospect of militaries enhanced by AI and robotic technology in the future. Mick Ryan, AM is a strategist, former Australian Army Major General, who served in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and author of War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
53:30
April 24, 2022
Campbell Newman on Why He Left the Liberal Party, the Virtues of Small Government and His Senate Bid with the Liberal Democrats
Campbell Newman on Why He Left the Liberal Party, the Virtues of Small Government and His Senate Bid with the Liberal Democrats
Former Queensland Premier and Liberal Democrats Senate Candidate for Queensland, Campbell Newman, joins Jonathan for a chat about Australian politics and the 2022 Federal Election. They discuss Newman's decision to leave the Liberal Party and join the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats' Freedom Manifesto, libertarianism in Australia, differences between libertarians and conservatives on moral questions, the role of the media in contemporary politics and reflections on Newman's time as Premier of Queensland. Campbell Newman, AO is the Liberal Democrats Senate Candidate for Queensland. He is Chairman of Arcana Capital, a Director & adviser to a number of start-up technology companies and a regular commentator on SkyNews Australia. He was Premier of Queensland from 2012 to 2015 and Lord Mayor of Brisbane 2004 to 2011. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is Assistant Director of the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society at Charles Sturt University, and author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:47:49
April 10, 2022
Atheism and the Failures of Modern Philosophy
Atheism and the Failures of Modern Philosophy
Intellectual historian Wayne Hudson rejoins the show for a discussion about atheism and modern philosophy. The discussion covers the history of atheism, shifts in its meaning over time and place, the purported role of the enlightenment in its rise, the difficulty of understanding what people actually mean today when they declare themselves to be atheists, common mistakes made by both atheism and theism, the failure of modern philosophy to make any serious advance in knowledge, the challenges facing theology in the 21st century and the role of science and mathematics in our understanding of reality. Wayne Hudson is an adjunct professor at Charles Sturt University, the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania. He is the author of many books, including: The English Deists: Studies in Early Enlightenment (2009), Enlightenment and Modernity: The English Deists and Reform (2009), Atheism and Deism Revalued (2014) and Australian Religious Thought (2016). The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is Assistant Director of the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society at Charles Sturt University, and author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:04:12
April 03, 2022
The War on Christian Schools, with Mark Spencer
The War on Christian Schools, with Mark Spencer
Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy at Christian Schools Australia, joins Jonathan to discuss the difficult cultural environment in which Christian schools now must operate. They cover the history, nature and purpose of Christian schools in Australia, the tension between discipleship and mission, the way state-based curricula are taught from a Christian perspective, the place of Christian education in secular Australia, the various controversies surrounding Christian schools, particularly in relation to LGBTIQ issues, the fiasco of the recently failed religious freedom bill and the growing attacks on Christian schools from activists. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is Assistant Director of the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society at Charles Sturt University, and author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:26:35
March 27, 2022
Catholicism in Contemporary Australia and the Emergence of New Sectarian Alignments
Catholicism in Contemporary Australia and the Emergence of New Sectarian Alignments
Catholic theologian Matthew Tan joins Jonathan for a conversation about the contemporary face of Catholicism in Australia. They explore the breadth and depth of diversity in Australian Catholicism, its impact on Australian society, its relationship to Protestantism, popular perceptions and misperceptions about the denomination and new inter- and intra-ecclesial sectarian alignments in Australian Christianity generated by the influence of politics. Dr Matthew Tan is Dean of Studies at Vianney College, Wagga Wagga, a Campus of the Catholic Institute of Sydney. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, and blogs at Awkward Asian Theologian. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is Assistant Director of the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society at Charles Sturt University, and author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:28:49
March 20, 2022
Lyle Shelton on the Demise of the Christian Democratic Party and the Future of Christian Politics in Australia
Lyle Shelton on the Demise of the Christian Democratic Party and the Future of Christian Politics in Australia
Lyle Shelton discusses the sorry saga that led to the dissolution of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW, the lessons to be learned from it and future strategies for Christians seeking to make a difference in the political arena.  Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communication for the Christian Democratic Party. He is a former Managing Director of the Australia Christian Lobby, a Queensland Senate candidate with Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservatives, a former elected member of the Toowoomba City Council and author of I Kid You Not—Nots from 20 Years in the Trenches of the Culture Wars. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:09:52
March 06, 2022
The Christian Foundations of Australia: A Conversation with Dr Michael Gladwin
The Christian Foundations of Australia: A Conversation with Dr Michael Gladwin
Historian Michael Gladwin joins the show for a conversation about the role and impact of Christianity on the European settlement and foundation of Australia. They look at the role of clergy in the early colonial period, the relationship between church and state and the cultural and political impact of Christians in the formation of Australia. They also discuss the failure of Australian historians to take proper account of the importance of religion in Australian history. Dr Michael Gladwin is Lecturer in History at St Mark’s National Theological Centre in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. A graduate of the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge, his research interests include the religious and cultural history of Australia and the British Empire. Michael is the author of Captains of the Soul: a history of Australian Army chaplains (2013) and Anglican clergy in Australia, 1788–1850: building a British World (2015).  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:43:16
February 27, 2022
Right Wing Extremism: A Conversation with Dr Kristy Campion
Right Wing Extremism: A Conversation with Dr Kristy Campion
Terrorism scholar Kristy Campion joins the show for a deep dive on right wing extremism. Kristy and Jonathan cover the definition of right wing extremism, its history and its diverse ideologies, including white supremacism, ethnonationalism, Christian Identity, Odinism, Satanism, the sovereign citizen movement, Qanon and ecofascism. They also examine the anti-Islam ideologies of right wing terrorists Brenton Tarrant and Anders Breivik. Dr Kristy Campion is a lecturer in Terrorism Studies with the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University. She is the author of Chasing Shadows: The Untold and Deadly Story of Terrorism in Australia. Her current research focuses on right wing extremism. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:47:33
February 20, 2022
Are China and America destined for War? Great Power Rivalry in the Asia-Pacific, with Sam Roggeveen
Are China and America destined for War? Great Power Rivalry in the Asia-Pacific, with Sam Roggeveen
