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Four Religions1960

Underscoring a basic unity of the four major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity), this National Film Board of Canada project deems each a “higher” religion, “something that inspires man to love, to seek the meaning and the purpose of life.” Interspersed with a stimulating discussion between the host, filmmaker, series producer and National Film Board co-founder James Beveridge and the great historian Arnold Toynbee, the film touches on the commonalities and distinctions between (as well as the enduring significance of) these world religions, emphasizing, as Toynbee says, that whatever one’s own religious beliefs, “each of us, for his own personal life, can’t afford to neglect any of the others.” In the context of the today’s increasingly polarized worldviews and talk of clashing civilizations, this turns out to be a rather contemporary and progressive conversation. - Robert Avila

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