Desperately Seeking Eternity

Episodes

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01Peter Owen-jones20160321

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Anglican priest, writer and broadcaster Peter Owen-Jones begins the series with a passionate call for eternity to be reclaimed from those - among them both atheist rationalists and dogma-serving priests - who have tried to place it out of our reach.

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Anglican priest, writer and broadcaster Peter Owen-Jones begins the series with a passionate call for eternity to be reclaimed from those - among them both atheist rationalists and dogma-serving priests - who have tried to place it out of our reach.

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

02Desperately Seeking Eternity: Mona Siddiqui2016032220171120

Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui speaks on the prospect of immortality.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui writes that the prospect of immortality, for all its theological grandeur, is too abstract to offer much tangible consolation to the living. So why do so many of us continue to invest our hopes in it?

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui writes that the prospect of immortality, for all its theological grandeur, is too abstract to offer much tangible consolation to the living. So why do so many of us continue to invest our hopes in it?

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

02Desperately Seeking Eternity: Mona Siddiqui20171120

Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui speaks on the prospect of immortality.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Muslim theologian Mona Siddiqui writes that the prospect of immortality, for all its theological grandeur, is too abstract to offer much tangible consolation to the living. So why do so many of us continue to invest our hopes in it?

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

03Desperately Seeking Eternity: Anders Sandberg2016032320171121

Anders Sandberg argues that ageing and mortality may be transformed by future technology.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University is a transhumanist. He researches the potential benefits and drawbacks - both physical and ethical - of new technologies that could transform human life. He argues that ageing and mortality may be transformed by future technology, with big effects on our society. How would this affect our outlook on life, and on the afterlife?

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University is a transhumanist. He researches the potential benefits and drawbacks - both physical and ethical - of new technologies that could transform human life. He argues that ageing and mortality may be transformed by future technology, with big effects on our society. How would this affect our outlook on life, and on the afterlife?

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

03Desperately Seeking Eternity: Anders Sandberg20171121

Anders Sandberg argues that ageing and mortality may be transformed by future technology.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University is a transhumanist. He researches the potential benefits and drawbacks - both physical and ethical - of new technologies that could transform human life. He argues that ageing and mortality may be transformed by future technology, with big effects on our society. How would this affect our outlook on life, and on the afterlife?

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

04Desperately Seeking Eternity: Naomi Alderman20160324

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Novelist and game creator Naomi Alderman grew up with an Orthodox Jewish take on eternity. She now suspects that mathematical theories about infinity could take the place of God in the lives of those without religious faith.

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Novelist and game creator Naomi Alderman grew up with an Orthodox Jewish take on eternity. She now suspects that mathematical theories about infinity could take the place of God in the lives of those without religious faith.

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

04Desperately Seeking Eternity: Naomi Alderman20171122

Novelist and game creator Naomi Alderman spekas on mathematical theories about infinity.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Novelist and game creator Naomi Alderman grew up with an Orthodox Jewish take on eternity. She now suspects that mathematical theories about infinity could take the place of God in the lives of those without religious faith.

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

05Desperately Seeking Eternity: Lucy Winkett20160325

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Church, Piccadilly, is a writer, broadcaster and former professional soprano. She argues that if eternity is already happening, all our efforts to give it a shape and momentum are temporary and ultimately rather futile. Does living with the recognition of eternity change the way we live now?

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Church, Piccadilly, is a writer, broadcaster and former professional soprano. She argues that if eternity is already happening, all our efforts to give it a shape and momentum are temporary and ultimately rather futile. Does living with the recognition of eternity change the way we live now?

Producer: Hugh Costello

A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.

05Desperately Seeking Eternity: Lucy Winkett20171123

Lucy Winkett argues efforts to give eternity a shape and momentum are temporary and futile

All the established religions teach some form of existence after life, from concepts of heaven and hell to theories of reincarnation. Common to all is the principle that good or bad actions in this life will have repercussions after death.

But how relevant are these theories of the afterlife to the world we live in now? New developments in science, philosophy and technology threaten to undermine our traditional ideas of eternity - and even threaten to render them obsolete. In this series, five writers set out to explore ideas of eternity, infinity and the afterlife from fresh viewpoints. Does our insistence on measuring and categorising time serve to make eternity even more unknowable? What can the principles of mathematics tell us about the tricky subject of infinity? How would people feel about eternity if they could live to be 200 years old?

Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Church, Piccadilly, is a writer, broadcaster and former professional soprano. She argues that if eternity is already happening, all our efforts to give it a shape and momentum are temporary and ultimately rather futile. Does living with the recognition of eternity change the way we live now?

Producer: Hugh Costello
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3.