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Encounter (ABC RN)

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Sydney, NSW


Encounter invites listeners to explore the connections between religion and life—intellectually, emotionally and intuitively—across a broad spectrum of topics.




Encounter GPO Box 9994 Sydney 2001 NSW (07) 3377 5143


Does God belong in school?

Does God belong in school?

Duration: 00:54:44

Eternity Is a Learning Curve

Why are we here? How should we conceive of God? What is eternity? This we we tackle some of the Big Questions - and find that they can offer pointers for answering smaller questions about everyday life.

Duration: 00:54:06

Guess who's coming to dinner

This Encounter in the Central Australian desertintroduces Morris Stuart,a former pastor who was born in British Guyana in the Caribbean. He uses sacred music to help empower indigenous people, working with local choirs in Central Australia,Alice Springs and, most recently, with the famous South African Soweto Gospel Choir.

Duration: 00:52:42


Encounter delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of volunteering overseas.

Duration: 00:52:47

Dreaming of the Caliphate

Does Islam need a Caliphate? The extravagant brutality of the IS group in Syria and Iraq has Muslims worldwide saying that if this is the restored Caliphate, we want no part of it. But what about the idea of a “proper” pan-Islamic polity, established and run according to Koranic principles? How might it work – and how likely is it to happen?

Duration: 00:52:56

A Short History of Hell

If someone tells you to go to Hell, you’ve probably got a good picture in your mind of what you’ll find when you get there: Somewhere deep underground, devils with pointy tails, lots of fire and brimstone. But where does our western idea of Hell come from and why does it take this particular form? And what can Hell's most famous architect – Dante – teach us about living together in the modern world?

Duration: 00:53:12

Things Can Only Get Better

A tribute to distinguished poet, priest, scholar and educator, Peter Steele who died on 27 June 2012. Peter Steele’s poetry has appeared in seven volumes and last month his final book of ‘essays in poetry’ was published as Braiding the Voices. This program features Peter Steele in conversation, his poems, and reflections on the life and work of this notable Australian cultural figure.

Duration: 00:53:49

Advent Carols from the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence

A musical Encounter this week, as we join the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence for a service of Advent Carols.

Duration: 01:03:27

Aussie Buddhism

Encounter delves into Buddhism's long history in Australia and how it has adapted to this land and its people, and it's not as peaceful as you might imagine.

Duration: 00:53:21

God in a seizure

Religious mystics have often experienced visions and trance-like states that they say come directly from God. But in the modern era, there's speculation that these figures may have been experiencing hallucinations brought on by epilepsy – and indeed many people today with similar neurological conditions say that their seizures can often come in the form of intensely mystical or religious experience.

Duration: 00:53:50

Christians of Asia

When people talk about “The Asian Century”, they’re usually referring to the expected economic and political dominance of Asia over the next hundred years. But if the growth of Christianity in the region continues, then the 21st century could also turn out to be the Asian Christian Century.

Duration: 00:53:49

Not peace but a sword

Is religion intrinsically violent? Many atheists say yes - while many religious believers see their faith tradition as being about peace and harmony. This week we complicate both pictures.

Duration: 00:53:09

A Day in the Life, pt.3 - Mary Nolan

There's a back story to the upcoming Meredith Music Festival (Australia's hippest festival?) about a woman whose life God 'interrupts'. That's the way Mary Nolan puts it.

Duration: 00:51:20

A Day in the Life, pt.2 - Khaled Sabsabi

A day in the life of Khaled Sabsabi - war refugee, visual artist, hip hop producer and much more.

Duration: 00:53:49

Wandering Monk

Have you met Jason Chan the walking Buddhist monk yet? Find out about his journey from far north Queensland to Sydney walking barefoot.

Duration: 00:53:07

Facebook, Jihad and Sheikh Google: Perspectives and Solutions from inside S

The Muslim community in Australia is anxious: militant Islam is on the rise in the Middle East and it’s spreading its tentacles around the globe. The Australian government has reacted by increasing the surveillance powers of our intelligence services, but what effect are these new laws and the media hype having on the Sunni Muslim community in Australia?

Duration: 00:53:20

Dreaming of the Caliphate

Does Islam need a Caliphate? The extravagant brutality of the IS group in Syria and Iraq has Muslims worldwide saying that if this is the restored Caliphate, we want no part of it. But what about the idea of a “proper” pan-Islamic polity, established and run according to Koranic principles? How might it work – and how likely is it to happen?

Duration: 00:53:29

No justice, no peace – ISIS out of the Middle East

As ISIS militants continue their mission to purge Iraq of its minority populations, diaspora Iraqi Christians campaign in defence of those they have left behind. Who are these Christians? Who supports their campaign? There are fourteen Christian denominations represented in Iraq, in steadily declining numbers. Is the growing solidarity among them as religious believers the way to go? Or should religious identity give way to an Assyrian ethno-nationalist identity?

Duration: 00:53:48

Kafka's Prague

Jewish communities across Europe are currently feeling the cold winds of history blowing, as the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks stirs terrible memories. This week we trace the similarities and differences between then and now, via a walking tour of Prague, using Franz Kafka as our guide. Why Kafka? Because he was there last time it happened.

Duration: 00:53:04

Saints, strangers and enemies

The 20th century was haunted by the figure of the enemy - that often spectral, but sometimes all-too-real threat to national well-being and way of life. This second of a two-part series explores the fundamental drama of ethics – how to discern whether a stranger is in fact an enemy, or a bearer of divine grace, and the way that the surprising and often unconventional example of modern "saints" can expand our moral vision.

Duration: 00:53:38

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