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Beyond Belief

Podcast Beyond Belief
Podcast Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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  • Autism and Faith
    How easy is it for autistic people to believe in God? The National Autistic Society describe autism as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. They say 1 in 100 of us may be autistic and the diagnosis of autism has risen dramatically in recent decades. How are religious organisations responding to the needs of a growing number of their congregations? Ernie Rae is joined by a panel of three autistic guests to discuss their experiences: Professor Grant Macaskill, the co-director of the Centre for Autism and Theology at the University of Aberdeen; Samantha Stein, a YouTuber with over seven million views, who set up an atheist summer camp; and Iqra Babar, a digital artist with a strong Muslim faith. We also hear from TV quizzer Anne Hegarty, who is autistic and a Catholic, about her relationship with faith. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Assistant Producer: Josie Le Vay Editor: Helen Grady
    5/19/2022
    27:56
  • Fierce and Feminine: Kali and Shakti
    She wears a necklace of severed human heads with blood dripping from their necks. Her tongue is bright scarlet and sticking out. She carries a bloodied sword. Meet Kali, a Hindu goddess who is one embodiment of the Hindu principle called Shakti, meaning energy, power or force. Who is Kali and what does she represent? We’re embracing some of the ideas of shakti in the West. You can take kundalini yoga classes or meditation courses to access your divine feminine energy. What is the philosophy behind these practices? Join Ernie Rea as he visits the British Museum to see a new statue of the female Goddess, part of a new exhibition called 'Feminine Power: From The Divine to the Demonic'. Curator Belinda Crerer and dancer and devotee of Kali, Indrani Datta, tell him more. Plus Ernie is joined by experts in the Shakti tradition Sumita Ambasta, Lavanya Vemsani and Acharya Vidyabhaskar. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Editor: Helen Grady Image: Kali Murti, Kaushik Ghosh, India, 2022. Image © The Trustees of the British Museum
    5/9/2022
    28:04
  • Who Are the Uyghurs?
    As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid, Ernie Rea hosts a panel on the beliefs and culture of the Uyghurs, a majority Muslim people in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, North West China. Human rights organisations have accused China of committing crimes against humanity against the Uyghur people and the US government has accused the Chinese government of genocide. For over eight years, there have been reports of mass surveillance of the Uyghur population and abuses including forced incarceration in 're-education camps' and sterilisation against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang. The Chinese government have consistently denied accusations of abuse and insist their camps are vocational facilities, and to combat terrorism. Ernie Rea explores the faith of the majority Muslim Uyghur people. What could be lost from their language, culture and heritage? Ernie is joined by experts on the region, Dr Jo Smith Finley and Dr Rian Thum. Rahima Mahmut, a Uyghur Muslim. grew up in the region and is the UK Director of the World Uyghur Congress. And Abduweli Ayup, a Uyghur poet and linguistic scholar, tells his story of incarceration in Xinjiang. Producer: Rebecca Maxted
    5/2/2022
    26:47
  • Young and Full of Faith
    In a society that’s becoming increasingly secular, why are some young people embracing a ‘full fat’ version of faith? During the pandemic a UK poll showed that those in Generation Z are more likely to believe in God than their millennial peers. A new study of British Catholics has found that younger believers show a greater degree of religious commitment than their elders. Whilst those ticking ‘no religion’ box on the census is increasing, are those who still identify with a religion more likely to have a strengthened commitment to it? Ernie Rea is joined by a panel representing different faiths, to discuss the pull of religion for young people in 2022. Bhavya Shah is the President of the National Hindu Student Forum, Jasvir Kaur Rababan is a Sikh music teacher, Professor Stephen Bullivant from St Mary's University is about to publish new research called 'Why Younger Catholics Seem More Committed' and Dr Sadek Hamid is a writer and academic with an expertise on Islam and young people in Britain. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Editor: Tim Pemberton
    4/25/2022
    27:57
  • Resurrection
    On Easter Sunday, as children hunt for chocolate eggs, the words 'Christ is Risen. Alleluia!' are proclaimed from every church pulpit. The day of Jesus Christ's Resurrection is the most joyous day of the Christian calendar. A message of death defeated, salvation secured, is the cornerstone of the faith of nearly one third of the world's population. But how do the faithful understand this extraordinary story? Do you have to believe Jesus physically rose from the dead for the story to have meaning? And what is it's resonance today, for those of faith, or without? Ernie Rea is joined by scholars Professor Helen Bond, Dr Andrew Boakye, and the Chief Executive of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, Paul Woolley, to discuss the evidence for and understanding of the Resurrection. Plus film critic and host of the 'Girls on Film' podcast, Anna Smith, discusses how the story and themes of the resurrection have appeared in popular cinema throughout the decades. Producer: Rebecca Maxted Editor: Tim Pemberton This programme contains short excepts from the following films: The Greatest Story Ever Told (Dir: George Stevens, 1965) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Dir: Andrew Adamson, 2005)
    4/18/2022
    28:03

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