The Story of God
Life, the Universe and Everything. Professor Robert Winston examinesthe roots of religious beliefs in prehistoric societies and how humanity's sense of the divine developed in different ways in different societies. We will describe particularly the divergence between religions that appear to tolerate a range of deities and those that present strict monotheism. In this light we look at the emergence ofthe Hindu concept of Brahman as the supreme being with the many different forms that this can take, and also the ideas of karma and reincarnation central to both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Wef urther explore Zoroastrianism, perhaps the first explicitly monotheistic religion.
No God, But God. This programme looks at religions in the Abrahamic tradition. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are examined in order to understand the ideas about God they share and the issues that divide them. We focus on the relations between men and God and the numerous issues that arise from these considerations. These may include: how does God want us to live? Does God have a plan for the world and humanity? What about free will? If God created humanity why does God allow humanity to suffer?
The God of the Gaps. We examine how belief in God had been challenging the modern world by secular ideas, in particular science - how people of all religious beliefs have over the centuries accommodated their faith with the pursuit of knowledge. We explore how advances in astronomy, physics and biology challenged religious beliefs,particularly in the Christian West, and the historic and current debates over Darwin's theory of evolution. Finally, we look at those scientific disciplines where a convergence between faith and science seems possible.