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Podcast Sunday
Podcast Sunday



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  • Ben Fogle; Halal Student Finance; Day of the Scientist
    Following in the footsteps of St Colomba, presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle has been on a pilgrimage across the Hebrides to explore themes of community and spirituality, He joins Edward Stourton to describe a personal journey that can be seen in a four part series on BBC One called 'Scotland's Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle'. A survey by Muslim Census has found that large numbers of Muslim students feel compromised by having to take out non halal student loans. The student loan scheme charges interest on money borrowed and under Islamic law interest bearing loans are forbidden. Sadiq Dorasat from Muslim Census exclusively reveals the results of his research. Ahead of the ‘Day of the Scientist’ on Radio Four, Edward talks to two scientists with a religious backgrounds who reflect on the relationship between religion and science – Dr Yadvinder Malhi is professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford and Dr Monica Grady is professor of Planetary and Space Science at the Open University. Producers: Helen Lee Olive Clancy
  • 03/10/2021
    Is it possible for intense suffering to bring about great spiritual growth ? That’s the question our Presenter Emily Buchanan explores with the Psychologist and Author Dr. Steve Taylor in his book ‘Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation. It covers the stories of those who report transcendental experiences after a major trauma such as bereavement or witnessing violent conflict. Over a thousand Church Leaders are signatories to a letter urging the Government not to remove the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. They are asking Government to choose to build a just and compassionate social security system. Emily explores with Rachel Gregory, Policy Manager at Christians Against Poverty and Mohammed Lockhat, Chair of the Peace Centre in Leicester, just what the removal of this uplift means in real terms. BBC 1’s new primetime Sunday night drama Ridley Road is inspired by the true story of a revival of fascism and neo-Nazism in 1962, and the group of Jewish men and women who formed an anti-fascist resistance movement called the 62 Group. We speak to one of the few surviving members of that Group, Jules Konopinski along with the Historian and Author of ‘We Fight Fascists’ Daniel Sonabend. In the second of our series exploring some of the changing faith practises in Britain, we focus this week on the Church of England. Reporter Harry Farley poses the question ‘Does the Parish Have a Future? with church-goers and non-churchgoers alike. And Emily explores the arguments with Emma Thompson from the Campaign group Save The Parish and the Revd Canon David Male, the Church of England’s Director of Evangelism and Discipleship. Producers: Jill Collins, Amanda Hancox Editor: Helen Grady
  • "Brown" Bouquets; Faith After The Pandemic; Deborah Feldman
    This years' bumper wedding season - postponed because of the pandemic - means difficult flower choices for many a winter bride. The Chelsea Flower Show judge and Royal Wedding florist Shane Connolly believes that using unseasonal flowers at weddings and in churches is a real problem for the environment. Edward Stourton hears from recent brides who chose recycled bouquets and talks to Shane Connolly about "brown flowers" and why he wants churches to give up using plastic foams and imported flowers for good. In the first of a series Sunday Programme investigates faith in a post pandemic world, starting with a look at intriguing new research suggesting that young people - those aged 18 to 34 - are more likely to pray once a month than the over 55s. We discover a world of young people who rejected online worship but have since found prayer communities in unlikely places – from a Muslim basketball team to impromptu Hindu prayer gatherings – and asks if these activities will continue as normality returns. Plus Edward talks to Deborah Feldman, author of Unorthodox, the memoir that inspired the hit Netflix series. Her latest book, Exodus, is an account of her decision to live in Berlin, part of a wave of descendants of German Jewish refugees doing the same and coming to terms with the past. Photo Credit: Ben Achana Photography
  • Psalm 23 Garden, Sanctuary, Muslim Sibling Rivalry
    The Chelsea Flower Show finally opens its doors on Monday 20th September. Reporter Vishva Samani went behind the scenes for a sneak preview of The Bible Society’s Garden, Psalm 23, designed by Sarah Eberle The Assisted Dying Bill gets its second reading in the Lords next month. As the debate gains momentum, our Presenter William Crawley asks how we can find more comfortable and beneficial ways of talking about the subject of death and dying. He’s joined by Liz Slade, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and Dr. Hina Shahid, GP and Chair of the Muslim Doctors Association. King Ina of Wessex, a Christian, confirmed the right of Churches to offer Sanctuary in 693. By 1624 those rights were abolished, but the Church is still seen as a place that people can turn to for Sanctuary in one form or another. Only last week a group of Church of England Bishops accused the Government of criminalising ‘the Good Samaritan’ under proposals outlined in the National Borders Bill, requiring Border Force vessels to turn back migrant boats, rather than give safe passage to the UK. We explore what Sanctuary means in the modern world with Dr Louise Hampson, from the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, who is also leading a Sanctuary Exhibition at Beverley Minster and The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester. Sisters, Uzma and Ambreen Hameed, have written a two-book novel series called ‘Undying’. It’s a black comedy about two rival sisters in a British Muslim family. The sisters tell William how the project brought them closer together, as they assessed what it meant to live with the label British Muslim. Producers: Jill Collins and Louise Clarke-Rowbotham Editor: Tim Pemberton
  • Turban confusion, Jewish heritage, Hong Kong Christian activists
    The first hate crime recorded after the 9/11 attacks in the US was against an observant American Sikh man Balbir Singh Sodhi. He was murdered by a man who thought his turban meant he supported the Taliban. Now Sikhs in the US and UK are concerned that the rising profile of the Taliban in Afghanistan is once again leading to abuse. We hear from the community and ask what might be done to remedy what they call "religious illiteracy". This year the UK opened its borders to people from Hong Kong in what is said to be the biggest migration here since Windrush. It's expected that between 130,000 and 300,000 will come over time. These are people who are unhappy with the path Hong Kong has taken since it was handed over to China in 1997. But key players on both sides of the argument over Democracy in Hong Kong had their roots in Christianity. William Crawley discusses this with former foreign correspondent and author of The Gate to China, Michael Sheridan. And we report on the UK's oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks and a fight against a proposal to build two tower blocks next to it. The synagogue's trustees say the proposed buildings will block almost all sunlight and change the atmosphere completely. We'll ask if we're paying enough attention to our Jewish Heritage with Professor Abigail Green, who's helping Heritage England to enrich their records with surprising Jewish connections to much-loved country houses like Strawberry Hill and Waddeson Manor. They're now inviting the public to "enrich the list" by bringing them their memories of Jewish life in important buildings:

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