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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Religions and ethics: public broadcasting in Australia

Miss Eagle has been a radio listener since she was brought home from hospital after birth during World War 11.  Don't have much time for commercial radio.  I love public radio.  
In Australia this is the Australian Broadcasting Commission known as the ABC.  I am also a fan of the BBC.  Until a couple of years ago, the ABC used to have a marvellous half-hour program, The Religion Report.  This was a very sharp program which covered religion in a current affairs manner.  It was a a great shame when the powers-that-be-at-the-ABC closed this down.  Nothing has quite taken its place. 

At about the same time, the Religion anf Ethics portal took over from a previous net presence.  The ABC, like the BBC, is remarkable not only for the quality of programming currently produced. It is remarkable for its archival material. 

As a public broadcaster, the ABC covers all manner of spiritual values and faiths under its Religion category.  This means that there is much to explore and some to leave behind like scraps on a plate.  Generally speaking, the religious broadcasts of the ABC enriches me.  In the main, I find it - as often as not - a sound substitute for Sunday sermons of varying quality. 

Below is what is on offer this week. In these wonderful days of the internet, we don't have to rely on shortwave radios. We can live stream media as if it is right next door. So please see this post as your introduction to Australia's ABC. Enjoy!

The sacrifices of war
ABC Religion and Ethics - 11 Nov 10
In his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges, a war correspondent, tries to explain why he became so addicted to war that he could not live without being in a war. War had quite simply captured his imagination, making it impossible for him to live "normally." He…
Seeking asylum in Australia, 1888-2010
ABC Religion and Ethics - 11 Nov 10
The legacies of our past weigh heavily on us. Our attitudes to asylum seekers - those who appear on the horizon, from over the seas, not-white in appearance and uninvited - have deep roots in our formative history as a nation. Indeed such attitudes were constitutive, in a quite l…
The moral dilemma of asylum seeker policy
ABC Religion and Ethics - 09 Nov 10
On the issue of asylum seekers, I think we have reached a point of crisis. If it were up to me, and if I did not care about the wider political consequences, I would allow all asylum seekers who arrive spontaneously on Australian shores to live in the community after a short peri…
Rights in conflict: The problem of defamation of religions
ABC Religion and Ethics - 10 Nov 10
The "defamation of religions" issue was first brought to the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1999 under the agenda item of "racism." According to Pakistan, members of the OIC were grow…
This week on ABC TV
Compass - The New Noffs
ABC1 | 14 November 2010
Presented by Geraldine Doogue
The story of Ted Noffs, a maverick Methodist minister, whose groundbreaking work with the young and destitute in 1960s Australia lives on through his son and grandsons. But with one major difference - the Christian message is no longer part of the mission.
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Songs of Praise - Rochester Cathedral
ABC1 | 14 November 2010
Presented by Pam Rhodes
Rochester Cathedral began life in 604 AD as a monastic community. The building, and its treasure trove of historic art and architecture, has been an inspiration to generations of worshippers and visitors.
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This week on ABC Radio
Encounter - The Outsider
ABC Radio National | 14 November 2010
Just because God is dead it does not mean that everything is permitted. Fifty years after his death Nobel laureate, Albert Camus, remains compelling for our time.
Producer: Florence Spurling
Repeated Wednesday 17 November, 7.05pm; and Thursday 18 November, 4.05am
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For The God Who Sings - Cantate Domino
ABC Classic FM | 14 November 2010
Presented by Stephen Watkins
For marvellous things, DeLalande sings a new song, with harp, trumpet and voices.
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Sunday Nights - Compounding Abuse
ABC Local Radio Across Australia | 14 November 2010
Presented by John Cleary
How well is the church dealing with the issue of sexual abuse, not just in acknowledging the victims, but in addressing the structures that facilitate abuse? This week Australia plays host to an international conference which brings together key advocates for reform, and you can join them on Sunday Night with John Cleary.
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The Rhythm Divine - Walls Come Down
ABC Radio National | 12 November 2010
Presented by Geoff Wood
'Something there is that doesn't love a wall'. On the 21st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we take that line by the poet Robert Frost and run with it, adding glorious noise from Beethoven and Leonard Bernstein, Danish band Slaraffenland, Tamil devotional singer Susheela Raman and the Los Angeles Gospel Choir, all confirming that no matter how imposing they look, walls do come down in the end.
Repeated Sunday 14 November 5.05am
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The Spirit of Things - Aborigines Choosing Islam
ABC Radio National | 14 November 2010
Presented by Rachael Kohn
'Ramiz', who is part Aboriginal and part Afghan, realised he did not 'fit in' and he spent his youth finding alternative paths, until his life hit 'rock bottom'. That was when Islam offered a way out, and he explains how it gave him a sense of 'manhood'. Dr. Peta Stephenson, author of Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia, has surveyed the phenomenon Aboriginals turning to Islam and explains its varied expressions and motives.
Repeated Tuesday 16 November 1.05pm and Wednesday 17 November 2.05am

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