iBlog: The Retreat


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Retreat

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What a top quality programme. La and me were playing with the idea of forfeiting our tele licence the other day in favour of more social time, but programmes like this make me proud of the beeb's commitment to `educate, inform and entertain`.

The programme focused on six Brits in different spiritual states spending a month in an Islamic retreat in the Spanish mountians, and tracks their growth, interest and general approach to Islam in a very real and sensative way.

Being on BBC2 I fully expected the standard quota of over political correctness, but my pessimism was unmet. Even I found the series very balanced, fair and honest. The last show near enough concluded with one of the spiritually-neutral participants devoting themselves to Allah, yet in the earlier eopisodes it showed the their struggles with concepts such as meditation, the docterines of Islam and the fundimental concept of their even being a God.

I also learned a lot about Islam, which is very important in my opinion as a Christian - there's nothing worse than a church who claims to love people and then dismisses the most funidmental part of about 1.6 billions of people's lives because they pray to the wrong God. The Islam the retreat taught was what I'd think of as the parallel of Celtic Christianity. Very natural, peaceful, meditative and reflective.

If you're a Christian and your pursing your lips at the thought of an Islamic airtime slot - or worse a Christian watching it, then I'd urge you not to be afraid. Aside the fundimental differences between Christianity and Islam, I was shocked to see the similarities between the two. Two monotheistic faiths teaching devotion, conversion, evangelism, humility, humanitarianism, scriptual truths, and one strand of the faith being annoyed at another!

So yer, my thoughts were, this was a good programme and opened my eyes to a religion that's easy to see as just Sunni wankers and Al Quaida numpties.


  • At 10:24 PM, Blogger tarkmiddy said…

    is it a weekly programme?

    Have you and La got into Life on Mars on bbc2? it's cool!

    also I now have a backup of the benvolio folder so am restoring it to it's previous status as I type

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    ah, you're a gentleperson!

    what's life on mars?

    The Retreat was weekly, but only three installments (which are over)

  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    Do you see any implications here for your faith in particular and the status Christianity in general?

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    well it did make for some interesting questions:

    -) would I feel comfortable leading a call to prayer in a Mosque? (Dunno if I'd be allowed anyway, I'm being hypothesmical)
    -) What reasons would I have if any, of praying in a mosque - chanting `God is great` over and over. I can't say I'd feel comfortable doing that, but aside of the dogmatic Western Christian appraoch to the Islam/Christianit void, there should be no reason not to praise the one God in any way. Kind of Alternative Worship to the max.
    -) If the anthrpological course of the two religions began again, could Christianity have turned out looking like the cultural face of Islam, and visa-versa.

    I can't say my own faith was enlightened or challenged in anyway by the programme, but I think my take on the spiritual differences between the two religions has been educateder for the better.

  • At 8:11 PM, Anonymous mo said…

    the programme was interesting

  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    Thanks for the Alternative Worship link; Very useful!


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