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What is sin? What's the punishment for it? And who gets to decide? Historian of religion Paula Fredriksen studied some of the earliest writings of Judaism and Christianity to find out. And her new book, Sin: The Early History of an Idea, explores the first 400 years of sin as a concept of Western religion.

On February 18, in advance of her appearance at the David Dungan Memorial Lecture at the University of Tennessee, Fredriksen talked to WUOT All Things Considered host Brandon Hollingsworth about the concept of sin, its origins and its evolution.

All four of East Tennessee's congressmen are up for re-election on November 6, 2012 and so is one of the state's two senators. Though the biggest campaign contributions this year are going to swing states, money is an essential part of every political race. WUOT's All Things Considered host Brandon Hollingsworth looks at who's paying for the region's Congressional races, and what it means.

Jeff Sharlet is a writer whose beat is belief and faith in America. His books have chronicled fundamentalist dogma in the nation's capital and Wiccan ceremonies in the nation's heartland. His most recent work is a collection of nonfiction essays called Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness and the Country In Between. It examines personal faith on a variety of levels in American culture.

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