Ross Douthat on Narrative and Religion (Ep. 32 — Live at Mason)

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On Christology leading to individual liberty

On the Old Testament

On the New Testament

On theology through narrative

On tension between Eurocentrism and Catholicism

On the merits of Islam

On Opus Dei

On conservatism with religion

On Watership Down

The next time you have Peter Thiel here for one of these conversations, you can really press him on if there’s a Girardian element in Watership Down.

On cats

On things under- and overrated

The Wire is a great show, but there’s a depth to much of The Sopranos that I think is not equaled by The Wire and hasn’t quite been equaled in any show since.

On Dante’s Inferno, the next Great Awakening, and Sam’s Club Republicans

On being open to weird ideas

We were very much outside the mainstream during my childhood. And the fact that there was a lot of lies and nonsense and BS outside the mainstream, but there were also things that I’ve held onto and think were true, that’s had a fairly powerful effect on my thinking.

On the Ross Douthat production function

There’s another version of myself that was going to write novels…but it also might be the case that if I had spent my life sitting around with my unfinished novels, I never would have produced anything interesting. And so it’s better to be a tradesman, and that’s at least part of how I think about my job.


On Mormonism

Illustration by Sloane Shearman



A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. For new episodes, visit

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Mercatus Center


The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.