Thu, 12 Feb 2015 11:05:00 +1100Australia’s very first interfaith network runs a thriving ‘faith tour’, with the cooperation of sixty or so volunteers and the myriad mosques, temples and churches in its cluster of ten suburbs. Join a busload of Catholic school students on tour and encounter elephant-eared Ganesha, the Buddha’s relics, and mosque dress code.These religious leaders from the City of Greater Dandenong celebrated 25 years of interfaith networking with a bell-ringing performance. (Photo by Lesley Delcourt)
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 00:30:00 +1100Does God belong in school?
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:30:00 +1100Eternity is a learning curve.
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:05:00 +1100This Encounter in the Central Australian desert introduces 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.Farewell at Jesus' Footprint, outside Hermannsburg (Photo: John Cleary)
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 17:05:00 +1100Encounter delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of volunteering overseas.(Bartosz Hadyniak/ Vetta)
Sat, 10 Jan 2015 17:05:00 +1100Does 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?Ottoman Caliphate Army soldiers, Turkey circa 1920 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 03 Jan 2015 17:05:00 +1100If 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?Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights (detail) (Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Sat, 27 Dec 2014 17:05:00 +1100A 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.Peter Steele, poet, priest and educator (photo courtesy of John Leonard Press)
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:05:00 +1100A musical Encounter this week, as we join the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence for a service of Advent Carols.Vladimir Mother of God - Earle Backen (printmaker), Christ Church St Laurence interior (Photo: Diana Panuccio)
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 17:05:00 +1100Encounter 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.Seated closest to the shrine are Leo Berkeley and Marie Byles (Courtesy of Paul Croucher)
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 17:05:00 +1100Religious 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.Patient in the "ecstatic" phase of a seizure at La Salpêtrière hospital, Paris c.1880 (Photo: P. Regnard, Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 29 Nov 2014 17:05:00 +1100When 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.Chinese-English bible (Photo: GnuDoyng, Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:05:00 +1100Is 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.Abraham sacrificing Isaac (Laurent de la Hyre, 1650)
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 17:05:00 +1100There'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.Mary Nolan with husband John and son Chris, at the races. (Courtesy: Mary Nolan)
Sat, 08 Nov 2014 17:05:00 +1100A day in the life of Khaled Sabsabi - war refugee, visual artist, hip hop producer and much more.Blake Prize-winning artist Khaled Sabsabi was born in Lebanon and arrived in Sydney aged 12 (Joanne Saad)
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 17:00:00 +1100Have you met Jason Chan the walking Buddhist monk yet? Find out about his journey from far north Queensland to Sydney walking barefoot.Jason Chan wandering in Milbrodale, NSW (Tricia Hogbin)
Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:00:00 +1100The Muslim community in Australia is anxious: militant Islam is on the rise in the Middle East and spreading around the globe. The Australian government has reacted by increasing the surveillance powers of intelligence services. How are the new laws and the media hype impacting the Sunni Muslim community in Sydney, and what are their solutions to the rising discontent?Mohammed, Melissa and their children - Eid in the Park - Bicentennial Park, Homebush (Photo: Kylie Grey)
Sat, 11 Oct 2014 17:05:00 +1100Does 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?Ottoman Caliphate Army soldiers, Turkey circa 1920 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 04 Oct 2014 17:05:00 +1000As 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?Demonstrators gather in Melbourne's Federation Square in support of a UN backed safe haven in northern Iraq for Christians and other Iraqi minorities.
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:05:00 +1000Jewish 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.Cafe Kafka, a landmark in a city full of Kafka kitsch. (Lyn Gallacher)
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:05:00 +1000The 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.In our desire to be protected from harm, have we closed ourselves off from the miracle of hospitality?
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:05:00 +1000Has the 20th century left Western society so overwhelmed by the threat of evil that it can no longer imagine the Good?Parade, Nazi Germany.
