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The Spirit of Things

ABC (Australia)

The Spirit of Things explores contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music and sacred texts, and focusing on the nature of spiritual meaning in our lives. Presented by Dr Rachael Kohn.

The Spirit of Things explores contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music and sacred texts, and focusing on the nature of spiritual meaning in our lives. Presented by Dr Rachael Kohn.
More Information

Location:

Sydney, NSW

Description:

The Spirit of Things explores contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music and sacred texts, and focusing on the nature of spiritual meaning in our lives. Presented by Dr Rachael Kohn.

Language:

English

Contact:

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


Episodes

Courage and compassion in war

11/11/2018
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The extraordinary story of poet and soldier John McCrae who wrote In Flanders Fields, the inspiration behind An Australian War Requiem and Aboriginal man's protest against Nazism after the events of Kristallnacht.

Duration:00:54:05

In Harmony

11/4/2018
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Can music create harmony between people? Australian composer Gerard Brophy believes it has the power to bridge different cultures and faiths, and tells us how travel inspires his composing life. And, we meet two women whose oratorio, The People's Passion, celebrates the extraordinary women who tried to stop WWI, and left their stamp on the League of Nations.

Duration:00:53:56

Faith heals

10/28/2018
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Three women facing dire physical and emotional challenges tell us how their spiritual traditions came to the rescue. Carolyn Martin clung to her faith when her young daughter, Sophie Delezio, was the victim of two serious car accidents. Ros Ben Moshe found a way to laugh at her shock cancer diagnosis, and nurse Tendayi Ganga found the light within after experiencing illness and divorce.

Duration:00:54:08

Religion: the oldest survival kit

10/21/2018
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Professor Stephen Asma was a fairly confident atheist, until he saw the emotional and social value of religion while living in Cambodia. Now, his new book Why We Need Religion argues that religious belief contributes to the very survival of the human species. He joins Rachael to talk about his shift to agnosticism, the appeal of Buddhism, and why atheism is a social club motivated by outrage and anger.

Duration:00:53:58

Death Anxiety

10/14/2018
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Is death the actual source of religious belief? Psychologist Jamin Halberstadt tested the claim, and shares the findings in his new book Death Anxiety and Religious Belief. We hear from photo artist Tina FiveAsh, whose online project has 50 Australians reflecting on death and the afterlife. And, choir master Jenny Wong talks to us about Orlando di Lasso's masterpiece, The Tears of St Peter.

Duration:00:53:59

Faith in a climate of hostility

10/7/2018
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Managing inter-religious relations is more important than ever, especially in a climate of hostility and tension. Two religious leaders explain how strong faith alliances have helped their communities successfully navigate race riots, suicide bombings and discrimination. We hear from Father Markus Solo, the Vatican's expert on Catholic-Muslim relations in the Asia Pacific Region, and Rabbi Bob Kaplan, from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Duration:00:53:57

Australian Muslims commemorate Ashura

9/30/2018
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For Shia Muslims, Ashura is a holy day of poetry, prayer and public mourning that commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammed's beloved grandson, Hussain. Producer Mariam Chehab takes you inside the mourning period, hearing why Hussain's death 1400 years ago evokes such intense emotion now. And, we find out how the Sunni Muslim tradition of Ashura links back to Judaism.

Duration:00:53:59

Christ and Culture

9/23/2018
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We hear from two popular Christian personalities in New Zealand, Rev'd Wayne Te Kaawa, the first Maori ecumenical chaplain on campus at the University of Otago, and the Samoan Rev'd Alofa Lale, head of mission at a Catholic hospital in Dunedin. They tell us about the specific health and welfare challenges affecting their communities. And we head to Melbourne, where a new multi-million dollar temple for the Indian Jain community is being planned.

Duration:00:53:57

Music of the Jewish Days of Awe

9/16/2018
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The Ten Days of Awe is the holiest period in the Jewish calendar. In praise and prayer, voices soar in synagogues around the country. In one of them, former opera star Andrea Catzel leads the singers in solemnity and joy. We also hear from Alexander Tsaliuk, the founder of the Moscow Male Jewish Capella, who tells us how they wowed Gorbachev.

