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Redemption

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 13 March 2003

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss redemption. In St Paul's letter to the Galatians, he wrote: "Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery". This conception of Redemption as freedom from bondage is crucial for Judeo-Christian thought. In Christianity, the liberation is from original sin, a transformation from the Fall to salvation - not just for mankind but for individual human beings. The content of that journey is moral, gaining redemption by becoming better.

So why is the idea of transformation so appealing to human beings? To what extent were Christian views of Redemption borrowed from Judaism? How did philosophers such as Marx reinterpret the concept of Redemption and can redemption retain its value in a world without God? Does its continuing power signify a deep psychological need in humankind?

With Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford; Janet Soskice, Reader in Modern Theology and Philosophical Theology at Cambridge University; Stephen Mulhall, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Oxford University.

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