Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we examine the problems with hasty conclusions and imprecise definitions. As news came of the identity of the suspect responsible for the bomb threat at Concordia University on March 1, 2017, people realized that a lesson against hasty conclusions and analysis needed to be learned. This unfortunate episode and others like it comes at a time when many feel a growing atmosphere of discrimination against Muslims and other religious groups. This has forced some Canadian parliamentarians to propose a motion against Islamophobia and systemic racism. In this episode, we discuss how this motion uncovered the uncomfortable reality that Canadians and Quebecers are quite divided over the issue of anti-Muslim sentiment and what some see as the threat of the Islamization of Canada.

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We are happy to be back with our first episode of 2017! We wish all of our listener all the best in this new year. This episode contains the third and last part of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University.

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This is part 2 of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University.

* Please note that our next episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast will air on January 16th, 2017. We would like to wish all our listeners a Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the new year!
 
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This episode covers the first part of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University and was made possible by the generous support of the Consulate General of the United States in Montreal. This forum brought together experts and practitioners from academia, the government and civil society. The goal was to discuss and find solutions to the current threat that violent extremism is posing to societies across the world.

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* Please note that our next episode will be on Monday, November 28th, 2016.
 
In this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we look at how education can play a significant role in preventing religious radicalization leading to violence. The type of education needed should equip students to discern between what is mythological and what is historical; students essentially need to acquire critical thinking skills in order to protect themselves against fundamentalism. A lack of critical thinking about religion is precisely what can lead to radicalization. Students, therefore, should not be given religious education in high school or in college - this should rather be the role of religious communities - but rather, students should be taught about religion from historical, comparative, anthropological, social, and cognitive perspectives.

 

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We are so happy to be back! We hope that listeners enjoyed the summer, and that some of you had time to catch up on past episode. As we ease into fall, we decided to share some of our current and future projects, and also say a few words about upcoming events that could of interest to our listeners.

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In this episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we have decided to discuss a chapter from Russell T. McCutcheon's book, The Discipline of Religion: Structure, Meaning, Rhetoric (2013). Our podcast focuses on chapter 6 entitled, "Alienation, Apprenticeship, and the Crisis of Academic Labor." This section addresses important questions related to the discipline of religious studies and the current expectations placed on graduate students if they wish to have a shot at an academic job! McCutcheon rightly notes that, "... pre-professional candidates must meet such professional standards as peer-reviewed publication, excellence in teaching, and public presentation of their research at conferences before even gaining entrance to the profession. It was and still is a market in which candidates may very well have a more extensive publication record than many of the people interviewing them. It is a market in which, at many schools, it takes far superior credentials to get a job interview (let alone the job!) than it might have taken one's interviewers to have been awarded tenure."

Please note that this is our last podcast of the season. We will resume our episodes around mid-September. Have a great summer and hope you can take this time to re-listen or catch up on the podcast!


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This is special episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast on the terror attacks which happened earlier today (March 22, 2016) in Brussels, Belgium.

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In this last episode of the year, we thought it would be good to end with a discussion on the purpose of the University. With the increasing corporization of the university, one wonders what the purpose of post-secondary education today can be? Do universities exist solely to help people get a job, and what role should universities play in society? We also look into the recent controversies concerning political correctness on certain university campuses. Universities, we contend, are places where open discussion and debate about ideas should be found, where bad ideologies are to be thoroughly critiqued and where students acquire critical thinking skills. This is the only way students can be prepared to face the harsh realities of life; in a nutshell, the university is not a place for the fainthearted; it is not a "safe-space" to shelter one from controversial ideas and sensitive issues. 

Please note that our next episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast will air on January 18th, 2016. We would like to wish all our listeners a Happy Holiday Season and all the best for 2016.

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On this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we discuss the recent Canadian Supreme Court decision which ruled against opening city council meetings with a prayer. In this particular case, the ruling was brought against the wishes of the mayor of the city of Saguenay, in the province of Quebec. Does such a decision go against the freedom of conscience and religion? What role should religion, and more specifically prayer, play in the political realm? Does Canada truly uphold the principles of secularism? What are the differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada when it comes to secularism and the place of religion in the public sphere?

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