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Series exploring the place and nature of faith in today's world

Beyond Belief BBC

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Series exploring the place and nature of faith in today's world

    Marriage

    Marriage

    There are growing reports of couples opting for private wedding ceremonies or even resorting to marrying online during lockdown. On a less celebratory note, the divorce rates in China are said to have rocketed after their lockdown ended. There are concerns that the same will happen in the UK after weeks of couples living in isolation together. Is it time to accept that marriage has had its day? Or has marriage simply acquired a different meaning in the 21st century?

    Dr Katie Edwards discusses marriage with Imam Ajmal Masroor, who's also a marriage counsellor, Hannah Brock Womack, a Quaker and civil justice campaigner and the Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry.

    Producer: Rajeev Gupta

    • 26 min
    Dieting

    Dieting

    During the lockdown, with gyms shut and exercise outdoors restricted, social media is littered with anecdotes of people putting on weight or turning to diet plans. Most religious traditions have some kind of rules when it comes to what we eat. From Lent to Yom Kippur, from Karva Chauth, to Ramadan many religious followers observe days of abstinence. So why is the relationship between food, fasting and faith so meaningful for so many?

    Dr Katie Edwards discusses faith, food and fasting with Dr Hannah Bacon, Associate Professor in Feminist Theology and Acting head of Theology and Religious studies at the University of Chester, Dr Hina Shahid, General Practitioner and Chairperson of the Muslim Doctors Association and Geeta Vara, Ayurvedic Practioner and author of Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Wellbeing

    Producer: Rajeev Gupta
    Series Producer: Amanda Hancox

    • 27 min
    Wordsworth

    Wordsworth

    2020 marks 250 years since the birth of William Wordsworth, one of England's most celebrated poets. Wordsworth and his friend and colleague Samuel Taylor Coleridge were pioneers of English Romanticism and they produced works including The Excursion, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Prelude.

    Religion and nature were great sources of inspiration and debate for both men. Wordsworth's childhood home, The English Lake District, was alive with different and often 'dissenting' ideas about Christianity but what influence did these ideas have on his work? Did Wordsworth and Coleridge share a common idea of the nature of God and what resonance does their work have today?

    Joining Dr Katie Edwards to discuss the influence of faith on the life of Wordsworth, is Rev Marie-Elsa Bragg, priest and writer; Seamus Perry, Professor of English Literature at The University of Oxford and Heidi Snow, Professor of English Literature and holder of the Edith and Lewis White Distinguished Professorship at Principia College, Illinois, USA.

    Producer: Dan Jackson

    • 27 min
    Religion Online

    Religion Online

    Covid-19 has had us all scrambling to adapt to life in lockdown. But the period of lockdown also coincided with a number of key religious festivals from Easter to Passover, Vaisakhi to Ramadan. This in turn has led to a flourishing of new and inventive ways for religious communities to mark their holy days. But religion online is not a new phenomenon and virtual spaces, live streaming and words of wisdom have been available on the internet for many years. So what should our relationship be with religion on the internet and where does its future lie post lockdown?

    Joining Dr Katie Edwards to discuss this is Dr Beth Singler, Junior Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence at Homerton College, University of Cambridge; Swami Ambikananda, a Hindu monastic and founder of the Traditional Yoga Association; Adrian Harris, Head of Digital at the Church of England and Abid Khan, Imam at Cheadle Mosque in Manchester.

    Producer: Amanda Hancox

    • 26 min
    Reincarnation

    Reincarnation

    At some point in our lives, most of us will have wondered about what happens after death: is there an afterlife or is there nothingness?
    For many religions in the East the answer is found in reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that the human spirit inhabits new lives over and over, each time a person dies. Reincarnation is supported by Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. But all these traditions have different views on how and why reincarnation takes places. Today we want to have a deep dive into what reincarnation really means within these faith traditions.

    Joining Ernie Rea to discuss reincarnation is Dr Chakravarti Ram-Prasad, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Religion at Lancaster University; Dr Saeko Yazaki, Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow and Dr Douglas Davies, Professor in Theology and Religion at the University of Durham

    Producer: Rajeev Gupta
    Series Producer: Amanda Hancox

    • 27 min
    Ethical Investing

    Ethical Investing

    It is estimated that religious institutions own trillions of dollars' worth of investments but some have acknowledged that their financial choices have not always reflected their principles. Can faith values help people to choose how to invest their money in ways that align with their ethics? Can new technologies like blockchain provide greater transparency and control, and where are the potential pitfalls for people looking to invest their money?

    Joining Ernie Rea to discuss ethical investing are Rabbi Mark Goldsmith of the Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue and member of the International Interfaith Investment Group; Devie Mohan, an expert in the relationship between finance and technology; Martin Palmer President of Faith Invest and Umer Suleman a member of the UK Islamic Finance Council and a Sharia Finance Consultant.

    Producer: Dan Jackson
    Series Producer: Amanda Hancox

    • 26 min

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