Friday, September 26, 2008

Miracles - In Our Time

BBC's In Our Time is back from summer recess. Melvyn Bragg and his panel spoke about miracles in the first issue of the season. A lot of fascinating aspects were touched upon, but the subject flows like fine sand between your fingers; it is so difficult to get a grasp.

Miracles, as alleged facts that happened, force questions about their nature. By modern times, this also triggers skepticism, though the program shows that skepticism about miracles starts much earlier. If you do not look at them as tales about reality, but rather as tales, as a narrative, the meaning of miracles become the issue. Also about this some is said. Miracles are taken in a certain way in Judaism and Christianity and this is the center of attention in the program. But it is noted that Islam and the East, takes miracles differently, just as the definitions of nature and the divine are different.

I have listened to this episode three times in order to put some these trains of thought in the center and see to a special reason to go and listen. But I have not succeeded and this is a weakness that is unlike In Our Time: it was too fragmented. There are glimpses of intelligent and provocative thoughts, but they fleet a bit too easily. Still, this is In Our Time, one of the best podcasts around. But be prepared.

More In Our Time:
John Donne (The Metaphysical Poets),
The Arab Conquests,
BBC's In Our Time (podcast review),
General review of In Our Time.

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Anonymous said...

I haven't listened to this episode yet, but in his newsletter Melvyn himself admits he was a bit out of control: 'When James Cook, the Producer, signalled there were three minutes to go I looked at him in astonishment, the internal clock which 44 weeks of regular live broadcasting keeps clean had totally failed to function. Frankly, it’s a bit of a miracle that we got the programme out at all.'
We pardon him! In Our Time really is an awesome show.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne--
I agree. It was a strange show. Not up to their usual quality.
-- Dara

Unknown said...

It seems they know it. Too bad for a good subject. Let's hope they'll improve next week


Unknown said...

I missed this episode and the link on the BBC site doesn't work. Can anyone provide me a way to hear this episode? Please.

Unknown said...

There is a stream on this page:
click on: "listen to this programme in full"