By: Maria Popova
Last year, Open University brought us 60-Second Adventures in Thought — a fascinating and wonderfully animated series exploring six famous philosophy thought experiments. This season, they’re back with 60-Second Adventures in Religion — four short informative yet jocular primers on some major theories of religious studies, offering a fine addition to these essential meditations on faith.
The first introduces Karl Marx and his conception of religion as a vehicle of illusory happiness and a means of oppression and social control:
The second explores religion as ritual through the work of pioneering sociologist Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte, better-known as Auguste, who — like Alain de Botton today — tried to start a secular religion based on values of charity, order, and science:
The third episode paints religion as a mother through Swiss antiquarian and Roman law professor J. J. Bachofer’s theories of matriarchy: