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Spiritualism and Religious Rituals

Spiritualism and Religious Rituals


Do you need a spiritual "tune-up"?

Ever wonder how some people become enthusiastic and on fire about their relationship with God? In this six-session video presentation, Father Albert Haase gives you the tools and kindling to prepare for the spark of God in your life¡Xand then shows you how to fan it into flame until you are set ablaze. His teaching glows with time-tested wisdom as an experienced spiritual director shares the secrets of the saints. With supplemental reading suggestions and reflection questions, this eminently practical video functions like a personal, spiritual retreat.

There are six 30 minute segments on the DVD, which includes a discussion guide:
1. Spiritual Journey as a process of transformation
2. Your Image of God
3. The examen
4. The 7 principles of prayer
5. The Challenge of Forgiveness
6. God's will

DVD / 2013 180 minutes

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Todays children face challenges that were unknown or barely an issue a generation ago. Among them are crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, abortion and the multiple problems of dysfunctional family life. Even dedicated parents can be hard-pressed to raise healthy, well-adjusted offspring. As this program reveals, having a spiritual focus is an immense advantage.

DVD / 2013

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Expressions of spiritual faith are as varied as people themselves. In this program, people share how they've been drawn to a deeper faith through their experiences with nature, work, illness and loss and in moments of solitude.

DVD / 2013

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Does a deep, personal, committed faith have a place in our increasingly sophisticated, technically oriented world? Yes, but it rarely comes easily. Listen to the real-life stories of people who have undertaken a single-minded "Search for Personal Faith" and discovered, somewhat paradoxically, that ultimately faith is a gift.

DVD / 2013

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There are moments, often in sickness or tragedy, when God no longer seems to be present. In the midst of discouragement or mourning, we may call on God and yet sense no response. People who have experienced times when God seemed silent share their testimonies of hope and renewed faith.

DVD / 2013

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In this powerful DVD presentation, a prominent Lutheran pastor and an acclaimed Catholic theologian and priest team to introduce parents, educators, godparents, and family members to the meaning of holy baptism and its role in churches today. They answer common questions:

  • Why do we baptize?
  • Why did John the Baptist baptize Jesus?
  • When did the Church begin baptizing infants?
  • What's the role of a godparent?
  • How is ritual important?

    Authoritative, lively, and full of video examples of baptisms, Pastor Stendahl and Father Scirghi then walk through the "Five essential parts of the ritual of baptism," one-by-one, in detail, explaining what each step means. They answer tough questions that Christians have today about this sacrament, explain what it means to "remember" our baptism, and how, as Christians, our baptism carries us through until our death.

    DVD / 2012

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    Between October 2000 and June 2002, a University of Lancaster study of the population of Kendal, a town near the Lakes District in the UK, revealed some fascinating trends in modern society's approach to, and practice of, religion and spirituality. Known as the Kendal Project, the study looked at the prevalence of regular congregational church attendance compared with the popularity of spirituality in the holistic domain. This program explores the scope and methodology of the Kendal Project, its findings and conclusions about modern society, religion and spirituality, and examines implications and explanations of changing trends. We hear reflections from a range of people, including University of Lancaster academics involved in the Kendal project, a member of the clergy, and a modern day practising witch.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    Note : The above titles may have some territorial restrictions. Please feel free to send us an enquiry.

    DVD / 2012 / 23 minutes

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    By Robert Lemelson

    The Balinese cremation ceremony, or ngaben, has primarily been known in the West as either a major tourist attraction that dazzles visitors with the splendor, intricacy, and drama of its performance, or as fodder for long-standing anthropological arguments about personhood and emotion on the island that debated whether or not Balinese people expressed, or even experienced, grief. According to Balinese Hindu beliefs, cremation is one of the most important steps in a person's spiritual life, and a heavy responsibility to the family, because it is through cremation that the physical body is returned to its five constituent elements and the soul is cleansed and released from the body to ascend to heaven and be reincarnated.

    Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart takes an impressionistic look at the ngaben from the perspective of a mourning son, Nyoman Asub, and reveals the intimacy, sadness, and tenderness at the core of this funerary ritual and the feeling and force that underlie an exquisite cultural tradition. Amidst ample cultural and interpretive understandings of the cremation ceremony, the film purposefully provides a personalistic, impressionistic, and poetic glimpse of the process and the complex emotions involved.

    DVD (Color, Indonesian and Balinese with English subtitles) / 2012 / 16 minutes

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    By Andy Lawrence

    For the Nath Yogis of Northern India this prayer is an expression of their desire to find the One amongst the many and to return to the source of all things. According to the Naths, only a true guru can guide them through the paradoxes of human life in their search for a centre where nothing must exist.

    This anthropological documentary film offers an in-depth look at the Tantrik, Aghori, holy seekers of Northern India who are the disciples of the great Guru Gorakh Nath. Following his journey of discovery in The Lover and the Beloved, Rajive McMullen goes deeper into Tantra presenting his own guru's story.

    DVD (Color, English and Hindi with English subtitles) / 2012 / 56 minutes

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    By Thomas J. Scirghi, SJ

    In this powerful DVD presentation, Father Thomas Scirghi introduces parents, godparents, and those involved in RCIA to the Sacrament of Baptism and its role in the Church today. He answers common questions:

  • Why do we baptize?
  • Why did John the Baptist baptize Jesus?
  • When did the Church begin baptizing infants?
  • What's the role of a godparent?
  • How is ritual important?

    Authoritative, lively, and full of video examples of baptisms and insights from lay Catholics, Father Scirghi then walks through the "Five parts of the ritual of Baptism," one-by-one, in detail, explaining what each step means. He answers tough questions that Catholics have today about this Sacrament, explains what it means to "remember" our Baptism, and how, as Catholics, our Baptism carries us through until our death.

    DVD / 2012 / 64 minutes

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    This program discusses the concepts of evil and suffering in relation to the existence of God. It attempts to resolve the theological and philosophical dilemma of the inconsistent triad and gives some possible explanations of evil and suffering in the face of an omnipotent, omni-benevolent and omniscient God. This topic is discussed by a range of specialists and academics who explain how the existence of God and suffering can coexist, with reference to the theodicies of St Augustine and Irenaeus. Contains some mildly disturbing imagery that you may wish to prepare younger students for before showing.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    Note : The above titles may have some territorial restrictions. Please feel free to send us an enquiry.

    DVD / 2011 / 21 minutes

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    By Matthew Lancit

    "We pray to our ancestors but we do not worship them. You, you need an intermediary, the priest. But for us, our intermediary is the ancestor who is sitting next to God," says Pounde, the old Cameroonian ethnologist, to the young Jewish director from Canada. And with this conclusive statement, everything becomes clear: the funerals in memory of "the dead who are not dead" organized several days or even years following the burial, the chants, brass bands and traditional dancers who accompany and punctuate the village rituals. The ancestral rites struggle to survive in a continuously westernized society of consumption by parading wealth and excess for all to see ¡X even the dead.

    Funeral Season takes the viewer through the red dust of Cameroon's laterite slopes and into the heart of the Bamileke country, where one funeral flows into the next. These death celebrations provide an opportunity to see elaborate costumes and masks, festive songs and dances, and lavish feasts, while illuminating the communal links which bind the Bamileke as an ethnic group and society. Along the way, the director befriends his guides and becomes increasingly haunted by memories of his own ancestors. At times, the dialogues alienate him from the locals; at other times they bring the two closer together. Like the dead and the living, they belong to two different worlds often mirroring each other.

    There is a lightness to be found in this subjective ethnographic film which imaginatively and symbolically turns the gazes of two different worlds upon each other.

