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Your hosts, Leah Payne and Brian Doak, are both professors, authors, and pop culture aficionados, whose interests range from archaeology and history and linguistics to LARPing and The Walking Dead. Episodes tackle some piece of media highlighting the wonderful weirdness of religious experience—a documentary, a television show, a Twitter scandal—and use that as a thread on which to hang pearly reflections on a wide variety of topics. Heaven. Hell. The perils of fame within the evangelical world. Church attendance. Atheism. Gamer communities. Starting a cult. Join us. 

Check out our Season One episodes...

Our podcast is executive produced by the rock star Troy Welstad, and produced by Cassi Blum, Bex Joy, and Aiden Tillman. Recorded at Stone Bear Studio in Newberg, OR. Our theme music is by Cassi Blum, and our album art is by John Williams. Special thanks to Roger Nam and Jenna Richards. Season One is sponsored by the Kern Foundation. 

Dr. Leah Payne is a professor, author, and television critic (in her own mind!), and American religious historian specializing in religious innovations, performance, celebrity culture.
She has a PhD in History and Critical Theories of Religion from Vanderbilt University. Her first book, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2015) won the 2016 Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies Book Award. In addition to her book, she has recently published articles in the Journal of Ritual Studies, Fashion Theory, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and The Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity. Her work analyzing religion and popular culture has appeared in The Washington Post and Christianity Today.

Dr. Brian Doak is a professor, author, mountaineer (not really), and biblical scholar specializing in ancient Israel. He has a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. He is the recipient of the Aviram Prize for archaeological research (2012) and the George Fox University Undergraduate Researcher of the Year (2014). He is the author, co-author, and editor of seven books, including the forthcoming Heroic Bodies in Ancient Israel (Oxford University Press, 2019) and Consider Leviathan: Narratives of Nature and the Self in Job (Fortress, 2014), as well as articles in venues such as Harvard Theological Review, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and various collected volumes and reference works.