Sat, 06 Sep 2014 17:05:00 +1000The law is set up to dispense justice and compensation. But justice doesn't always means the same thing to everybody - and for people who have been the victims of terrible crimes, compensation is far from being the end of the story.Lady Justice, Central Criminal Court, London (Photo: Tony Hisgett, Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:05:00 +1000Financial pressures are escalating for traditional Christian churches, as secularism rises and child abuse compensation payouts loom. Find out how the mission of the church is changing by the enforced sale of many of their buildings and properties to pay debts.Seaspray Anglican Church, Victoria (JenniHenderson;ABCGippsland)
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 17:05:00 +1000This Encounter in the Central Australian desert introduces 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.Farewell at Jesus' Footprint, outside Hermannsburg (Photo: John Cleary)
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:05:00 +1000'Texts and Traditions' takes a brace of texts that have found new, 21st century interpreters. Studies of a 19th century manuscript of Hindu deities, the statutes of confraternities in 16th century Bologna, and a 10th century manuscript copy of some of Pope Gregory the Great’s sixth century letters throw surprising light on the present. Or is it that the present illuminates the past?- from 'Hindu Idols', a 19th century manuscript in the NGV collection, on view in the Gallery of South and South East Asian Art (Courtesy: National Gallery of Victoria)
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:00:00 +1000On the centenary of the outbreak of the WWI, we focus on the men and women known affectionately as ‘padres’, chaplains who have served the Australian Army officially since 1913. At the heart of the program is the untold story of one of Australia’s earliest WWI padres, an Anglican minister who by war's end was Major The Reverend R.H. Pitt-Owen.Medals belonging to WW1 Anglican padre, Major The Reverend R.H. Pitt-Owen (Geoff Wood, courtesy Pitt-Owen family archive)
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:05:00 +1000Tasmanian Rob Cordover had motor neurone disease and in 2009, before he could choke to death, he died with medical help. That help can get you 14 years’ jail in Australia. His wife Nica, their kids, and their helpers still can’t be sure the police are not coming.
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:05:00 +1000This week we explore the early history of Muslim immigration to Australia, focusing on the connections between Muslim immigrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. A story of surprising encounters and unexpected histories.Steve Satour with a photo of his grandparents, in Alice Springs (Janak Rogers)
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 17:05:00 +1000As Indonesians made their democratic voting choices in 2014, they were also flagging a way forward for the nation's significant Islamic education sector and its key institutions, the pesantren, the madrasah and the State Islamic universities. In Encounter, find out about pesantren, and hear of an ambitious dream for Indonesian Islamic higher education as a new global centre for Muslim intellectual life.Indonesian students of an Islamic boarding school listen to an ustadz, an Islamic cleric's sermon, in the city of Medan, on the island of Sumatra, on June 30, 2014, as the world's most populous Muslim-majority country celebrates the holy month of Ramadan. (SUTANT ADITYA/AFP/Getty Images)
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 10:27:00 +1000Everyone seems to think they know what karma means, but Buddhists and Hindus are facing challenges today due to a misunderstanding of karma and its twin rebirth.Gold Reincarnation Mandala with Horus Eye (Augustinc, Getty Images)
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:05:00 +1000No-one really knows how old Zoroastrianism is. Herodotus makes mention of something like it in the fifth century BCE, but Zoroastrianism almost certainly pre-dates Judaism, and may even be older than the Vedic tradition which gave birth to Hinduism. Surprisingly, the adherents of this ancient religion believe their theological goal to be still incomplete.
Sat, 21 Jun 2014 17:05:00 +1000Jews often say that Judaism is about "deed, not creed", and that the ethical question of how to live is far more urgent that the theological one of what to believe. Why then does Judaism have such a rich history of thought and philosophy? And what is the origin of the stereotype of the "Jewish intellectual"?A Hebrew translation of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed (originally written in Arabic), dating from 1347. (Royal Library in Copenhagen)
Sat, 14 Jun 2014 17:05:00 +1000In recent years, Muslims in the West have come under increasing pressure to practice "moderate" Islam - i.e. an Islam that embraces the various legacies of the European Enlightenment, which include secularism and a certain kind of rationality. But is a moderate or "reasonable" religion one that sells itself short?A page from "The Canon of Medicine" (1030) by Abu Ali Ibn Sina, aka Avicenna ( Institute of Manuscripts of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences)
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 17:05:00 +1000First in a three-part series on faith and reason. Religion comes under fire from atheists because it's supposedly irrational, requiring the believer to sign up to propositions that amount to nonsense. How do—or how should—faith and reason interact?The Pilgrim Meets Reason and Hard Understanding (manuscript illustration, 1400-1450) (Koninklijke Bibliotheek - The National Library of The Netherlands)