The Lowy Institute's Sam Roggeveen joins Jonathan to discuss the rise of Chinese military power, its implications for American power, the prospects of great power conflict in the Asia Pacific, scenarios regarding Taiwan, the American response to China's rise and the defence strategy and military configuration Australia should be pursuing in light of changed strategic circumstances in the region. Sam Roggeveen is Director of the Lowy Institute's International Security Program. He specialises in China's military, American defence and foreign policy, Australian defence and foreign policy, and military technology. He has worked at Australian intelligence agencies the Office of National Assessments and the Defence Intelligence Agency, and also Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs, where he worked on arms control.  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:53:44
February 13, 2022
A Critical Review of Australia's Covid Response, with Kurt Mahlburg
A Critical Review of Australia's Covid Response, with Kurt Mahlburg
On the occasion of Australia's two year anniversary of its first confirmed case of Covid, Jonathan sits down with vocal government critic Kurt Mahlburg to review Australia's response. Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and editor with The Canberra Declaration and author of Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
02:08:13
January 30, 2022
Political Violence and the Power of Ideology: A Conversation with Dr Carlos Raimundo
Political Violence and the Power of Ideology: A Conversation with Dr Carlos Raimundo
Jonathan is joined by medical doctor and psychotherapist Carlos Raimundo for an exploration of the human capacity for violence in the name of political ideology. Carlos recounts his personal experiences of political violence during the "dirty war" in Argentina and the life long study of psychology, philosophy, theology and neuroscience it prompted in him in aid of trying to understand the human condition. Dr Carlos Raimundo trained and worked as a doctor and surgeon in Argentina before moving to Australia in 1986 to work as a Baptist Pastor to the Spanish-speaking community of Western Sydney. He has practiced as a psychotherapist in both Argentina and Australia, studied theology under Francis Schaefffer, is the developer of the award winning psychodrama technology Play for LIfe, currently works as a leadership coach and trainer for the corporate sector and is researching the neuroscience of emotions, behavioural modification and relationships. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:39:25
January 23, 2022
Cultural Marxism: A Conversation with Dr Knox Peden
Cultural Marxism: A Conversation with Dr Knox Peden
In this episode, intellectual historian Knox Peden joins Jonathan for a deep dive on cultural marxism. Along the way, they explore the intellectual history of marxism, including Western marxism, the political history of marxist revolutionaries, the Frankfurt School, critical theory, cultural studies, right-wing polemical uses of the term "cultural marxism" and the relationship (and tension) between today's progressive identitarian politics and marxist theories of class conflict. Dr Knox Peden is a senior lecturer in European enlightenment studies at the University of Queensland, where he teaches in the program on Western civilisation. He specialises in European intellectual history, including the intellectual history of marxism. He is the co-author of French Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction with Oxford University Press. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
02:21:34
January 16, 2022
Roger Scruton on Freedom, Authority and the Meaning of Conservatism
Roger Scruton on Freedom, Authority and the Meaning of Conservatism
In this throwback episode, Simon Kennedy joins Jonathan for a discussion of Roger Scruton's classic work The Meaning of Conservatism. In particular, they hone in on Scruton's conception of freedom and authority and its potential illumination in the current political turbulence of the covid era. Dr Simon Kennedy is Director of the Millis Institute at Christian Heritage College, a research fellow at the University of Queensland, host of The Millis Podcast and author of the forthcoming Reforming the Law of Nature: The Secularisation of Political Thought, 1532–1689.  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:50:01
January 09, 2022
Gender Critical Feminism and the Transgender TERF War: A Conversation with Holly Lawford-Smith
Gender Critical Feminism and the Transgender TERF War: A Conversation with Holly Lawford-Smith
In this episode, political philosopher and gender critical feminist Holly Lawford-Smith talks to Jonathan about sex, gender and the conflict between the radical feminist movement and transgender activists. They cover gender critical feminism, the conflation of sex and gender, the impact of subjective gender identity on women and the law, biology versus identity, non-binary gender identity, the relationship between LGB and T in LGBT, the transgender movement and why our culture has proved so receptive to gender identity at the expense of sex. Holly also talks about how she came to be banned (for life) on Twitter and efforts to get her fired from her academic job at the University of Melbourne.  Holly Lawford-Smith is an Associate Professor in Political Philosophy in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. She works in social, moral, and political philosophy, with a particular interest in feminism, climate ethics, and collective action. Most of her current research is centered on the conflict of interests between gender identity activism, on the one hand, and both women’s rights, and lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) rights, on the other hand. Her research can be accessed at https://hollylawford-smith.org.  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:57:11
December 12, 2021
Being the Bad Guys: Doing Church in a Hostile Culture, with Stephen McAlpine
Being the Bad Guys: Doing Church in a Hostile Culture, with Stephen McAlpine
Stephen McAlpine, author of the 2021 Australian Christian book of the year—Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn't—joins Jonathan for a conversation about the fate of the church in a hostile culture. "The church used to be recognised as a force for good, but this is changing rapidly. Christians are now often seen as the bad guys, losing both respect and influence. In our post-Christian culture, how do we offer the gospel to those around us who view it as not only wrong but possibly dangerous? And how do we ensure that the secular worldview does not entice us away with its constant barrage, online and elsewhere, of messages about self-determinism?"—Being the Bad Guys. Stephen McAlpine is a Perth-based pastor and author with over 30 years experience in Christian ministry. He has a background in journalism and writes on the intersection of church, theology and culture at stephenmcalpine.com.  The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:39:06
December 05, 2021
Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Australian Culture: A Conversation with Dr Alex Naraniecki
Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Australian Culture: A Conversation with Dr Alex Naraniecki
Alex Naraniecki joins Jonathan for a conversation about multiculturalism. Among other things, they discuss the origins of Australia's bipartisan policy of multiculturalism, how that policy morphed from a strategy for managing migrant integration to a celebration of cultural diversity, the Cronulla riot and its fall out, the role of law in successful multiculturalism, the reasons why multiculturalism has fallen out of public discussion, Australia's "thick" and "thin" culture, the intersection of multiculturalism and political liberalism and the potential threat of civilisational states on Australia's cultural cohesion and security. Dr Alex Naraniecki is a researcher from the Institute for Ethics, Law and Governance at Griffith University’s Law Futures Centre. He did a post-doc at Deakin University on multiculturalism and is also a scholar of Karl Popper. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:31:49
November 28, 2021
Evangelicals, Trump and America: A View from the Inside, with Dr James Stamoolis
Evangelicals, Trump and America: A View from the Inside, with Dr James Stamoolis
In this episode, Jonathan talks to American evangelical James Stamoolis about the evangelical movement in America, including its embrace of Trump, the loss of millennials, media constructs and distortions, the problem of defining evangelicals, cultural influence and its loss, the appeal of Trump, the need for evangelical revival and the myth of 1950s America. Dr James Stamoolis has been a missionary, worked for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and the World Evangelical Fellowship, served as a dean at Wheaton college and was a senior vice-president and dean at Trinity International University. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan and the show on Twitter and Facebook.