  • "A snapshot of our multicultural, inter-connected world." - Liz Ferguson, Montreal Gazette

  • "A highly personal and refreshingly humorous take on the often sober subjects of African film." - Christopher Sykes, Montreal Mirror

  • "A documentary in which ethnography is flipped on its head." -Jury of Traces de Vies - Rencontres du Film Documentaire

  • Rising Star Award, Canada International Film Festival, 2011
  • Menzioni Speciali, Contro-Sguardi, Italy, 2010

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 87 minutes

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    This informative program defines what a sacrament is, examines what the seven sacraments are, and explores what they mean for Christians today. It focuses on each sacrament individually and explains how they affect the life of a Christian. This topic is discussed by a range of specialists, academics and Christians who describe what the sacraments are and how they are followed, giving detail behind the meaning and symbolism of each one. The last chapter focuses on anointing the sick and provides views on life after death that you may wish to prepare younger students for before showing.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    Note : The above titles may have some territorial restrictions. Please feel free to send us an enquiry.

    DVD / 2011 / 23 minutes

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    By Paul Wolffram

    "This is a story of the Lak people. It's also a story of how I came to know the people of the region and how my story became forever woven into their own... I was to become enmeshed in events that resulted in bloodshed and death. What's more, I was held responsible."

    In 2001 Paul Wolffram, a cultural researcher, travelled to one of the most isolated and unique corners of the earth. He eventually spent over two years living and working among the Lak people in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea. As his relationships with the people grew he began to glimpse a hidden reality, a dark and menacing history that loomed over his host community. Over time the sense that something is amiss grows. As his curiosity deepens Paul brings to light dark secrets that set in motion a compelling and deadly set of events.

  • "I know of no more successful or ingenious film that draws the viewer into another life-world while keeping faith with the tenor of its traditional narratives and respecting the lived experience of his/her interlocutors." - Michael Jackson, Harvard University

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 89 minutes

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    By Christian Suhr and Ton Otto

    Soanin Kilangit is determined to unite the people and attract international tourism through the revival of culture on Baluan Island in the South Pacific. He organizes the largest cultural festival ever held on the island, but some traditional leaders argue that Baluan never had culture and that culture comes from the white man and is now destroying their old tradition. Others, however, take the festival as a welcome opportunity to revolt against '70 years of cultural oppression' by Christianity. A struggle to define the past, present and future of Baluan culture erupts to the sound of thundering log drum rhythms.

  • "...the various disputes that come forth during the film will provide an excellent teaching tool and springboard for myriad discussions associated with issues involving kastom, tradition, change, authenticity, performance, identity, cultural politics, exchange, and the impact of the West on traditional societies." - Karen Stevenson, American Anthropologist, September 2012

    DVD (Color, Tok Pisin, Tok Baluan, and English with English subtitles) / 2011 / 59 minutes

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    By Lan Phuong, Jayasinhji Jhala, Hoang Son, Lauren Meeker

    Once a year in Yen Vinh, Hung Yen Province a grand three-day festival is held at a temple by the banks of the Red River to worship the god Chu Dong Tu and his two wives, Tien Dung and Tay Sa. During the festival, three area villages converge on the main temple complex to participate in the ritual offerings, folk games, ca tru singing, and other events.

    On the second day of the festival, a water procession takes place on the Red River that mimics the Princess Tien Dung's fated river journey in which she encountered the poor fisherman Chu Dong Tu hiding in the sand. During the procession, in an elaborate ritual conducted by the elders of the participating villages, water is poured into a porcelain jar. This sacred water will be used in temple rituals throughout the year.

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 73 minutes

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    By Jordi Esteva

    In the 21st century, many ancestral beliefs are struggling to survive in a hostile, fast-changing world. In southeast Cote d'Ivoire, some Akan communities still make contact with the spirits through Komians or animistic priests who go into a trance and are possessed by the spirits of the Forest and the Waters.

