DocumentaryFilter: In search of BBC's "What is Religion?"
January 17, 2008 11:15 AM   Subscribe

DocumentaryFilter: In search of BBC's "What is Religion?"

In college, I had a philosophy professor who mentioned several times a documentary that surveyed world religions. He was under the impression that it was made by the BBC and was entitled "What is Religion?", though this may be inaccurate.

The salient point he always mentioned was that, in introducing Buddhism, the filmmakers went not to India or Tibet but to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Apparently a lot of the scientists had been "converted" to Buddhism through its resonances with their scientific work.

The professor said the documentary was readily available and that the school library would probably have it. In fact, I haven't been able to find it anywhere, on or off the internet. Naturally the next step is a Hail Mary pass to the hive mind...
posted by mjklin to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It could be this: The Long Search: West meets East (California). It's part of a series (DVD #5, Vol 12). Using worldcat's search with the BBC as the author and the keyword 'religion', it brings up different volumes of the series, and not much else. All the other descriptions I found didn't reference the NASA thing either, but that would be pretty detailed. Good luck.
posted by cashman at 12:50 PM on January 17, 2008

A little more of a description:


A nuclear scientist, a historian, a poet who lives as a Sikh, a medical doctor who emphasizes biofeedback, a psychologist with a strong new geriatric program, an ecological community, and a professor of philosophy help Eyre try to assess the many attitudes and practices which have replaced those traditionally occupied by 'religion.' Theodore Roszak, professor and author, warns of the danger in ridiculing the bizarre: in so doing we may ridicule the person who seeks to fulfill the religious need, which is one link all have common. Eyre concludes with Jacob Needleman, The problem is to make the search deeper, not longer.' From the LONG SEARCH series.
posted by cashman at 12:55 PM on January 17, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, I'll check it out. I remember he was pretty specific about the JPL--I wonder if that's in there.
posted by mjklin at 1:51 PM on January 17, 2008

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