01:07:56
November 21, 2021
There is no salvation in politics: Christianity in an age of deep political anxiety, with Martyn Iles
There is no salvation in politics: Christianity in an age of deep political anxiety, with Martyn Iles
Martyn Iles returns to the show for a chat about the challenges of being a Christian in an age of deep political anxiety, from the stresses of covid and the increase in government power and control over life and death to the new religion of secular political power and the attendant temptation of political Christianity. Martyn Iles is Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Host of The Truth of It and a prominent Christian commentator on theology, law, politics and culture. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality.  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
01:16:10
November 07, 2021
Education: What Went Wrong? A Conversation with Dr Kevin Donnelly
Education: What Went Wrong? A Conversation with Dr Kevin Donnelly
In this episode, Jonathan chats to Kevin Donnelly about the degeneration of education. They focus on when, how and why education went into decline in Australia in both schools and universities, covering changes in pedagogy, the role of teachers, the purpose of education, the ideology of educators and academics, the corporatisation of the university and more. Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and a regular commentator on education in the Australian media. He is the author of A Politically Correct Dictionary and Guide and the editor of Cancel Culture and the Left's Long March. In 2014, he co-authored a review into the national curriculum. You can read his articles and find out more about Kevin at his website: https://kevindonnelly.com.au/. The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
01:17:51
October 31, 2021
Vaccines, Mandates, Conscience, Hesitancy and Churches: A Conversation with Rev Dr Andrew Errington
Vaccines, Mandates, Conscience, Hesitancy and Churches: A Conversation with Rev Dr Andrew Errington
Anglican minister and ethicist Andrew Errington joins the show for a discussion about vaccine mandates, vaccine hesitancy, freedom of conscience and churches. The discussion also covers the issues of vaccine mandates per se, the nature and function of contemporary liberal democracies, managing moral disagreements, the nature and purpose of Christian churches, the grounds upon which individuals can be excluded from church and safety considerations in the context of churches.  Rev Dr Andrew Errington is the rector of an Anglican parish in Sydney and a researcher in ethics. He previously lectured in systematic theology at St Mark's National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University, and is the author of Every Good Path: Wisdom and Practical Reason in Christian Ethics and the Book of Proverbs (T&T Clark). He also writes for ABC Religion & Ethics, including a recent article called: "A fellowship of the unvaccinated? How churches should—and should not—respond to the state government's COVID-19 restrictions." The Political Animals is hosted by Jonathan Cole, an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersetion of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Joanthan on Twitter and Facebook.
01:38:33
October 24, 2021
Is Australia a Racist Country? A Conversation with Indigenous Commentator Dr Anthony Dillon
Is Australia a Racist Country? A Conversation with Indigenous Commentator Dr Anthony Dillon
Indigenous commentator Anthony Dillon joins the show for a discussion about indigenous affairs. Anthony provides a fresh perspective that is critical of what he calls "blacktivism," the grievance industry and the view that Australia is a racist country. Issues covered in the conversation include poverty, child abuse, incarceration, Aboriginal deaths in custody, indigenous incarceration rates, the infamous Bill Leak cartoon, Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu and the fraught issue of Aboriginal identity. Dr Anthony Dillon is an indigenous commentator and behavioural scientist and researcher at The Australian Catholic University. Check out his website: www.anthonydillon.com.au. Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
58:08
October 17, 2021
Intellectual Snack: Edmund Burke on Necessities, Human Nature and the Dangers of Abstract Political Thinking
Intellectual Snack: Edmund Burke on Necessities, Human Nature and the Dangers of Abstract Political Thinking
In this intellectual snack, Jonathan reflects on Edmund Burke's conservative understanding of politics as the pragmatic art of managing human necessities within the constraints of human nature, and why we ought to be sceptical of abstract political thinking in that endeavour. Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
18:54
October 10, 2021
Intellectual snack: Aristotle's Political Animal
Intellectual snack: Aristotle's Political Animal
In this intellectual snack, host Jonathan examines Aristotle's immortal concept of the political animal.
12:59
October 07, 2021
John Stuart Mill on Free Speech
John Stuart Mill on Free Speech
This is the first in a new series of short intellectual snacks in which host of The Political Animals Podcast, Jonathan Cole, will offer a meditation on a single idea or argument from a great book and thinker that is relevant to the cultural and political challenges of 21st century humans. In this inaugural episode, Jonathan meditates on John Stuart Mill's argument for free speech in his classic work On Liberty (1859).
