What we commonly call “religion” is in many ways simply the most popular interpretation of historical texts and words attributed to past spiritual leaders. Religious beliefs, such as the notion that Jesus Christ “died for our sins,” become part of an interpretive system for approaching phenomena that lie beyond the physical world. For better or worse, as the popular beliefs take hold, they can become dogmatic and considered true beyond question. Woven into the spiritual fabric of history, however, are also a number of esoteric religions that took a different view of the Bible and humankind’s place in the cosmos. But too often we hear about these different belief systems not because of their teachings but because of the violence done to their followers. On this show, Philip talks with Andrew Phillip Smith, the author of the brand new book, The Lost Teachings of the Cathars. They discuss not only the violent suppression of the Cathars but also their unique and fascinating beliefs, which until now have almost been lost to history.