The Search for God

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The Search for God

  • What do we mean when we use the word “God?”
  • If God is the ultimate reality, can we ever really “know”?
  • If God is all-inclusive, then who is asking the question?

The Search for God is perhaps the oldest of all spiritual quests. While the Abrahamic faiths place the concept of “God” as an entity separate from and above man, indigenous peoples tend to understand God or “Creator” as an integral, indivisible aspect of life, or nature. Some non-theistic faiths, such as Buddhism, focus not on a deity, but on a transcendent quality or attribute that the Buddha attained, such as compassion or enlightenment.

This program brings together two teachers from different faiths that have devoted their lives and teachings to the concept of “God” or “Ultimate Reality.” Dr. Jacob Needleman is an author and professor of Philosophy, who meets for the first time, Pir Zia Inayat Khan, a scholar and teacher of Islam and Sufism in the lineage of his father, Pir Vilayat Khan and his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Where to Watch on PBS

Program Guests

Dr. Jacob Needleman

Dr. Jacob Needleman

Dr. Jacob Needleman is a professor of philosophy, a religious scholar, and author of several books including his most recent book called, What is God ? He was educated at Harvard, Yale, and Freiburg Universities. He is a former director of the Center for the Study of New Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He has been featured on Bill Moyers’ acclaimed PBS series, A World of Ideas.

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan is a scholar and teacher of Sufism in the lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat-Khan. He is the president and spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International and founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. Pir Zia holds a doctoral degree in Religion from Duke University, is a recipient of the U Thant Peace award, and is a Lindisfarne Fellow. He established the Suluk Academy, a school of contemplative study with branches in the United States and Europe.

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