09:53
October 05, 2021
Public Christianity with Dr Natasha Moore
Public Christianity with Dr Natasha Moore
The Centre for Public Christianity's (CPX) Natasha Moore joins host Jonathan for a conversation about public Christianity. They begin with an overview of the work of CPX, before moving on to the question of how to define and understand public Christianity more broadly, particularly in light of Christian division, denominational particularity and an often uninterested or hostile secular public. They then take a close and considered look at Marilynne Robinsons's Pulitzer Prize wining novel Gilead as an example of public Christianity. This sparks an unexpected and interesting detour into gender before the pair return to the question of public Christianity to close out the show. Dr Natasha Moore is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is the author of For the Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined and, most recently, The Pleasures of Pessimism. She has worked for CPX since 2014 and written on topics that include books, movies, politics,
 food, domestic violence, Scripture in schools, war, Thanksgiving, and freedom of speech. Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. He is the author of Christian Political Theology in an Age of Discontent: Mediating Scripture, Doctrine, and Political Reality. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
02:03:09
October 03, 2021
On the Life, Times, Political Theology and Poetry of John Milton with Dr Ben Myers
On the Life, Times, Political Theology and Poetry of John Milton with Dr Ben Myers
Ben Myers joins host Jonathan in this episode for a deep dive on the fascinating life, times and thought of John Milton (1608–1674). They cover everything from the English Civil War, regicide, political authority, republicanism, the Protestant Reformation, tyranny, censorship, theology, exegesis, the individual conscience, freedom, marriage and divorce, poetry and more.  Dr Ben Myers is Director of Graduate Research at Alphacrucis College and writes on the intersection of literature and theology. His international appointments have included visiting fellow at Fuller Theological Seminary and member in residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. He is a Research Fellow of the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He is the author of The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism, Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams and Milton's Theology of Freedom.  Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
01:33:02
September 26, 2021
European Philosophy with Prof Wayne Hudson, Part B: Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze
European Philosophy with Prof Wayne Hudson, Part B: Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze
In this, the second episode in the show's two-part series on European philosophy, polymath guest Wayne Hudson and host Jonathan Cole discuss the contribution and legacy of French philosophy. The enigmatic, controversial and influential thought of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze serves as a springboard for a wide-ranging diagnostic conversation about contemporary politics, culture and education. Wayne Hudson is a Research Professor at Charles Sturt University. He is an intellectual historian and a social philosopher who works across the areas of philosophy, history, politics and religion. His research covers religious thought, utopianism and social reform, the Enlightenment and the postsecular. He is recognised as the English language expert on the Jewish German Philosopher Ernst Bloch and is also a leading historian of English deism. He delivered the first lectures on postmodernism at Oxford and taught philosophical anthropology for seven years at the University of Utrecht. Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook.
50:57
September 19, 2021
European Philosophy with Prof Wayne Hudson, Part A: Kant, Hegel and Schelling
European Philosophy with Prof Wayne Hudson, Part A: Kant, Hegel and Schelling
In this episode, the first in a two-part series on European philosophy, returning guest Prof Wayne Hudson examines the legacy of German philosophy. He explores the contribution of German giants Kant, Hegel and Schelling and explains the ways in which their thought has been misunderstood in the English-speaking world. He and host Jonathan then embark on a discussion about contemporary science and culture, civilisational decline, the cognitive evolution of the human being and the fate of humanity. Wayne Hudson is a Research Professor at Charles Sturt University. He is an intellectual historian and a social philosopher who works across the areas of philosophy, history, politics and religion. His research covers religious thought, utopianism and social reform, the Enlightenment and the postsecular. He is recognised as the English language expert on the Jewish German Philosopher Ernst Bloch and is also a leading historian of English deism. He delivered the first lectures on postmodernism at Oxford and taught philosophical anthropology for seven years at the University of Utrecht. Host of The Political Animals, Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Previously, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter and Facebook. 
41:23
September 12, 2021
The Tyranny of Health: Government, Law and Freedom in the Covid Era with Prof Nicholas Aroney
The Tyranny of Health: Government, Law and Freedom in the Covid Era with Prof Nicholas Aroney
Eminent constitutional scholar Nicholas Aroney joins host Jonathan in this episode for a wide-ranging discussion of life in the era of covid. They discuss the Australian Constitution, federalism, the legislative power of State and Territory governments, the legal basis of lockdowns and associated measures, legal challenges to lockdown measures, vaccine passports and mandates, the power of health bureaucrats, the place of death in our culture, the modern tendency to over-legislate and the impact of covid on our personal freedoms. Nicholas Aroney is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Queensland. Professor Aroney has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters and books in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutional law and legal theory. He has led several international research projects in comparative federalism, bicameralism, legal pluralism, and law & religion. He is the author of The Constitution of a Federal Commonwealth: The Making and Meaning of the Australian Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He has held visiting positions at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris II, Edinburgh, Durham, Sydney, Emory and Tilburg universities. Host of The Political Animals, Dr Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. 
01:49:40
August 29, 2021
Lessons from the Afghanistan Debacle with Former Intelligence Analyst Jonathan Cole
Lessons from the Afghanistan Debacle with Former Intelligence Analyst Jonathan Cole
In this special episode of The Political Animals, host Jonathan Cole dons his cap as a former intelligence analyst to discuss the sobering lessons from the Afghanistan debacle. Jonathan worked at the Australian Signals Directorate 2007–2010 and as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at the Office of National Intelligence 2010–2014. His patch included terrorism across the whole of South Asia. Jonathan talks about the failure of the Afghanistan intervention and the wisdom and morality of military interventions per se from a realist perspective. He also shares his experience of visiting Kabul in 2011 and other trips to the region. 
53:33
August 22, 2021
Rebecca Hilton on the Untold and Unsung Historical Contribution of Women to the Australian Church: A Baptist Case Study
Rebecca Hilton on the Untold and Unsung Historical Contribution of Women to the Australian Church: A Baptist Case Study
Rebecca Hilton joins the show in this episode to discuss the neglected history of women in the Australian Church through her doctoral research into the roles, contribution and identity of Australian Baptist Women 1882–1945. Tune in to learn about the remarkable women who drove missionary work, established and financed churches, preached, contributed to the suffrage movement and the intellectual life of the church. Host of The Political Animals, Dr Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:28:13
August 15, 2021
Is Social Media Dehumanising? A Conversation with Nathan Campbell
Is Social Media Dehumanising? A Conversation with Nathan Campbell
Presbyterian pastor and blogger Nathan Campbell joins the show this week for an examination of social media. Nathan and Jonathan explore the formational effects of social media, its vices (and virtues), the nature of communication in the 21st century, the impact of social media on the church, society and politics, whether social media is a help or hindrance to the gospel and Nathan's own controversial role in the strange ecosystem of Christian social media. Nathan blogs at St Eutychus. Jonathan Cole is host of The Political Animals and assistant director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University.
