David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

Fundamentalism, East and West

Question: When did the Christian right become a serious factor\r\n in U.S. politics?

Ian Buruma: It's always been \r\naround, but I think it was under Ronald Reagan that it began to be a \r\nsort of serious organization. Before that these same people existed, but\r\n they weren’t politically so well organized and I think it was under the\r\n Reagan Administration that they realized that there was a vast source \r\nof voters to tap into and, from the point of view of the Christians, to \r\ninfluence policy.

\r\n Question:
Could a European conservative Christian \r\nmovement develop in response to Muslim immigration?

Ian Buruma: I don’t think it’s impossible that there will\r\n be a rise of Christianity in Europe as a reaction.  I don’t think you \r\ncan see great proof of it so far, although there is much talk now of \r\nsort of the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of western or European \r\ncivilization, which you didn’t hear so much about before as though the \r\nJews and the Christians have always been such brothers in arms, so there\r\n are signs that it could happen and but not yet on a very large scale.

\r\n Question:
Why hasn’t the U.S. reacted toward Middle \r\nEastern immigrants as Western Europe has?

Ian Buruma:  There are I think various reasons for that. \r\n One is that most immigrants from the Middle East in the United States \r\ntend to be more middle class, better educated, many of them are \r\nChristians and they’re not concentrated so much as the European cities. \r\n In the European cities the Muslim immigrants on the whole are from \r\nvillage cultures, not very well educated.  They came over as guest \r\nworkers and they’re very concentrated. So if you go even many provincial\r\n towns and countries like the Netherlands you’ll suddenly see a very \r\nlarge number of people in headscarves and beards and so on in a way that\r\n you don’t really see anywhere in the United States.  Here it is just \r\none minority amongst many.

Why don’t Western conservatives have more common ground \r\nwith Islamic traditionalists?

Ian Buruma: Well, if by conservatives you mean Christian \r\nconservatives I think because there is historical antagonism towards \r\nIslam, but it’s necessarily entirely true that there is no common \r\nground.  I think for example when the book, Salman Rushdie’s book, was \r\nburned there were actually conservatives in the West who had total \r\nsympathy with the Muslims and thought he had it coming and ran in favor \r\nof tightening up blasphemy laws, and so it’s not always true that there \r\nis no common ground.

Recorded April 21, 2010

Will fears about fundamentalist Islam spark a European version of America’s "Christian right?"

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less