The Relationship Between Religion and Depression

The BBC Radio 4 program, Beyond Belief debates exploring the place of religion and faith in today's complex world.

In this episode Ernie Rea explores the relationship between religion and depression with expert guests: Sabnum Dharamsi, a Muslim; Dr John Swinton, a Christian; and Ed Halliwell, a Buddhist who is a writer and mindfulness teacher, based in Sussex. He is co-author of the Mindful Manifesto.


Buddha should be in the boardroom

Clare Melford, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum, argues that Buddha should be in the
boardroom. She explains what CEOs need to learn about the tenets of Buddhism to make their businesses thrive while being sustainable.


Shintoism and Buddhism

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Japanese belief system Shinto.

A religion without gods, scriptures or a founder, Shinto is perhaps better described as a system of belief. Central to it is the idea of kami, spirits or deities associated with places, people and things. Shinto shrines are some of the most prominent features of the landscape in Japan, where over 100 million people - most of the population - count themselves as adherents.

Since its emergence as a distinct religion many centuries ago, Shinto has happily coexisted with Buddhism; in fact, adherents often practise both simultaneously. Although it has changed considerably in the face of political upheaval and international conflict, it remains one of the most significant influences on Japanese culture.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Second Reith Lecture

Burmese President elect, Aung San Suu Kyi, examines what drives people to dissent in the second of the 2011 Reith Lecture series. 'Securing Freedom'.

Reflecting on the history of her own party, the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, examines the meaning of opposition and dissident. She also explains her reasons for following the path of non-violence.


Aung San Suu Kyi Delivers Reith Lecture

Examining the themes of dissent and freedom, Suu Kyi will share the five-lecture series with former MI5 director general Eliza Manningham-Buller, whose talks will mark the 10th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on America.


Evil and the Self

Andrew Marr explores how far empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty. Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil or specific personality disorders, and to understand human behaviour by studying the 'empathy circuit' in the brain. Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital and the crime writer Val McDermid question whether this would help in their line of work, and the philosopher Julian Baggini tries to pin down what we mean when we talk about the self.


We're All in this Together?

Keeping it topical, here's a talk on Buddhist economics by Kavyasiddhi.

"All in this together - is it time for a Buddhist economics?"

From the BBC Radio 4 series "A History of the World in a Hundred Objects", Neil MacGregor tells the story of one of the world's best known figures, the Buddha.

Here's one of my favourite talks, "The four Noble Truths" by Steve Armstrong

From the BBC Radio 4 series "A History of the World in a Hundred Objects", "Empire Builders (300 BC - 1 AD) Pillar of Ashoka" - Neil MacGregor on the life and legacy of the great Indian Buddhist ruler Ashoka.

This one is by another of my favourite speakers, Ajahn Brahm (he of the infamous "Bhikkhuni ordinations"). This one is called "The Buddhist Approach To World Conflict"

And another, by Ajahn Brahm "Buddhism and Atheism"