01:58:13
August 08, 2021
Same-sex attraction and conservative Christianity: An important conversation for the Church
Same-sex attraction and conservative Christianity: An important conversation for the Church
In this special episode, host Jonathan talks to a young politically and theologically conservative Christian who is same-sex attracted and called to singleness. Jonathan's guest talks honestly and courageously about his struggle to come to terms with his sexuality and his faith growing up in a conservative Christian home and belonging to a theologically conservative church. In addition to the guest's personal story, they discuss the theology of same-sex attraction, conversion therapy, the ex-gay movement, Milo Yiannopoulos, the secular LGBTIQ movement and the contemporary church's attitude to same-sex attracted believers. Host of The Political Animals, Dr Jonathan Cole, is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at Australian intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. Newly published research indicates that giving a 5-star rating to The Political Animals Podcast on Apple grants seven years of good luck. So be sure to take advantage of this finding! You can follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.
01:37:34
August 01, 2021
On the Political and Cultural Legacy of Jordan Peterson
On the Political and Cultural Legacy of Jordan Peterson
This week, returning guest Stephen Chavura joins host Jonathan for a deep dive on the political and cultural legacy of one of our age's most significant public intellectuals: Jordan B. Peterson. Has Jordan Peterson saved a generation of young basement dwelling deadbeat males from doom? Has he undermined the influence of ideological feminism? Is he one of the greatest theologians of the early 21st century? These are just some of questions Stephen and Jonathan explore in this appreciative tour of the Peterson phenomenon. Dr Stephen Chavura lectures in history at Campion College and Dr Jonathan Cole is Assistant Director at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University. You can follow the podcast on Facebook and Twitter, and if you like what you hear, don't be afraid to drop a five-star rating on Apple: it keeps the god Algorithm at bay.
01:30:20
July 18, 2021
Religious Freedom with Human Rights Lawyer John Steenhof
Religious Freedom with Human Rights Lawyer John Steenhof
This week, Jonathan discusses religious freedom with John Steenhof, principal lawyer at the Human Rights Law Alliance. John provides insight into the types of religious freedom cases he handles, the legislative situation regarding religious freedoms in Australia, the developing cultural climate that imperils the free practice of religious faith, the reasons secular society struggles to comprehend the importance of religious freedom and how the situation in Australia compares to that in America and elsewhere. The Human Rights Law Alliance is a Christian charitable law firm set up to protect and advance the religious freedom of all Australians. Since commencing as a law firm in 2019, HRLA has provided legal advocacy and advice to people who are under attack for living out their faith and convictions in public.
02:08:03
July 04, 2021
Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence
Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence
Dr Virginia Miller joins the show this week to discuss her new book, Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Catholic Church: Reassessing the Evidence. The book reviews the methods and findings of inquiries in Ireland, America and Australia into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Virginia Miller (PhD) is a research fellow with the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. Her research work includes church-focused policy research into sexual abuse of children, elder abuse, euthanasia, and religious freedom. Her other books include A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative as a Satire (Brill). Host Jonathan Cole is an academic, writer, speaker and translator who specialises in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University and previously worked for the Australian Federal Government, including as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments. You can follow Jonathan on Facebook and Twitter, and please consider giving a 5-star rating on Apple podcasts if you'd like to support the podcast.
01:57:57
June 20, 2021
Political Science with Professor Keith Dowding
Political Science with Professor Keith Dowding
In this episode host Jonathan Cole speaks to Keith Dowding, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Political Philosophy at The Australian National University. They discuss the distinction between political science and political philosophy, current trends in political science, the utility of political science, declining trust in Western liberal democracies, the American constitution, the office of president and Keith's most recent book, It's the Government, Stupid: How Governments Blame Citizens for Their Own Policies.
01:30:36
June 06, 2021
Building Bridges Amidst the Culture Wars: A Conversation with Parnell Palme McGuinness
Building Bridges Amidst the Culture Wars: A Conversation with Parnell Palme McGuinness
In this episode, Jonathan talks to social and political commentator Parnell Palme McGuinness. They cover Parnell's "small 'c' conservatism," Australian politics and society, the art of communication, the culture wars, cancel culture, objective truth, tradition and the social value of religion (even for the non-religious). Parnell is a Managing Director and co-founder of strategic communications and PR firm Agenda C. She specialises in strategic policy and campaign engagement services, with industry associations, governments, brands and think tanks. She writes a weekly column for the syndicated Nine newspapers and is a regular on ABC programs Q&A and The Drum. Jonathan Cole is an academic, writer, speaker and translator specialising in political theology: the intersection of religion and politics. He is currently Assistant Director of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University and previously worked for the Australian Federal Government, including as a Senior Terrorism Analyst at intelligence agency The Office of National Assessments.
01:15:49
May 24, 2021
The Conservative Tradition from Menzies to Morrison: A Conversation with Damien Freeman
The Conservative Tradition from Menzies to Morrison: A Conversation with Damien Freeman
In this episode, Jonathan discusses the conservative tradition with Damien Freeman, author of Abbot's Right: The Conservative Tradition from Menzies to Abbott (Melbourne University Press). They cover the conservative cast of mind, ideology versus pragmatism, identity and belonging, same-sex marriage and energy policy, the liberal and conservative traditions within the Liberal Party and the political philosophies of prime ministers Robert Menzies, Malcolm Fraser, John Howard, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison. Damien Freeman is the Principal Policy Advisor at the PM Glynn Institute, Australian Catholic University. He was educated at the University of Sydney (BA, LLB (Hons), MA, MPhil) and Magdalene College, Cambridge (MPhil, PhD). He is the Editor of the Kapunda Press, the imprint of the PM Glynn Institute, which is published by Connor Court. He lectured in philosophy for ten years at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and currently lectures on law at Exeter College, Oxford. He is a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and a Licentiate of Trinity College, London. He has been a guest lecturer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on a range of topics including a lecture series on Sublime: the pleasure of the overwhelming. Together with Julian Leeser MP, he founded Uphold & Recognise, a non-profit organisation committed to the twin imperatives of upholding the Australian Constitution and recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
01:47:15
May 12, 2021
Modern Liberalism: A Conversation with Tim Wilson MP
Modern Liberalism: A Conversation with Tim Wilson MP
This week, Jonathan talks to Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein Tim Wilson. They discuss modern liberalism, conservatism, the same-sex marriage plebiscite, religious freedom and more. Tim was elected to the federal parliament in 2016. He was formerly Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner and a policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs. He has also run his own business and served on major boards, including Monash University and Alfred Health.  He is the author of The New Social Contract: Renewing the Liberal Vision for Australia.
