BBC announces religious programs for Advent

Broadcasting House, the BBC headquarters in Portland Place.

Matte Brown/Flickr | Creative Commons

Rowan Williams’ Reith Lecture on Freedom of Worship will be broadcast on Radio 4 on December 7 as part of the BBC’s wider religious program for Advent.

The company also announced that it acordered a second set of Archbishop’s interviewsin which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, talks to four public figures about their inner life.

Other programs for the season will include a revival of faith in music presented by composer Sir James MacMillanalso on Radio 4, and BBC One’s Midnight Mass broadcast from Blackburn’s Anglican Cathedral.

The BBC’s religion and ethics program was the subject of a showcase at Broadcasting House on November 23, where presenters and executives discussed the place of religious programming in a society where at least half the population identifies as “no religion”.

“The appetite for content about faith and beliefs is stronger than ever,” the company’s head of religion and ethics for television, Daisy Scalchi, said in a statement accompanying the announcement. today’s programming.

“These programs can offer us a unique perspective on some of life’s big questions, provide support and comfort during difficult times, and bring us together to celebrate important times like Advent and Christmas.”

His department’s commissions for television include My Christmas Life with Sally Phillipswhich will air on BBC One in December, and upcoming documentaries “Finding Forgiveness” about comedian Humza Arshad, and “The Mormons are Coming” about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Training Center in Chorley, Lancashire.

Lord Williams of Oystermouth, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is one of four speakers at this year’s Reith Lectures, the series commissioned annually since 1948 “to advance public understanding and debate on important issues of contemporary interest.

As part of its centenary celebrations, the BBC has appointed four speakers to address the themes of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech in 1941: freedom of speech and worship, freedom from want and fear .

In his recorded lecture in Cardiff on November 2, Dr. Williams quotes the 19th century Catholic historian, Lord Acton, who argued that religious freedom is the basis of all political freedom.

Besides his popular label on power – “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Acton also expounded a moral definition of freedom: “the assurance that every man will be protected by doing what he believes to be his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, customs and opinions”.

Dr Williams was to argue that “freedom of worship must mean the freedom to express one’s beliefs, not just the freedom to assemble”.

The other speakers are Nigerian Catholic novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichiewhose conference on free speech will air on November 30, writer and musician Darren McGarvey and foreign affairs expert Fiona Hill.

On December 11, a week before the start of Hannukah, Rabbi Jonathan Romain of Maidenhead Synagogue will appear on Radio 3 Private passions.

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