The Meaning of Life – Mary Robinson

Presented by Geraldine Doogue, Compass explores the interface between religion and life as experienced by individuals and communities – including ordinary Australians, public leaders, religious thinkers and philosophers. #ABCcompass, Sundays 6.30pm

The Moral Compass

Series 29 | Episode 27CCDOCUMENTARY/FACTUAL27 mins

Geraldine Doogue debates the hot-button moral, ethical and religious controversies of our day in this smart and entertaining Compass series, The Moral Compass.

To enquire about obtaining a copy of this program please contact ABC Program Sales 1300 650 587 or

Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first woman President, talks to Irish broadcasting legend Gay Byrne about the people, ideas, values and beliefs that give her life meaning.

A brilliant lawyer and human rights activist before entering politics, she famously challenged the influence of the Catholic Church in Irish society and helped to bring about changes in the law concerning contraception, divorce and homosexuality. And yet she remains the product of a traditional religious upbringing and education and sees those values as the moral engine behind her continuing work for human rights and what she calls climate justice.



Peter B. Todd :

31 Aug 2015 9:51:23am

Splendid interview with Mary Robinson who respects the great religious traditions of the earth while alluding to a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and in the evolutionary process from which humankind’s symbolic consciousness has emerged. Humanity not only participates in a numinous dimension but also in co-creative divinisation by directing the future cosmic evolution. Her comment on Christ was particularly insightful. The implication seemed to be that Christ was an epiphany of a continuing incarnation of God in history as articulated by the fourteenth mystic Meister Eckhart and in the work of such contemporary thinkers as the Jesuit palaeontologist Teilhard de Chardin. This concept of God is archetypal and NOT that of an anthropomorphic, interventionist, creator. I elaborate these ideas in my book “The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion” (Chiron publications 2012) and in my Skype interview with Bruce Sanguin



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