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Beyond Belief

Podcast Beyond Belief
Podcast Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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  • The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
    Exploring the faith behind the pomp and pageantry of the Queen's funeral. Millions will have watched the historic funeral service from Westminster Abbey and the Committal at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. For some, the services will be full of meaning and resonance. Others will be less familiar with the Christian rituals that have evolved over centuries. Ernie Rea is joined by writer and journalist Catherine Pepinster, Professor Douglas Davies, Rev Dr Giles Fraser and Andrew Carwood MBE (Director of Music, St Paul's Cathedral) to discuss and illuminate the meaning, symbolism and significance of the Queen's state funeral. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Assistant Producer: Peter Everett Editor: Dan Tierney
    9/20/2022
    27:42
  • Atoning for Slavery
    Anglican Bishops are starting to consider what 'redemptive action' for the horrors of slavery could look like. The history of the transatlantic slave trade casts a long shadow. Over three million black Africans were transported in British ships to a life of slavery. The legacy of a practice that spanned three centuries has been keenly felt in recent years, from the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, to the toppling of statues of slave traders. Calls appear to be getting louder for institutions, corporations and individuals to offer redress. The historic links of Christianity with slavery have been examined and some feel there is a debt to be paid. What might that look like? What responsibility do the heirs of the oppressor have to the heirs of the oppressed? Ernie is joined by theologian and broadcaster Professor Robert Beckford, legal specialist on reparations Esther Stanford-Xosei, and Professor Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford. Plus he hears from the Virginia Theological Seminary in the US who have started paying reparation to the descendants of those it says laboured on it's campus under slavery or segregation. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Assistant Producers: Josie Le Vey and Peter Everett Editor: Dan Tierney
    9/20/2022
    28:18
  • The Handmaid's Tale
    Margaret Atwood tells Ernie Rea about the role of faith in her seminal novel and how her fiction, written nearly 40 years ago, resonates in a post-Roe v Wade world. Atwood's novel about a dystopian future in a fundamentalist regime has been turned into a hugely popular TV series, about to start it's fifth season. It's also been adopted by activists protesting against restrictions on female rights and freedoms. Professor Linda Woodhead (Kings College London), Professor Coral Ann Howells (editor of The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood) and Alissa Wilkinson (Culture and Film Critic for Vox.com) join Ernie to discuss the role of religion in Atwood's Gilead, why her vision has struck a chord today and its influence on culture and politics. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Assistant Producers: Josie Le Vay and Peter Everett Editor: Dan Tierney
    9/20/2022
    28:01
  • How Religious Is Iran?
    Last month’s attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life brought the world’s attention back on Iran and the death sentence imposed on the writer by Ayatollah Khomeini more than three decades ago. More recently, Iran has been in the news with reports of crackdowns on perceived dissidents: women who choose not to wear the hijab and members of other religions especially the Baha'is. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ruled by a Supreme Leader from the Shia tradition, Ayatollah Khamenei. It is he who ultimately wields the power and imposes limits on the peoples’ rights and freedoms. Given his overruling authority, it is difficult to know what ordinary people believe or how they feel about their system of government. So is this vast country of 86 million people really an Islamic nation? And if it’s not, how religious is Iran? Ernie Rea is joined by Professor Ali Ansari, Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Professor Sajjad Rizvi and Khosro Kalbasi, a journalist for BBC Monitoring watching Iran. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Assistant Producer: Peter Everett Editor: Dan Tierney.
    9/15/2022
    27:41
  • What Makes a Ritual
    Can our morning coffee routines, the Saturday parkrun, or a daily walk in nature be sacred? Ernie Rea explores how ritual, repeated actions done the same way every time, long associated with religion, is being employed by those outside of faith practice. There are now apps that can help build mindful rituals into your day, workplaces are designing ceremonies to build community amongst colleagues. What attracts us to these kinds of practices and without a religious framework do they lose their power? Ernie is joined by Casper Ter Kuile, formerly at the Harvard Divinity School he's the author of 'The Power of Ritual'. Kashori Jani is a Sanskrit teacher at a Hindu faith school and shares ancient Hindu wisdom and Kirtan (musical mantra meditation) with her large following online. Father David Elliot is Catholic Priest and the Head of Theology at the Oratory School in Oxford. Plus Matt Brooke from Tough Mudder tells us how ritual helps competitors complete their endurance challenges. Producer: Rebecca Maxted and Katharine Longworth Assistant Producer: Josie Le Vey Editor: Tim Pemberton
    8/30/2022
    28:09

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