17th August 2018 at 9.00pm sees the first episode of Extraordinary Rituals, a new OU/BBC co-production on BBC 2. This series of three documentaries explores the spectacular and emotional world of rituals, and the Academic Consultant was our own Graham Harvey.
There’s a bunch of material at Openlearn, the OU’s free learning website, including short videos from the origins festival and several pieces on ritual by Graham Harvey. A breakdown of the episodes follows.
Ep1: Rituals – Cycle of Life | The key rituals on our journey from birth, to marriage and death. These are universal, yet we perform them in extremely different ways around the world. Rituals give us meaning, and they bind us together for the most extreme moments in the circle of life.
Ep2: Rituals – Great Gatherings | Great Gatherings looks at rituals that bring us together in huge numbers, keep communities alive and reinforce our identity by joining the crowd. For billions of people, shared ritual experiences still help us to find where we belong and connect us to something greater than ourselves.
Ep3: Rituals – Changing World | This episode explores how rituals adapt in our changing world. How do ancient ceremonies stay relevant and when do we invent new rituals to answer our needs.