Sat, 31 May 2014 17:05:00 +1000Encounter visits the underside of Los Angeles, where the United States' economic recession is biting hard into the lives of the poor and the marginalised.Homeboy Industries mural, Los Angeles (Photo: Homeboy Industries)
Sat, 24 May 2014 17:05:00 +1000For several decades, Peter Sculthorpe has been Australia's most prolific and profiled composer. In that time he has developed his own vision for the spiritual and moral dimensions of Australia. In conversation with Florence Spurling, Peter Sculthorpe takes us from Tasmania to the many places his music and spirit have since travelled.Peter Sculthorpe
Sat, 17 May 2014 17:05:00 +1000The third program in Encounter's archive series. In January 1988, Australia was getting started on its Bicentenary celebrations - but in indigenous communities, many were wondering just what it was that they were supposed to be celebrating. This program visits the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, and hears reflections from local indigenous people on 200 years of trauma and triumph.Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc. logo
Sat, 10 May 2014 17:05:00 +1000Shakespeare has acquired quasi-religious status in Western culture and beyond. But how do we trace the religious threads in Shakespeare’s own life and work? and why have his plays become so influential?William Shakespeare
Sat, 03 May 2014 17:05:00 +1000The first in a month-long series of programs from the Encounter archives. This week: an extraordinary story of grief, courage, resilience - and unexpected joy, as a Melbourne family comes to terms with their son's severe injury in a road accident.Anthony and Annie
Sat, 26 Apr 2014 17:05:00 +1000He was seen in person by more people than anyone else in human history. Pope John Paul II brought the Catholic Church to the world as the second-longest serving pontiff, and was beloved for it. On the eve of his canonisation by the Vatican, we ask - what forces shaped this man? And what sort of legacy did he leave the world?Pope John Paul II at Old Yankee Stadium, New York City, October 1979 (Photo: Thomas J. O'Halloran, U.S. News & World Report magazine)
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:05:00 +1000First in a two-part series on the two-part Papal canonisation that's about to take place in Rome. This week: Pope John XXIII, the man who fifty years ago began driving the locomotive of Catholic Church reform by inaugurating the Second Vatican Council. But who was he? And how is his influence being felt in the Church and in secular society today?Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Pope John XXIII (1959) (Photo from the Patriarchate of Venezia)
Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +1000On a slow boat journey from Constantinople to Venice in the early 15th century, scholar and papal diplomat Nicholas of Cusa set modern scientific method in train when he conceived of the value of ignorance as a means towards knowledge. The more one learns of one’s unknowing the more learned one is.from a painting by Meister des Marienlebens, located in the St Nikolaus hospital at Bernkastel-Kues (Germany) (Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:05:00 +1100In this year of the 100th anniversary of World War I —the 'founding catastrophe' of the 20th century—we look at life for German Jews before, during and after the Great War.Night landscape, The Garden of Exiles, The Jewish Museum Berlin (Photo: Jens Ziehe. Copyright: The Jewish Museum Berlin)
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:00:00 +1100Encounter delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of volunteering overseas.(Bartosz Hadyniak/ Vetta)
Sat, 15 Mar 2014 17:05:00 +1100Our cultural obsession with body image is often blamed on the media. But from the story of Eve and her suspect desire for forbidden fruit to the persistence of such ascetic traditions such as fasting, Christianity has influenced the ways in which we shape our bodies in the service of transforming our souls."Eve" by Anna Lea Merritt (1844-1930) (Wikimedia Commons)
Sat, 08 Mar 2014 05:05:00 +1100If 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?Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights (detail) (Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 17:05:00 +1100The second of the Ten Commandments says that “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”. And yet the making and selling of Christian devotional objects has become a thriving business today. Hindus are more relaxed about the role of objects in religious practice – but even so, the secular appropriation of Hindu icons can cause offence. This week Allison Chan explores the world of religious material culture.Collage of plastic figurines (Getty Images)
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 17:05:00 +1100For 2000 years Christians have pondered Jesus’ words at the Last Supper—‘Do this in memory of me’—and in thanksgiving Christians of almost all persuasions do take bread and sometimes wine, bless it and share it. This practice has profoundly influenced ‘western culture’ and it remains provocative – to religious, intellectual and social action and thought.'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb', The Ghent Altarpiece, 1432, (c1900-1920). A print after the lower half of the central panel in the St Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, from Art History and Literature Illustrations, by Jessie Noakes, Virtue and Co, (London, c1900-1920). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
Sat, 15 Feb 2014 17:05:00 +1100The whistleblower performs a valuable service in a world where large corporate entities have a lot of power, but not always a lot of moral restraint in protecting and furthering their interests.