Duration:01:20:57

The Shape of Faith

9/9/2018
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How does religion shape you? For Shuv Homsi, it was a life on the rails that made him turn back to his Islamic faith. Now, he's set up a charity to fulfil a promise he made to God. But for Fijian-Indian author Zoya Patel, feminism and scepticism halted her religious practice. And academic John Shaver tells us about what is driving anti-Muslim sentiment in New Zealand.

Duration:00:53:57

A Divided House

9/2/2018
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The house of Islam contains nearly 2 billion believers, but keeping it together is a challenge, as Sunnis, Shias, Salafists and Sufis battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims. Author Ed Husain gives us an introduction to this great tradition that's global, divided and according to him, in need of some urgent housekeeping. He's in Australia to launch his new book 'The House of Islam: A Global History'.

Duration:00:05:51

Gold to God: The Chinese experience in Australia

8/26/2018
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This week, The Spirit of Things marks 200 years since Chinese settlement in Australia. We retrace the route taken by thousands of Chinese in the 1850s, as they walked from South Australia to Victoria in search of gold and we go inside Australia's oldest surviving Chinese church.

Duration:00:53:56

Choose to radiate love in your relationships

8/19/2018
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Feeling stressed or being too busy is a state of mind that you can change by connecting to the Divine and radiating peace in your daily life. Sister Shivani of the Brahma Kumari movement is India’s most popular motivational speaker, and she shares her deceptively simple remedy for happiness with Rachael Kohn. And, we head into the kitchen of an Indian-Australian household to hear about Raksha Bandhan, an annual Indian ritual that celebrates sibling love and protection.

Duration:00:53:58

A Listening Church

8/12/2018
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This week, we hear from those calling for change in the church, and those who've overseen it. Theologian Richard Gaillardetz pulls no punches on the need for reform and renewal inside the Catholic Church, especially in light of the child sexual-abuse crisis. And the new President of the Uniting Church, Deidre Palmer, reflects on the recent decision to allow ministers to conduct same-sex marriages.

Duration:00:53:59

Yiddish mavens

8/5/2018
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It’s the language of insults, food and humour you didn't even know you speak. This week, Yiddish and its connection to place, culture and religion in Australia. We speak to the authors of A Second Chance: The Making of Yiddish Melbourne. And, we hear this year's Archibald Prize winner, Yvette Coppersmith's connection to the language.

Duration:00:53:58

Should Christians and Atheists Get Along?

7/29/2018
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You may think Atheism and Christianity are polar opposites of each other, but according to academic David Newheiser, they actually have a lot in common. Also joining us on The Spirit this week is Foreign Editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan, whose new book God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times, argues that a world without God loses something of its humanity.

Duration:00:53:57

A changing church

7/22/2018
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The Catholic Church may not look like it's changing, but significant developments are taking place. We hear from Melbourne's new Archbishop elect, Peter Comensoli, on the way the child abuse scandal has affected him and what he has in mind for the future. And, Sister Maeve Heaney tells us about the power of music as theology, as well as her role heading up a new centre for theological formation in Brisbane.

Duration:00:53:57

Women of Courage

7/15/2018
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Jewish Holocaust survivor Aneta Weinreich shares her story of fleeing Nazi persecution across four countries, and the sacrifice three women played in ensuring her survival. And, we hear from Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, the second Western woman to become ordained in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, who spent 12 years in a cave.

Duration:00:53:58

Mother Nature and the Holy Father

7/8/2018
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This NAIDOC week, we hear from Dr Rose Elu, an elder from Saibai Island who shares her concerns about the impact of climate change on the Torres Strait Islands. And, Sister Gail Worcelo from Green Mountain Monastery in Vermont, USA stresses the importance of caring for the earth as she reflects on the work of the late eco-theologian, Thomas Berry.

Duration:01:00:15

Queer and devout

7/1/2018
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This week the Spirit explores sexuality and interfaith dialogue on Mardi Gras’ 40th anniversary. We hear how those with strong faith negotiate both their religious and queer identities, and how the LGBTQI movement comes to terms with its religious members.

Duration:00:57:44