    Jean Marie Addiaffi (1941-1999), a writer and intellectual from Ivory Coast, fought to conserve the Akans' oral literature, myths and legends, and the knowledge and uses of the plants.

  • Best Documentary, Black International Cinema Berlin, 2010

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 68 minutes

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    Director: Tony Kaye

    Filmmaker Tony Kaye, best known for American History X, has been working on Lake Of Fire for the past fifteen years and has made a film that is unquestionably the definitive work on the subject of abortion. Shot in luminous black and white, which is in fact an endless palette of grays, the film has the perfect esthetic for a subject where there can be no absolutes, no "right" or "wrong." He gives equal time to both sides, covering arguments from either extremes of the spectrum, as well as those at the center, who acknowledge that, in the end, everyone is "right" - or "wrong."

    DVD (Region 1, Black & White, With English Subtitles) / 2008 / 152 minutes

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    By Kari Soveri

    Sanghyang Deling is a special religious ceremony performed in a remote village in the volcanic region of northern Bali. This beautifully poetic event is meant to protect the village and its inhabitants from demons and practitioners of black magic. To ward off the insidious creatures with magical powers, all of the inhabitants of the village participate in preparing the ceremony. They decorate the temple area, prepare sacrificial gifts and the food. This event has rarely been seen by outsiders.

    The key part of the ceremony which is based on Hinduism, consists of two young girls who dance according to strict Balinese traditions. The girls chosen for the task have never received any dance training although they have seen the dance many times before. They only dance while in a trance. The ceremony is led by a Hindu priest who asks the deities to descend into their midst in the temple and to enter into the body of puppets which are representations of the two girls. While dancing the girls murmur chants that have healing properties and exorcise the evil spirits that threaten the village.

    DVD / 2006 / (High School, College, Adult) / 28 minutes

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    The people of the Bolivian highlands blend in thought and practice the traditional magic of the region and the religion of their conquerors. A fatal automobile accident, coincident with the festival of Santiago, provides occasion for unique expressions of both faith and magic in the effort to influence events.

    DVD (Color) / 2005 / 34 minutes

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    By Saskia Rietmeijer & Bart Drolenga

    Nearly everyone in Haiti believes in voodoo. This powerful documentary takes us into the hidden world of voodoo practitioners and offers unique insight into a frequently misunderstood religion.

    Haitians turn to priests like Vladimir Bernadel or to secret voodoo societies for support and protection. Vladimir has problems of his own. He needs money to retire but his business is declining and the thirty family spirits he normally commands will no longer do his bidding. And his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend wants to kill him. His problems began after he "bought" a spirit and made him master of his own family spirits. These spirits won't accept an outsider and now only work when they want to. We witness a top secret ceremony, as voodoo priests set fire to a cross in a graveyard and call upon a powerful spirit to kill Vladimir's rival.

    Yves and Odette Theophile belong to the secret society Ayan Papa because they believe it gives them strength. In the past year, five of their children died, their business collapsed and all their savings were used for the funerals. Ayan Papa offered them aid which they used to start a small business

    The personal tales of Vladimir and Yeves reveal two very different aspects of voodoo. Vladimir uses it to gain wealth and power while Yves turns to it for comfort after the deaths of his children. Their stories offer an objective view of the religion that is so important to so many. Does it really deserve its maligned reputation?

  • [italics]Voodoo practices are revealed in this documentary film, addressing how people utilize religion to solve practical problems in Port-au-Prince,Haiti. Throughout we gain insight into the lives of both the Haitian poor and those of higher socioeconomic standing."--Anthropological Review Database

    DVD / 2004 / (College, Adult) / 52 minutes

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    By Janet Gardner with Irina Pantaeva

    Originally from a small village in the Buryat region of Siberia, Irina Pantaeva emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980"s. Every summer, Irina, a world-famous model, and her son travel back to help her troubled family, trapped in the new free market society struggling with alcoholism, lawlessness and despair. Through interviews with academics, local shamans, monks, musicians, and farmers, Siberian Dream shows the effects of perestroika and glasnost on this Buryat community.

