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Heart and Soul

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Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Whether examining religious faith or any other belief-system, the programme talks to believers and non-believers, and tries to get beyond superficial notions of spirituality and religion.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Bodhi Tree

8/18/2017
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Climate change and security concerns are threatening one of Buddhism's most sacred sites. The Bodhi Tree, in northern India, is believed to be descended from the actual tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment, the tree came under attack from suspected Islamist terrorists in 2013. Several bombs exploded around the temple, and there are fears that security is not tight enough prevent a similar attack in the future. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit from around the globe every...

Duration: 00:26:31


Faith in the Fire

8/14/2017
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On the night the Grenfell Tower fire began on 14 June 2017, the mosques and churches which encircle the tower block in Kensington, West London, provided bases for vital relief work. It was Ramadan so many Muslim faithful were returning from prayers when the fire started, and they were able to alert residents and help people get out of the burning building. In the hours and days that followed, in one of the richest areas of one of the wealthiest cities in the world, people of all religions...

Duration: 00:26:30


The Jamaican Bible Remixed

8/6/2017
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Christianity has been part of Jamaica for 500 years and it’s said there is a church on every corner. Christian worship is conducted from the King James bible in antiquated English rather than the native Jamaican patois. But the number of people - especially young people - actually going to traditional churches is falling. The answer, some believe, would be to translate the King James bible into the local Jamaican language, offering a uniquely Jamaican version that appeals to ordinary...

Duration: 00:26:41


Diary of a Pakistani Atheist

7/31/2017
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In March 2017, a High Court Judge in Pakistan made the dramatic declaration that “blasphemers are terrorists.” The declaration is just one part of a growing national campaign to make disbelief socially, publicly and morally not just unacceptable, but one that allows Pakistani people the right to attack those who doubt the importance of Islam. Websites offer a satirical take on Islam and challenge the notion that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, but the government replied with adverts in...

Duration: 00:26:45


Sacred Songs of the Sikhs

7/31/2017
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The YouTube generation are re-inventing Kirtan, an ancient form of Sikh worship. Kirtan, the devotional singing of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, has traditionally been accompanied by tabla or harmonium. Today, a new generation of Sikhs are uploading their own style of Kirtan to the global diaspora. Nina Robinson meets Kirtan artists Manika Kaur from Dubai and Violinder from San Francisco. With millions of views on their respective YouTube channels, these musicians are pushing...

Duration: 00:26:55


Doping, Diving and God

1/3/2017
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Dr Robert Beckford explores how cheating in sport conflicts with Christian principles. He asks how can an Olympic champion stand on the podium with a gold medal and then thank God in an interview if they have taken performance enhancing drugs? Can a footballer celebrate the penalty he has ‘won’ and then point to the sky in honour of God? In this edition of Heart and Soul, featuring Olympic medallist Ben Johnson, Robert explores what the Christianity has to say about fair play and whether...

Duration: 00:27:00


The Radical Disciple

12/25/2016
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Every week Father Michael Pfleger takes to social media to share the number of people killed over the past few days in his city, Chicago. The numbers are almost always in double figures and many of the dead are young African-American men shot on the streets that surround his church, St Sabina’s, in the almost entirely black suburb of Auburn-Gresham. Rajini Vaidyanathan meets Father Pfleger after Sunday Mass, to explore with him why he has devoted his life’s work to trying to rid...

Duration: 00:26:57


When the Soul Goes Out

12/11/2016
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He is he says, on a mission from God, Robert Berman’s lifelong campaign for organ donation to be permissible under Jewish/Talmudic law – Halacha – is at the centre of an ongoing debate in Israel. Berman, a Harvard University graduate, is striving to change attitudes to the donating of organs and possibly redefine the strict and ancient definition of death. Berman has been referred to as “the murderer” as he continues to promote donor cards to this traditional community. Berman’s campaign...

Duration: 00:26:58


Nepal's Living Goddess

12/4/2016
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In the centre of Patan City in Nepal resides a living goddess, a child as young as four, chosen to host a deity of invincible feminine power. On her young shoulders rests the fate of the nation. Goddesses in many religious traditions around the world exist only in the spiritual realm, symbolised by statues and icons. But in Nepal they live and breathe and take the form of young girls – the kumari. For centuries Hindus and Buddhists across the Kathmandu Valley have worshiped these young...

Duration: 00:27:00


Finding the Light

11/27/2016
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Huge numbers of Gypsies and travellers across Europe now say they've joined a new movement called Light and Life. Those who join have given up on some parts of their lives that have become associated with being a Gypsy, such as drinking alcohol and fortune-telling, with many even abandoned their traditional Catholic faith. The Gypsy led, Pentecostal movement, has grown rapidly in the past 3 decades - it claims that up to 40% of British Gypsies worship within it, whether that’s actually...

