Segments in this Video

Religion: A Means or an End? (03:42)


Religion is a means to sanctity, not an end in itself. Religious is a finger pointing to the moon. In the space age of contemporary society, the mysterious throne of God in the heavens no longer exists. Yet God remains an enabling presence to mankind.

Notions of God: Expansion of Human Consciousness (02:00)

Progressive Christians seek to expand the notions of God. Others assert that human consciousness has emerged over the course of time--thus, a new image of God emerges. The concept of consciousness and of self is richer today.

Personal and Cultural Roles of Mythology (02:52)

Joseph Campbell suggests that the hero's journey consists of spiritual tests that can illuminate or transform human consciousness. Myths, or "grand narratives," inform the human soul and frame the human view of the world, known and unknown.

Modernity and Religious Pluralism (03:18)

Modernity adds to people's sense of instability. Yet, people need stability and a sense that the future will be secure. The masses embrace religious pluralism as away to find meaning in many different religions, not just one.

Reality of Religious Diversity (03:58)

Religious diversity suggests that there are many different ways to understand and integrate the power of God into personal lives. The world needs to look for contemporary signs of God's presence in a fresh way.

Concept of God Beyond Theism (04:12)

Theism defines God as one being, supernatural in power, dwelling somewhere outside this world, and periodically coming into the corporeal world. Can this image of God stay viable in a post-Newtonian, post-Einsteinian world?

Divisiveness of Religions Practices (04:26)

the problems of the 20th century are monumental, and some say cataclysmic. Is the Apocalypse near? Or, are the destructive forces reversible? As it is practiced today, religion divides people and cultures. An enhanced vision of God may be curative of the world's ills.

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A Finger Pointing at the Moon: Transcending Religion to Achieve Unity in the Divine

Part of the Series : Beyond Theology
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



If religion is viewed as “a finger pointing at the moon,” then preoccupation with that finger—rites, rituals, rules—can actually be an obstacle to spiritual experience. This program considers the idea that religion is a means to sanctity, not an end in itself; the importance, in a time of rising global threat levels, of dissolving strictly sectarian conceptions of God; the profound unanimity of the religious quest; approaches to connecting with one’s own inherent divinity; and the influence of personal and cultural mythology, as defined by Joseph Campbell. Participants include retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong; James Forbes Jr., of New York City’s Riverside Church; author and futurist Peter Russell; religious mythologist Karen Armstrong; Sister Joan Chittister; Diana Eck, of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University; Harvard Divinity School’s Harvey Cox; Robert Bellah, of U. C. Berkeley; Rabbi David Rosen; Huston Smith, philosopher of world religions; and Buddhist scholar and translator B. Alan Wallace. (28 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL39587

ISBN: 978-1-60467-547-4

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“This is an ambitious series with some of the most interesting voices in religion in America today. They take us beyond the current conflicts about religion and politics and show us a hopeful vision of faith based on the deepest longings of heart and mind.”  —Bill Moyers


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