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Watch: Doubt

When Lesley Hazleton was writing a biography of Muhammad, she was struck by something: the night he received the revelation of the Koran, according to early accounts, his first reaction was doubt, awe, even fear. And yet this experience became the bedrock of his belief. Hazleton calls for a new appreciation of doubt and questioning as the foundation of faith — and an end to fundamentalism of all kinds.

Writer Lesley Hazleton is the author of The First Muslim, a new look at the life of Muhammad.

Read: Gesar

King GesarKing Gesar fulfils a role in Tibetan culture that is similar to that played by King Arthur in the British Isles. Like other epics (such as the Iliad, Odyssey, Mahabharata, Ramayana) the Mongolian-Tibetan King Gesar tales have their roots in oral recitations. One difference is that King Gesar continues to be orally recited by singers today. If you have ever seen the (highly recommended) movie Saltmen of Tibet, you will certainly recall the singer Yumen who sings from the portion of King Gesar known as The Song of Ma Nene Karmo.




Listen: Discovering Alan Watts

Discovering Alan Watts

On Start the Week on BBC Radio 4 recently, Andrew Marr discussed the legacy of the philosopher Alan Watts with the writer Tim Lott and psychotherapist Mark Vernon. Watts popularised Buddhism and Eastern philosophy in the West and in Tim Lott’s latest coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s he reflects on the power of self-discovery, while Mark Vernon questions how therapy has appropriated Buddhist ideas.

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