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Soul Search

ABC (Australia)

Soul Search explores contemporary religion and spirituality from the inside out — what we believe, how we express it, and the difference it makes in our lives

Soul Search explores contemporary religion and spirituality from the inside out — what we believe, how we express it, and the difference it makes in our lives


Sydney, NSW


Soul Search explores contemporary religion and spirituality from the inside out — what we believe, how we express it, and the difference it makes in our lives




Spirit of Things ABC Radio National GPO Box 9994 Sydney 2001 (02) 8333 2829


Why atheism is more than mere unbelief

A lapsed Catholic and a professor of theology on why there's a whole lot more to atheism than mere unbelief, and how atheists and theists may have more in common than you think.


The secret paintings and spiritual courage of Hilma af Klint

Join Soul Search host Meredith Lake and curator Sue Cramer as they take you on an audio tour of Hilma af Klint's works of incredible vibrancy and power that demonstrate her spiritual adventurousness and bravery – incredible, massive paintings that were kept secret for decades after her death.


The Muslim Cameleers: The lives and legacies of Australia's little-known outback pioneers

Muslim cameleers have a rich history in Australia – that you may not have heard much about. They're the men who transformed the economic, cultural and spiritual life of many outback communities at the turn of the 20th century.


Indigenous theologian Garry Deverell on grounded spirituality

What are the possibilities for a grounded spirituality, in the aftermath of colonisation? Indigenous theologian Garry Deverell has lived the search for a spirituality that connects land and body. He joins Meredith Lake to discuss ritual, reconnection and reconciliation.


Heal Country: NAIDOC week with Brooke Prentis and Aunty Rev Denise Champion

This NAIDOC week Meredith Lake hands over the mic to guest presenter Brooke Prentis. Brooke is a Wakka Wakka woman who was born on Yidinji country, grew up mainly in Gubbi Gubbi country, but now lives on Gadigal land in Sydney. She's also an Aboriginal Christian leader and she shares about her journey of faith, the Aboriginal Christian leaders that inspire her, and what she's up to in her current role as CEO of Common Grace, a Christian movement in Australia.


A jump, a kick and a prayer: Religion at the Olympics

In the lead up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo we look at the relationship between religion and sport. We speak to young Christian athlete Nicola McDermott, Olympian and Shia Muslim Hayder Shkara, and Japanese writer Shotaro Honda Moore.


Sacred Landscapes: the mountains and spiritual freedom

Mountains have often been the location for spiritual experiences, or breakthroughs. On Soul Search today, we're turning to the mountains in our third — and final — episode on Sacred Landscapes. We meet Dr Thomas Michael, an expert on the religious significance of mountains in Eastern and Western thought, and Gary Khor, Grandmaster of tai chi, who goes on regular journeys to sacred mountains in China.


Sacred landscapes: the forest as mirror and sanctuary

Trees have a special place in the human imagination and they feature in many of the world’s cultural and religious traditions. The ancient Hebrew poets even imagined trees themselves shouting for joy in praise of a divine creator. Today we explore the forest as a sacred landscape in Northern Ethiopia, and at the Wat Buddha Dhamma Monastery nestled within the Dharug National Park in New South Wales.


Sacred landscapes: religion and ecology around the Pacific

How do the places we love shape our sense of the sacred? And how are our spiritual lives nurtured by the bush, the mountains — or even the sea? In the first episode of our 3-part series Sacred Landscapes, we hear from Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-founder and director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University, who tells us why religion and spiritual matter in the Anthropocene. Then we hear from Rev Dr Jione Havea, a pastor from Tonga, on what it means to him to belong to the islands...


The wisdom of deep listening: Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann and Fleur Magick Dennis

Many Indigenous languages have a word that means something like ‘deep listening’. In Ngan'gikurunggurr, a Northern Territory language, that word is dadirri. We hear from renowned Aboriginal elder and Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, who advocates for a kind of listening — a quiet awareness — that sums up a whole way of being. We also meet Wiradjuri and Wailwaan woman Fleur Magick Dennis on a different kind of meditation and ethical reflection this...


Seeking the simple life: from everyday economics to meditation

Do you ever look around and think, there must be a better way to do life, here? On Soul Search, we’re meeting people asking the big question of how to live well in the world as we find it. We hear from Dr Jonathan Cornford, a political economist on a mission to live more slowly, gently, and simply, and Asher Packman, the current President of Meditation Australia.


Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on karma, the pandemic, and politics in India

Today, an exclusive interview with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. He’s a Ducati-riding yogi and spiritual teacher, who has caught the attention of millions worldwide, and there's a lot to discuss — from karma to COVID-19 and politics in India. We also hear from Associate Professor Monima Chadha, an expert on classical Indian thought, to talk about the origins of the concept of karma, and the misconceptions surrounding karma today.


Alexander Hamilton and the religion of the American Revolution

Irrespective of whether or not you are a fan of Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical, Hamilton, it’s a fascinating and provocative take on the early American republic. So what are some of the questions the Musical opens up about religion and the American Revolution?


The Pope and the working man’s paradise: Rerum Novarum at 130

Once upon a time, Australia was described as 'a workingman’s paradise.' But does that ring true – either in the past, or now? On Soul Search we’re looking at work, and at one of the world’s most influential discussions of it. 130 years ago this month, Pope Leo XIII, put out a statement on capital and labour known as Rerum Novarum, a controversial document, even in 1891, and it had a big influence here in Australia.


Green Buddhism with Professor Stephanie Kaza

How can we live in proper relationships with other species? We often consider environmental questions in terms of science, or perhaps economics or even politics. But what can religious perspectives - like Buddhism - add to the conversation? As the world marks Earth Day on April 22, on Soul Search we're revisiting a conversation with Professor Stephanie Kaza.


How the Tibetan Book of the Dead resonates with the living, plus the global ethics of Hans Küng

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is the most famous Buddhist text in the West, selling more than a million copies since the first English version was published in the 1920s. But why does the book of the dead resonate so deeply with the living? And, in our diverse and often divided world, can different faiths seek peace together? Catholic priest, writer and theologian, Hans Kung passed away recently. We revisit his ideas.


Poetry and worship with Sara Saleh, and Turkish Sufi Cemalnur Sargut

American poet W.H. Auden said that 'poetry, might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.' On Soul Search today, we meet two religious poets. Sara Saleh is an award-winning Arab-Australian Mulsim poet whose attuned to the messiness of life and the ambiguities of faith, and contemporary Sufi master Cemalnur Sargut, who is one of Turkey's leading spiritual teachers.


Art at the edge of time: Makoto Fujimura, plus the 2021 Blake Prize

On this Easter Sunday as Christians remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are joined by internationally renowned artist Makoto Fujimura as he reflects on suffering, humanity, time, and creativity. And we travel to the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Western Sydney, to take a look at the 66th Blake Prize exhibition — one of Australia’s longest running and most prestigious prizes for religious and spiritual art.


Remembering for the future: Danielle Celermajer and Michael Twitty for Pesach

What kind of memory do we need to face an uncertain future? Jewish communities are asking that right now, as they recall the ancient exodus out of slavery in Egypt. Professor Danielle Celermajer reflects on how we might face up to the climate crisis, and African-American and Jewish culinary historian, Michael Twitty, explains how food and memory are inextricably linked.


The invisible beast: slavery today and in history

What does it mean to face up to slavery today? What exactly does slavery look like in the modern world? Were the convicts slaves? And what about Indigenous Australians? Jacob Sarkodee, Chief Impact Officer for the International Justice Mission and Jane Lydon, author of Anti-slavery and Australia: No slavery in a free land? join the program.