31:05
May 02, 2021
Evangelical Christianity in a Progressive World: A Conversation with Dr Michael Bird
Evangelical Christianity in a Progressive World: A Conversation with Dr Michael Bird
This weak Jonathan enters the "birdcage" to discuss the fate and fortunes of Evangelicalism in a woke world with Michael Bird. They explore the contemporary meaning(s) of the term "Evangelicalism," the politicisation and fragmentation of the Evangelical theological tradition and its place in a secular and hostile social context. Sidebars are aplenty in this rollicking conversation, including on the ABC, Q&A, the ACL, Margaret Court, Israel Folau, Cancel Culture, George Orwell's 1984, civic totalitarianism, the modern media, progressive Christianity and the meaning of Conservatism. Dr Michael Bird is Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia. Michael has written and edited over thirty books in the fields of Septuagint, Historical Jesus, the Gospels, St Paul, Biblical Theology, and Systematic Theology. His book Evangelical Theology is an attempt to develop a truly gospel-based theology that promotes the advance of the gospel in Christian life and thought. He is the co-editor of the New Covenant Commentary Series, an associate editor for Zondervan’s The Story of God Bible Commentary, and an elected member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (the international society of New Testament scholars). Michael also writes a regular newsletter on Substack called "Word from the Bird." Check it out!
02:02:09
April 25, 2021
Cancel Culture and the Fight for Civilisation: A Conversation with the IPA's Bella d'Abrera
Cancel Culture and the Fight for Civilisation: A Conversation with the IPA's Bella d'Abrera
This week Jonathan is joined by Bella d'Abrera, Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs, to discuss cancel culture, Western civilisation, history, the humanities and the spiritual battle for the soul of the West. Dr Bella d'Abrera has a BA in History and Spanish from Monash University, an MA in Spanish from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge. She is the author of a number of academic works and scholarly articles and specialises in education and skills, faith and society and culture, ideas and liberty and Western Civilisation. She appears frequently in the media and is a regular contributor to The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and the Spectator Australia.
01:00:32
April 18, 2021
Political Parties: A Conversation with LNP Insider Josh Phillips
Political Parties: A Conversation with LNP Insider Josh Phillips
In this episode, Jonathan chats to LNP insider Josh Phillips about political parties. They discuss the LNP, the role of political parties in a democracy, their role in policy formulation, popular perceptions and misperceptions about political parties, the existence of "factions" in the LNP and the future of conservatism. Josh Phillips has been an LNP member for seven years. He is currently the acting chair of a policy committee for the LNP in Qld, has previously chaired a branch, has written on AI and the morality of big tech and he runs a consulting business that aims to catalyse human flourishing in the developing world.
01:33:36
April 11, 2021
Media in an Era of Polarisation and Disruption: A Conversation with John Sandeman
Media in an Era of Polarisation and Disruption: A Conversation with John Sandeman
This week Jonathan chats to John Sandeman, founder and editor of Eternity. They discuss the origin and aims of Eternity, the responsibilities and challenges of being an editor, the backlash on social media arising from recent opinion pieces published by Eternity, the challenges confronting Christian media, political bias and the future of journalism in an era of polarisation and disruption. 
01:24:28
March 28, 2021
The Scourge of Pornography: A Conversation with Melinda Tankard Reist
The Scourge of Pornography: A Conversation with Melinda Tankard Reist
How did it come to this: the pornification of our society? Our children and youth now contend with peer sexual assault and sexual harassment at growing rates and disturbingly young ages. This week Jonathan sits down with Melinda Tankard Reist of Collective Shout for a very honest conversation about the widespread sexual dysfunction of our age and its catastrophic consequences for our children.   Melinda is a co-founder and movement director of Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigns movement for a world free of sexploitation in all its forms. Melinda is author/editor of six books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009) and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (Spinifex Press, 2011, co-edited with Dr Abigail Bray). Melinda has appeared on ABC’s Q&A and The Gruen Sessions and many other TV and radio programs. She is an Ambassador for World Vision Australia, Compassion Australia, Hagar NZ and the youth mentoring body the Raise Foundation. She is also Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Culture and Ethics, Notre Dame University, Sydney.  Melinda's recent article on ABC Religion & Ethics is called "Why “consent” doesn’t stand a chance against porn culture."
57:02
March 21, 2021
Dave Pellowe on the Church and State Summit, the Christian Right, and that photo with the Proud Boys
Dave Pellowe on the Church and State Summit, the Christian Right, and that photo with the Proud Boys
Dave Pellowe is on the show this week to talk about the Church and State Summit that he founded and which has been the source of recent controversy. Articles in the Sydney Morning Herald and Eternity Magazine depicting Dave as a leading figure in a sinister Christian Right in Australia generated unprecedented debate and contention in the usually staid waters of Australian Christian political discourse. Dave discusses his interesting political journey, the origins, conception, aims and purposes of the Summit, the Christian Right and the controversial photo that recently (re)featured in an Eternity article in which Dave appeared with some Australian Proud Boys, one of whom is alleged to have made a white power symbol with his fingers. The Michael Koziol article in the Sydney Morning Herald is: 'It’s our turn': Inside the Christian Right conference plotting a political takeover. John Sandeman's article in Eternity Magazine is: That "white power" signal resurfaces as Christian conservatives meet. Dave Pellowe's conversation with John Sandeman about John's Eternity article can be viewed here. Dave Pellowe is a writer and commentator, justice and human rights advocate, founder and editor-in-chief of The Good Sauce, founder and convenor of the Church and State Summit and founder of Sanctity of Life Sunday.
