Historian Bettany Hughes travels to India, Greece, and China on the trail of three giants of ancient philosophy: the Buddha, Socrates, and Confucius. All three philosophers lived, between the 6th–5th BC, during a period of unprecedented, and intense, intellectual development. They were trailblazers, whose radical ideas signaled a key change in human consciousness. They embodied the shift, from a reliance on the supernatural, as the sole way to explain humankind’s place in the cosmos, to one where rational argument and logical reasoning offered new, exciting possibilities. Their game-changing ideas came about in response to huge changes in society: growing urbanization, advances in technology, flourishing trade and large-scale wars. Bettany follows in the footsteps of these great figures in her quest to unpack their philosophy in the context of their age.
Films on Demand database provides full video access to thousands of video titles in Humanities & Social Sciences. The Films on Demand collection contains 28 subjects for easy browsing, including the subject Philosophy and Religion. Films may be searched by title or segment.
Below are some suggested films from the Films on Demand database on Eastern religion and philosophy.
Spiritual belief has shaped society through the ages and continues to play a vital role in the lives of billions of adherents. Drawing from the sacred texts of each, this series provides an introduction to the seven largest religions practiced today. Historical origins, main tenets, holidays and special ceremonies are all covered, along with important worship locales around the world. The eight-part series also looks at what the seven major religions have in common. 8-part series, 20–25 minutes each. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, CHristianity, Islam, SIkhism, Baha'i Faith)
This program examines the structure and major tenets of these four eastern religious philosophies. The role of the spiritual master in Hinduism is defined, and the belief in transcendental power and a multitude of deities is explained. The history of Buddhism is traced from the 6th century BC. Reincarnation and nonviolence are discussed as major beliefs. Chinese Taoism, especially its stress on the equilibrium of forces, is examined. Shintoism, a Japanese religion, is presented as a form of animism in which nature is composed of a multitude of deities: the kami. Shintoism’s coexistence in Japan with Buddhism is explained as follows: "Shintoism is in charge of birth and marriage; Buddhism is in charge of death." (54 minutes)