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Podcast Review: The Eagle and Child

Pastor Layla Nahavandi hosts The Eagle and Child podcast, released through Theos University. Each episode takes us on a pilgrimage through the great minds of church history.

In Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews, he strove to encourage believers with the reminder that they were “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). But unless you have a theology degree or a particular interest in world history, there’s a good chance you will miss some of these ‘witnesses’ or heroes of the faith who came after Revelation was written.

C.S. Lewis? Sure, we all know about the man who created Aslan. J.R.R. Tolkien, the hand behind mighty hobbits and concerning amounts of Dwarvish? Tick. John Wesley? Probably, depending on your denomination. Martin Luther? Absolutely, although how you think of him will rely on your Protestant or Catholic background. But what about the rest – the ones we often quote on Instagram without context or those a smoke-filled church tends to forget?

Enter The Eagle and Child podcast. Named after the restaurant in Oxford, England, where Lewis, Tolkien and the rest of the Inklings would meet to discuss literary ideas in 1939, this Australian production is hosted by Pastor Layla Nahavandi and released through Theos University.

Each episode is a pilgrimage through Orthodoxy and history, featuring a guest who boasts consummate amounts of knowledge about a hero of the faith, with many being lecturers and holding PhDs (or working towards them) in areas of Christian history and the direction of the modern church.

Pastor Layla Nahavandi lives in Melbourne and travels around the globe, speaking and preaching to bring about revival.

Nahavandi is a theologian in her own right and a member of the faculty at Theos University while also being an evangelist at Neuma Church in Melbourne. The 33-year-old is working towards her PhD in theology focused on the early Church, and her unique life perspective makes the podcast all the richer. Nahavandi is half-Persian and half-Irish, a British-born and Kiwi-raised Aussie whose family came to salvation after being Muslim in the 90s.

Her hosting gives a bubbly and willing exuberance to each episode – and we sit alongside her, as you would in a history class at Bible College, learning the fascinating, great, bizarre and concerning details about women and men who have encountered God in incredible ways.

The thinkers, revolutionaries and saints highlighted by each guest will stretch even the most knowledgeable theologians among us. There are the pillars we expect – like I said, Lewis and Tolkien are frequently sighted, and we learn about their bizarre friendship and how Lewis fell in love after marrying for convenience.

Then there is Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan and Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Delightfully, Nahavandi also focuses on fierce women of the faith. And we meet Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Teresa of Avila and Marguerite Porete. Sadly, there are no episodes on Catherine or William Booth yet – but feel free to join me in lobbying for their inclusion!

If you enjoy church history or want to deepen your faith by understanding the rich heritage the modern church stands on, then The Eagle and Child podcast is a must-listen.

The Eagle and Child podcast is free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube and other podcasting platforms. Connect with The Eagle and Child podcast on Facebook or Instagram.


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