01:32:29
March 14, 2021
Christian Citizenship and the Christian Political Vocation: A Conversation with Dan Anderson
Christian Citizenship and the Christian Political Vocation: A Conversation with Dan Anderson
This week, Jonathan sits down with Lachlan Macquarie Institute Director, Dan Anderson, to discuss the formation of Christian citizens and political leaders. What is Christian citizenship? What if anything makes it distinct from other conceptions of citizenship in contemporary Western liberal polities? Is politics a legitimate vocation for Christians? How does a political vocation relate to the church's core gospel mission, if at all? Join Jonathan and Dan as they explore these questions and much more.  Dan Anderson the Director (CEO) of the The Lachlan Macquarie Institute (LMI). LMI seeks to train Christian men and women for wise leadership in politics and culture. Prior to LMI, Dan was chaplain to Robert Menzies College (a residential college at Macquarie Uni established by the Anglican church of Sydney) and the pastor of Trinity Chapel (the University church on the RMC Campus). He also served as the Anglican Chaplain to Macquarie University. Dan is completing a PhD at Macquarie University exploring the ethics of forgiveness in political contexts.
01:42:41
March 07, 2021
The Ravi Zacharias Scandal: A Conversation with RZIM insider Richard Shumack
The Ravi Zacharias Scandal: A Conversation with RZIM insider Richard Shumack
This week, Jonathan sits down with long time friend Richard Shumack to unpick the shocking revelations regarding the sexual misconduct of Ravi Zacharias, one of the biggest global evangelists since Billy Graham. Richard has an association with RZIM going back to 2005. He has worked on several RZIM projects, taught and conducted training on behalf of the organisation and has deep and longstanding friendships with figures throughout the organisation, including in the executive. After discussing Richard's personal experience of RZIM, the way the organisation has handled the allegations against Ravi from the time they first arose to the report released by the Board on 9 February, where culpability lies in relation to the scandal, and what the future portends for RZIM, Jonathan and Richard embark on a wider discussion about Christian leaders behaving badly and what this says about Christianity in the 21st century. The Report of Independent Investigation into Sexual Misconduct of Ravi Zacharias undertaken by Miller & Martin can be found here. The RZIM Board's open letter in response to the Miller & Martin report can be found here.  Dr Richard Shumack is a philosopher of religion who directs the Arthur Jeffery Centre for Islamic Studies at Melbourne School of Theology and pastors Trinity Chapel at Robert Menzies College, Macquarie University. His doctoral research at the University of Melbourne focussed on how people come to have religious beliefs and how they go about establishing their certainty in those beliefs. His publications include a philosophical apologetic entitled The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity, and the more popular level Jesus through Muslim Eyes. 
01:36:09
February 28, 2021
Feminism: A Conversation with Dr Jacqueline Service
Feminism: A Conversation with Dr Jacqueline Service
This week Jonathan is joined by Dr Jacqueline Service for a wide-ranging critical look at feminism in the 21st century. Jacqui is Lecturer in Theology and Program Director of Master of Arts at Alphacrucis College, Sydney, Australia. She is currently a Board Member of Micah Australia and a Trustee for the International Anglican Order of the Cross and has been actively involved in church ministries over many years. Alongside these undertakings, she worked as a lawyer in Commercial and Government Legal Practice, and, for over a decade, at the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development (AusAID) managing, reviewing and designing aid programs across the Pacific and South West Asia.
01:43:10
February 21, 2021
The Woke University: A Conversation with Dr Bernard Doherty
The Woke University: A Conversation with Dr Bernard Doherty
In this episode Jonathan is joined by Dr Bernard Doherty for a conversation about the politics of the modern university. To what extent have universities been captured by the left? Are they too woke? Just how left are they? And is there room for conservatives in today's university? The duo discuss this and much more. Dr Bernard Doherty is Course Director, School of Theology, and Lecturer in History and New Religions at Charles Sturt University. His research interests are wide-ranging and include New Religious Movements, Patristics, Australian religious history, Church and State issues, religion and the media.
01:30:60
February 14, 2021
Karl Marx's Conservative Manifesto: "Conservatives, Unite!"
Karl Marx's Conservative Manifesto: "Conservatives, Unite!"
A spectre is haunting the world, the spectre of Conservatism...
13:08
February 07, 2021
Blue Labor and the Politics of Jesus: A Conversation with Centre-Left Theologian Scott Cowdell
Blue Labor and the Politics of Jesus: A Conversation with Centre-Left Theologian Scott Cowdell
In this episode, Jonathan discusses politics with centre-left blue labor colleague and friend the Reverend Canon Professor Scott Cowdell. They debate the centre-left, blue labor, the radical left, the centre-right, the radical right, political theology, the politics of Jesus and contentious policy questions such as same-sex marriage, abortion and refugees. Scott Cowdell is Research Professor at the Charles Sturt University Centre for Public and Contextual Theology and Canon Theologian of the Canberra-Goulburn Anglican Diocese. He was Farnham Maynard Lecturer in Theology at Trinity College, Melbourne, and Principal of St Barnabas' Theological College, Adelaide. He is Founding President of the Australian Girard Seminar. Professor Cowdell is the author of nine books exploring the interface between Christianity and contemporary Western culture, and the co-editor of five. His current research project is on the work of today's premier theorist of violence, culture and religion, René Girard. His most recent books are René Girard and Secular Modernity: Christ, Culture, and Crisis and, also with the University of Notre Dame Press, René Girard and the Nonviolent God.
01:23:22
January 31, 2021
Confessions of a Trumpaholic: A Conversation with Dr Stephen Chavura on the Future of Conservatism
Confessions of a Trumpaholic: A Conversation with Dr Stephen Chavura on the Future of Conservatism
In this bibulous episode, Jonathan sits down with pal and fellow academic Dr Stephen Chavura to nut out their differences over Trump and to pontificate about the future of conservatism.
01:35:57
January 24, 2021
The Rise of China, the Decline of America and the Future of the Global Order: 2020 in Review with Prof. Wayne Hudson
The Rise of China, the Decline of America and the Future of the Global Order: 2020 in Review with Prof. Wayne Hudson
In this episode Jonathan is joined by the inimitable Prof. Wayne Hudson from Charles Sturt University to review the seminal developments of 2020. They cover the civilisational rise of China, the civilisation decline of America, the consequences of both for the global order, the China-Australia relationship (or what's left of it), as well as covid, economics, law, rights, politics and science. 
