Talking religion on "The Dinosaur Hour" (free post)
Cats, castle, Cleese and friends
I have been enjoying The Dinosaur Hour with John Cleese since the program first started. It’s filmed in a real castle, the set is filled with strange characters, the theme music is “Lullaby of Birdland” (a jazz piece I’ve always liked), and it’s hosted by John Cleese, who’s more grandfatherly and cheerful than his late-in-life curmudgeonly reputation might suggest. It’s a refreshingly open-minded program and the guests are in a comfortable space where they can freely say whatever they wish without the stifling ideological censure and finger-wagging we’ve come to expect (with groans) lately. The conversations run the gamut from cozy to controversial, but always in a relaxed environment with a quirky, generous, and amusing host. And, then, there are all those cats…
That the show airs on GB News won’t sit well with some, but such considerations mean little to me if I like the content — and I do in this instance. I’m posting this episode, which was broadcast this past Sunday (all episodes are immediately made available on YouTube), because it deals with the subject of religion. The guests are New Testament scholar Helen Bond, Hindu scholar Julius J. Lipner, religious philosopher James Orr, and Buddhist scholars Kate Crosby and Medagampitiye Wijithadhama. There are some amusing moments (the meditation made me smile, including as it did… the cats) and Cleese’s articulation of his own religious views is affable but not terribly insightful. Still, I like him quite a bit, and the discussions, though basic by necessity, are — in my estimation — enjoyable. Perhaps you will find them such yourself.
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