    The Buryats are trying to develop an open society while struggling to revive their culture. Irina and her family embody these efforts. Buryat-Mongols -- including the Pantaeva family -- practice Buddhism and Shamanism simultaneously. Irina celebrates her endangered Buryat-Mongol culture, teaching her son the importance of honoring their ancestors.

    Dr. David Foglesong, Professor of Russian History at Rutgers, illuminates the effects of Russification and the events and personalities driving glasnost and perestroika. Dr. Robert Thurman, Professor of Religion at Columbia University and President of Tibet House, New York, discusses Tibetan Buddhism and history as it affected the Mongolian tribes to which the Buryats belong.

  • "We see how the effects of Soviet Communism, Russification, Glasnost, and the fall of Communism have all come, and gone, with a cost. Yet the Buriats have survived and their culture is now resurgent. All of this is interwoven with Irina's personal story. The music goes hand in glove with the visuals, making this a delightful and informative production. Recommended." - Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA, for Emro

  • "I just took a look at the film and was mezmorized by the story. This is truly original and inspiring." - Linden Chubin, Asia Society

  • "This wonderful project documenting Buryat history, culture, and religion, will be of great help for any and all people interested in better understanding the peoples of Russia and Central Asia." - Dr. Robert A.F. Thurman, President, Tibet House U.S., and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University

    DVD / 2004 / (High School, College, Adult) / 31 minutes

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    By Judith Gleason

    This is an innovative, intimate portrait of stalwart members of an indigenous people who inhabit Mexico1s Sierra de Santa Marta and speak a derivative of ancient Olmec. For convenient classroom use, eight episodes, focussed on various aspects of their culture, have been divided into Parts I and II -- available separately.

    Part I begins with recollections of an outlawed carnival celebration intercut with old women performing "Dance of the Tiger" in honor of the corn god. Episode two: younger women collaborate, guided by Santana, in making a fuel-saving clay stove. Episode three moves to Apolinar1s clinic for a group-cleansing, followed by his recital of a chant to restore a soul stolen by wiley spirits called chanecos. In section four, Santana recounts her life-story.

    Part II begins with Don Tomas pouring libations to the rain god. Episode six find us in a polygamous household. Episode seven dramatizes the popular story of Homshuk, the corn god, as Gabriel and his second wife labor in the fields. To conclude, the Arizmendi brothers revive ballads of the Sierra on homemade instruments.

  • "This film is very well done and informative, allowing the viewer a look inside a little-seen culture. Recommended for senior high-college anthropology courses." - Kathleen Loomis-Sacco, SUNY College at Fredonia EMRO

  • "Recommended - very well done and informative" - Kathleen Loomis-Sacco, SUNY College of Fredonia for Educational Media Reviews Online

  • "The rich, elaborate ways of understanding and reckoning with the world in search of wellbeing ... come through clearly." - Prof. William B. Taylor, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University

    DVD / 2002 / (College, Adult) / 104 minutes

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    By Yasuhiro Omori

    Filmed between 1991 and 1997, Taki Kudo, Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru documents the final years of the charismatic Ms. Taki Kudo, a medium, healer and fortune teller. Every year she comes to Japan's sacred Mt. Osorozan, home of the Akakura grand shrine, where the mediums draw chopsticks for the best places to set up their booths. Summoning the spirits of the dead, she answers clients' questions with reassurances and criticisms from deceased relatives, and displays the elaborate shrines that families tend on behalf of their loved ones. Back in her own village, Ms. Kudo explains the power of her Buddhist rosary for prayer and healing and talks to ethnographer about her relationship with the gods and the process of spirit possession. She performs ceremonies for health and purification, and exorcises evil spirits and grudges by sending their paper representations floating downriver on a tiny boat.

    DVD (Color) / 2001 / 78 minutes

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