01:05:32
January 10, 2021
Preliminary reflections on the US Capitol insurrection
Preliminary reflections on the US Capitol insurrection
Title self-explanatory
28:45
January 07, 2021
Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy Theories
In this episode, Jonathan tackles one of his favourite topics: conspiracy theories. Trump, 9/11, Jeffrey Epstein, the Bay of Pigs, UFOs and flat earth all get a mention in this discussion of how to approach and assess the claims of conspiracy theories, gleaned from Jonathan's experience working as an intelligence analyst and his long love affair with all things conspiracy.
45:39
December 13, 2020
A Conversation with Martyn Iles, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby
A Conversation with Martyn Iles, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby
A wide-ranging discussion about the ACL, Martyn's role as a high-profile Christian in the public square, evangelisation in the 21st century, the relationship between Christianity and politics, conservatism, difficult and controversial social issues and the state and nature of our contemporary culture.
01:34:40
December 06, 2020
Critical race theory: a critique
Critical race theory: a critique
In this episode, Jonathan explores the origin, nature and tenets of critical race theory, exposing the theory's intellectual flaws and its dangerous implications.
57:59
November 29, 2020
Special Announcement: Changes at The Political Animals
Special Announcement: Changes at The Political Animals
Special Announcement: Changes at The Political Animals
08:28
November 23, 2020
Russell Kirk on 'The Conservative Mind'
Russell Kirk on 'The Conservative Mind'
This week, Jonathan and Simon discuss the magnum opus of one of the greatest conservative intellectuals of the 20th century: Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. The episode covers Kirk himself, his ideas, and particularly his conception of aristocracy, the spiritual nature of persons and politics, and the importance of tradition and the past. Tune in and join the discussion.
45:37
November 16, 2020
Is this the end of Trumpism?
Is this the end of Trumpism?
This week sees Jonathan and Simon tackle the aftermath of a dramatic Presidential election in the United States. Even though he ultimately appears to have lost to Joe Biden, Donald Trump's strong electoral performance raises plenty of challenges for the future of the right across the West. Is this the end of Trumpism? Will we see Trump or a Trumpian candidate as the Republican nomination in 2024? What does a Trump electoral loss mean for the "Never-Trumpers"? And what does Trump's remarkable success in expanding the Republican voter base mean for the future of conservatism in Australia? Tune in to join the lads as range across political a policy questions in light of the 2020 POTUS election.
48:03
November 09, 2020
Can a Christian vote for Trump in good conscience?
Can a Christian vote for Trump in good conscience?
Simon and Jonathan tackle the hot topic of Christian support for Trump. In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Trump garnered substantial support from evangelical Christians and church-going Catholics, and looks like he will do the same again in 2020. However, Trump's divisive rhetoric and questionable personal morality is a point of tension for many Christians, and others point to the moral degradation of civic life when someone like Trump is in high office. The lads discuss the spectrum of opinions on the matter and share their own thoughts on thinking through these issues from a Christian perspective. They also raise the impact of political theology on the moral and political reasoning of evangelical Christians.
01:20:25
October 26, 2020
Michael Oakeshott on being conservative
Michael Oakeshott on being conservative
This week, Jonathan and Simon discuss Michael Oakeshott's classic essay, 'On being conservative'. Oakeshott (1901-1990) was one of the foremost thinkers in twentieth century British philosophy and a leading conservative. This essay, published in a collection of Oakeshott's writings entitled Rationalism in Politics, outlines Oakeshott's brand of liberal conservatism. The lads focus in on Oakeshott's description of conservatism as a disposition, his conceptions of innovation and change, and his framing of the conservative view of politics. The episode covers fundamental and important questions about politics, society more broadly, and living as a conservative today.
01:20:45
October 19, 2020
Hayek's Liberal Critique of Conservatism
Hayek's Liberal Critique of Conservatism
Jonathan and Simon discuss Friedrich Hayek's famous 1960 essay "Why I Am Not A Conservative". In the essay, Hayek unfolds a critique of the conservative approach to politics from a liberal perspective. By liberal, Hayek means "old Whig" and aligns himself with thinkers in the conservative pantheon like Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. And yet he is staunchly critical of conservatives and what he perceives to be their unthinking opposition to any change and progress. Simon and Jonathan respond to some of Hayek's critiques and discuss how they point to certain weaknesses on the conservative right in contemporary politics, exposing the need for a positive statement about what conservatism can offer in today's world.
55:20
October 12, 2020
Libertarianism, Liberalism, and Conservatism: Is Fusionism Dead?
Libertarianism, Liberalism, and Conservatism: Is Fusionism Dead?
Jonathan and Simon discuss the recent collapse of the right-wing alliance between libertarians and conservatives in the United States, as well the analogies in the Australian scene. Some of the symptoms of this include populist politics, new approaches to economic policy in the Republican Party and, of course, President Trump. What is next for the right in the United States? Will the Republican Party have to reimagine itself in this transition period? Will new alliances form on the Right? Another question we explore is whether the "fusionism" on the Australian right has a similar instability, and how this might affect the Liberal Party. They also discuss Grant Wyeth's recent article at Quillette, "The Failure of Fusionism". Some of the resources mentioned in this episode are linked below: Jonathan Cole, "A Kirkean Critique of Libertarianism", Quadrant 63 (iss. 10, October 2019), pp. 86-88 Simon Kennedy, "Empty Pews", The Spectator Australia, 29 October 2016
01:08:11
October 05, 2020
Trump, Postliberalism and the Future of Conservatism
Trump, Postliberalism and the Future of Conservatism
In this episode, Jonathan and Simon discuss the emergence of a new ideology on the political right - postliberalism. What is it? Where has it come from? What does it mean for the future of conservatism in America? How might it affect the political conversation in Australia? Along with these questions, we look at Gladden Pappin's recent article in American Affairs, "From Conservatism to Postliberalism: The Right after 2020".
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September 22, 2020