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Casting Out Idols

Richard Holloway reflects on the story of the Golden Calf from Exodus in the Old Testament and discusses a group of remarkable doubters from eight centuries before Christ.

Richard Holloway, the writer and former Bishop of Edinburgh, continues his series of 20 personal essays in which he explores the relationship between faith and doubt over the last 3000 years. He takes the listener from the birth of religious thinking, through the Old and New Testaments, to the developments in subsequent centuries and their influence on thinkers and writers, up to the present-day.

Richard Holloway's main focus is on the history of doubt in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and in today's programme he looks at idolatry. He reflects on the story of the Golden Calf from Exodus in the Old Testament and says, "Worshipping idols, idolatry, and destroying idols, iconoclasm , are recurring themes in our story of doubt and I want to examine how they played out in the ancient world."

He goes on to discuss a group of remarkable doubters from eight centuries before Christ, who challenged the way in which God was worshipped. And why did an article entitled 'Our Image of God Must Go' in 1963 by the then Bishop of Woolwich, John Robinson, cause such a controversy?

With contributions from author and philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, historian of religions Karen Armstrong, American theologian Harvey Cox, Emeritus Professor of Divinity at Harvard University and author AN Wilson.

Producer: Olivia Landsberg
A Ladbroke Production for BBC Radio 4.

14 minutes

Broadcast

  • Wed 30 May 2012 13:45