My Life, My Religion from BBC Two


Here are three great short documentaries about Hinduism, Christianity and Islam from the point of view of young teenagers.BBC Two made a series of short documentaries about some of the major religious traditions called My Life, My Religion. Each documentary is about twenty-eight minutes long and is shown through the eyes of a young teenager. The Hindu teenager is 14 years old, and the Christian and Muslim teenagers are 11 years old.The religious traditions included in the series are the … [Read more...]

Religious Freedom & the Law

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Can religious freedom justify refusing to follow the law? Kim Davis, a Kentucky state official charged with granting marriage licenses, believed it could when she refused to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples last week.  A Federal judge in Kentucky ordered her jailed for refusing to grant those licenses. The clip above from the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly clearly explains the two sides. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, argues th … [Read more...]

The Sari & Burqa: Symbols of Imperialism

"Group of Women Wearing Burkas" by Nitin Madhav (USAID) - , exakt source: Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

Do clothes like the Indian sari or the Afghan burqa justify empire?British missionaries in the centuries after the East India Company took over India tried to change the sari because they thought Indian women wore it in a scandalous way.Feminists, like Jay Leno's wife, want to ban the burqa in Afghanistan. They see it as a symbol of subjugation.In a fascinating essay  for the digital magazine Aeon, Rafia Zakaria, a writer and political philosopher, suggests that these "moral c … [Read more...]

Similarities between Muslims & Christians

Wikimedia Commons, Cezary Piwowarski

What similarities do Muslims and Christians share?Amer Aziz, an officer of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, writes about five of them in a column for Faith Street.Among the similarities are Abraham, the patriarch of both Muslims and Christians. In addition, Christians can find Muhammad in the Bible and Muslims can find Jesus in their holy book, the Quran.Another similarity is that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appears in both the … [Read more...]

BBC IWonder Guides on Religion

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BBC IWONDER GUIDES BBC developed IWonder interactive guides in 2014. The guides "explore a range of factual and education topics from Science and Natural History, Arts, History, Religion and Ethics, Food and more."They are colorful, interactive, and easy to read and often include short video and audio clips, infographics, and excellent written summaries.The IWonder guides that deal with religion are terrific. For example, the guide, "Why do Buddhist meditate" includes a terrific video … [Read more...]

Should Jain Ritual Suicide be Legal?

Claude Renault from Reykjavik, Iceland - Flickr

An Indian High Court recently ruled that elderly Jains could not commit ritual suicide called Sallekhana. An activist in Rajasthan argued that “Jains were being encouraged to take the vow to free families of the burden of taking care of them,” according to NDTV.Jains deny the charge and see ritual suicide as voluntary occurring only “when both householders and ascetics foresee that the end of the life is very near either due to the old age, incurable disease, severe famine, attack from the en … [Read more...]

Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu: Animated Introductions


Philosopher, Alain de Botton, founded a company in which he surveys some of the great philosophers, socialists, and political scientists in short five minute animated clips.In a course on eastern philosophy, the School of Life reviews the life and contributions of Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, Confucius, and Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.The clips are ideal for students and could be used in class or assigned as homework. … [Read more...]