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Brides of God

Series exploring spiritual themes. Musician Jahnavi Harrison interweaves music, prose and poetry in a celebration of women who choose to dedicate their lives entirely to God.

Musician Jahnavi Harrison interweaves music, prose and poetry in a celebration of the women who choose to dedicate their lives entirely to God.

She explains that she has always been fascinated what it is that drives a woman to leave behind worldly affairs and adopt a life of seclusion and near-constant prayer. Though the tradition is timeless, with today's calls for feminine independence and gender equality the choice to be a nun feels just as radical and relevant as it might have in the past.

Jahnavi explores the life of Emahoy Maryam Tsegue-Gebroue, an Ethiopian nun whose prodigious talent as a pianist has led to her records being adored all over the world. We also meet the "maharis", Indian temple dancers who were dedicated at a young age, considered to be brides of God, taking part in a wedding ceremony and wearing all the markings of married women.

With readings from the 13th century Christian mystic Mechtild of Magdeburg, St Saint Clare of Assisi, the Bhagavad Gita and ancient Buddhist poetry from the Therigatha and music including the work of Christian polymath Hildegard of Bingen, The Flamingos and Yamuna Devi.

Presenter: Jahnavi Harrison
Producer: Max O'Brien
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Apr 2018 06:05

Music Played

  • The Flamingos

    I Only Have Eyes For You

    • Flamingo Serenade.
    • End.
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    O Ignee Spiritus

    Performer: Anonymous 4.
    • The Origin of Fire.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

    Mother’s Love

    • Ethiopiques, Vol 21 Piano Solo.
    • Buda Musique.
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    Quia Ergo Femina

    Performer: Ensemble Meiatrix.
    • Hildegard of Bingen - Marienlieder.
    • Profil.
  • The Rada Krsna Temple

    Baja Hure Mana

    • The Rada Krsna Temple.
    • Apple Records.

Readings

Title:  A Fish Connor Drown in Water

Author: Mechtild of Magdeburg, Jane Hirshfield (trans)

Publisher:  HarperCollins



Title:  Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns (Therigatha, Psalms of the Sisters and Elders Verses II) 

Author: C.A.F.Rhys Davids (trans), K.R.Norman (trans)

Publisher:  Pali English Text Society 


Title: The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, Verse 24

Author: Juan Mascaro (trans)

Publisher: Penguin Classics

 

Title: When You Have Loved, You Shall Be Chaste

Author: Clare of Assisi, Regis J. Armstrong (trans), Ignatius C. Brady (trans)

Publisher:  Paulist Press

 

Title: Gita Govinda

Author: Jayadeva, Jahnavi Harrison (trans)

Publisher: NA

Broadcast