Duration: 00:26:49


Trump and the Evangelical Vote

11/13/2016
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Donald Trump predicted that if he won the votes of America's evangelical Christians he would win the election, and he was right. A quarter of all voters count themselves as evangelical and 81% of them voted for Trump, despite the deep misgivings and public disagreements among Christian leaders over whether their conscience would allow them to endorse him. Jane Little speaks to four leading evangelical leaders about how they define evangelical Christianity, their hopes and misgivings for...

Duration: 00:26:59


Out of the Silence

11/6/2016
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25 years ago this month Terry Waite returned to the UK after nearly five years of captivity in Beirut. During the violent and destabilising civil war in Lebanon he had been sent by the Church of England to negotiate for the release of several hostages – but he was kidnapped and imprisoned himself by Hezbollah militants. His capture made news around the world and for a long time there was no information on whether he was alive. During his years of solitary confinement, Terry’s courage and...

Duration: 00:27:00


Power of the Word

10/30/2016
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Reading can be solitary, peaceful, a moment to be alone with your own thoughts, but it can also provide collective wisdom and shared experience. This week as part of the #LovetoRead season across the BBC, six religious leaders from around the world have chosen a single book that has a unique place in their spiritual lives, a non-religious text, but one that has enriched and informed their faith. We’ll hear from Ilyasah Shabazz, Sunni activist and daughter of Malcom X, London based Syrian...

Duration: 00:27:00


America's Muslim Town

10/26/2016
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Right next to the city of Detroit, Michigan is Hamtramck, the first Muslim majority city in the United States. Just over 50% of the residents are immigrants from Bangladesh, Yemen and Bosnia. There are ten mosques in just over 2 square miles, as well as Islamic private schools. But only a few decades ago, the city was dominated by Polish immigrants with their Catholic churches and schools. Long before Donald Trump made Muslim immigration a focus of his election campaign, Hamtramck made...

Duration: 00:27:00


Wrestling with God

10/16/2016
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David Baker is a practising and proud Jew. He is also gay and in the eyes of many of his fellow Jews the two cannot go together. He has had to wrestle with these two sides to his identity leading to many hours of praying and soul searching, exploring whether he could still remain within his faith. Just after the Orlando shootings in June he was invited to the Iftar, the fast breaking meal in Islam, alongside LGBT Muslims and it was there that he realised that Jews and Muslims have more in...

Duration: 00:26:40


Amazigh Women of Morocco

10/9/2016
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The Amazigh women of Morocco have faced threats to their strong traditions and distinct religious identity for thousands of years. Celeste Hicks travelled high into the Atlas Mountains to find out how the Amazigh are dealing with a new threat – a stricter traditional version of Islam that could undermine their unique way of practising their faith. She hears how the Amazigh are trying to hold on to many of their traditions such as carpet weaving and facial tattoos which the conservative...

Duration: 00:26:57


Communism and the meteoric rise of Christianity in China

9/25/2016
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Every year millions of rural Chinese workers swarm into the new vast mega cities that are growing seemingly unconstrained all over this vast country As they settle and populate cities like Beijing and Shanghai, they are bring their Christian faith with them, changing the social and religious landscape of the country and challenging the moral authority of the Communist Party In the second part of his journey exploring Christianity in China, Danny Vincent meets the people worshipping in the...

Duration: 00:26:58


Being Christian in China's Jerusalem

9/18/2016
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China is an atheist state, officially, but Christianity is booming. It is estimated that there are more Christians in the country than members of the Communist Party. Danny Vincent travels to the south-east coast to the city of Wenzhou – known as China’s Jerusalem. In Wenzhou, he discovers the scale of the recent demolitions by the government of crucifixes, the most venerated symbol of the Christian faith, officially because they are too tall or illegal. It is estimated that 1,700 crosses...

Duration: 00:26:59


Faith on the Ukrainian Fault Line

8/22/2016
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The schism in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is dividing communities, friends, even families, as they are forced to choose between Kiev or Moscow as their spiritual guide. After Russia's annexation of Crimea and conflict continuing in the east of the country, Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia continues to cause controversy. In a country where the majority of the population consider themselves Orthodox Christians, Olga Smirnova investigates how Ukrainian's are negotiating the rift...

Duration: 00:27:00


Benedict Spinoza - A Philosopher for Our Time

8/7/2016
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We live in fearful times. All over the world renewed wars of religion are being fought. Politicians exploit our fears of one another in order to win power. 350 years ago, the philosopher Benedict Spinoza put his very, big brain to work on the problem of religion in politics. His theories led to the Enlightenment and its ideas of democracy and the separation of Church and State in the role of government. To do this he had to argue that God was not the God of the Bible. Spinoza’s reward:...

Duration: 00:26:57

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