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Sunday 8 November 2015 at 19h15
“AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 FAITHS”
(About An Awe Inspiring BBC Series)
Our Special Guest is Peter Owen-Jones, an English Anglican clergyman, author, television presenter, adventurer and world traveller. (Before his religious studies, Peter was an advertising creative director.)
In early 1996 Peter gained notoriety when he conducted a service for the Newbury bypass protestors. Just 2 years after Newbury, he was recruited by the BBC to front a series of religious television programmes looking at different aspects of Christianity and other faiths around the world.
Peter will share highlights of making the series and vivid experiences.
The series is divided into 8 vast and fascinating episodes, the last one airing on 20 February 2009. Below is the outline of the entirety of the series.
I have then listed the outline of episode 1.
1.1 Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire
1.2 Episode Two: The Far East
1.3 Episode Three: Africa
1.4 Episode Four: The Middle East
1.5 Episode Five: USA
1.6 Episode Six: India and Nepal
1.7 Episode Seven: Latin America
1.8 Episode Eight: Europe
Episode One: Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire
Directed & Produced by Sian Salt, Camera Graham Veevers
- Faith 2: Christianity and Ancestor worship – Attends a funeral rite performed by the Tana Toraja people ofSulawesi, Indonesia and reflects on their relationship with the dead.
- Faith 3: Catholic Carabao festival: Visits the Carabao festival of Pulilan, Bulacan, Philippines in honour of the town’spatron saint, San Isidro Labrador.
- Faith 4: Catholic fertility ritual: Attends the Obando Fertility Rites in Obando, Bulacan, Philippines, a pagan fertility festival now held in reverence to three Catholic saints. Locals dance during the festival for fertility, out of tradition for past successful dances, and just to be a part of the festival. A priest delivers prayers before directing a large dance in the Church. Peter reflects on the cross-fertilization between Catholicism and animism and suggests that instead of the Catholics simply incorporating the dance into a prayer to the saints the festival may instead be a mutual coupling of fertility and creation.
- Faith 5: Aboriginal Dreaming: Visits Alice Springs to meet with the Indigenous Australian people, the Aborigines, to witness a baby smoking ritual. Peter accompanies a group of locals on a trip to find the bush used in the ritual. A baby is then held in a small sand pit containing smoldering leaves for a few seconds at a time. A local tells him that the ritual is done so that the baby will be healthy and strong. Peter hoped to witness some of the AboriginalDreaming rituals, however, a local tells him that baby smoking is not related to Dreamtime. Peter reflects that the ritual seems to have lost its meaning as the locals are sparse in their explanation of the spiritual aspects of the event. The women of the group then remove their shirts and paint their chest and arms. With feathers in their hair, they dance around a fire. The women tell Peter they are Christian and do not know of the old Aboriginal religion.
- Faith 6: The Iraqi Mandaeans: Attends a regular baptism service inspired by John the Baptist and performed by the persecuted Mandaeans of Iraq in a park in Sydney, Australia.
- Faith 7: Urban witchcraft: Visits a group of witches who have established their coven, led by Tim Hartridge, withinSydney, Australia.
- Faith 8: Indigenous Kastom: Meets practitioners of the tribal faith of Kastomism on the South Pacific island ofTanna, Vanuatu.
- Faith 9: John Frum cult – Meets practitioners of the new religion of John Frum of Tanna, inspired by the American presence on the island after World War II.
- Faith 10: Prophet Fred and Unity: Witnesses the religion of Unity and interviews their prophet, Fred from Tanna and Killian.
Thats just the list of the first episode! To see the list of all the episodes:
I don’t know exactly what Peter will chose to share, but I find the concept of the entire series plus Peter’s very down to earth attitude, knowledge and sense of adventure both fascinating and exhiliarating!
A Winning Soirée!
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A fun dinner, a great topic, meeting and networking with, fun, new international people.
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