On refugees. The world is in the midst of a refugee crisis. Over six million refugees have escaped Syria alone since the conflict began there – but only around 11,500 have resettled in the UK. In this episode of Encounter we hear from Bayan about his own difficult journey from Syria to the UK. We ask how this crisis compares to those the world has seen before, and how someone copes when their host country has a different majority religion to their own. Featuring Ed Kessler, Bayan Almasri, Julian Huppert, and Esther-Miriam Wagner.
On music. If music be the food of love… from Christian and Muslim contributions to Andalucian flamenco, to the secularism of modern jazz, religion and music are deeply intertwined. Is there really such a thing as Jewish, Muslim, or Christian music? Are songs the great uniter, or is context more important? Will Ed ever overcome his childhood trombone-based traumas? Featuring Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, Dunya Habash, and David Perry.
On football. On the momentous occasion of the World Cup, we at the Woolf sat down to discuss how religion plays a role on the pitch. Is football the new religious experience? Does it transcend our human differences or reinforce them? Most importantly, who will emerge victorious in Moscow on July 15th, and is God on their side? Featuring Ed Kessler, Esther-Miriam Wagner, Jessica Tearney-Pearce, and Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco Bernal.
On mental health. With the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week taking place in May, this week’s Encounter delves into how religious belief affects the troubled mind. Can faith help to protect against mental illness? Does religious doctrine ever prevent open emotional discussion? What responsibilities do faith communities have to help each other? Featuring Ed Kessler, Ruth Adams, Mark Strivens, and Dunya Habash.
On education. Join Ed Kessler and guests Julian Huppert, Azadeh Moaveni and Austin Tiffany as they discuss and debate religion and education in the UK. Are faith schools good for society as a whole or do they breed division? Should faith schools receive taxpayers’ money? What part do faith schools play in the lives of the non-religious?
Dr Edward Kessler reflects on Jewish-Christian relations from a European perspective. (Audio taken from his address to the International Council of Christians and Jews at the Progressive Synagogue, Dublin on Tuesday 27th September, 2016.)