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World religions

I felt like the centre of a small circle coinciding with the centre of a much larger one. Atman met Allah.

Life of Pi, Chapter 20

What does this quote suggest about Pi’s belief system?

During his childhood in India, Pi is motivated by the ‘bleakness’ of his atheist biology teacher’s view of the world to learn more about religion.

To this end, despite being Hindu, he starts practising Christianity and Islam realising that these religions all share the same fundamental belief in a higher power. His spiritual dimension deepens when he is stranded in the boat at sea.

The importance of religion is strongly suggested in the trailer. As you watch the trailer in the activity below, use the pause button to decide which still images best represent any of Pi’s three religions: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Then use the capture button to select three to focus on in more detail.

Launch activity ➡

(Please note: this activity will only work with HTML5 compatible browsers, such as Internet Explorer 9+, Google Chrome or Firefox)

In the novel, Pi argues with his father about practising all three religions at once. Do you think it is possible to observe faithfully more than one religion? Give reasons for your answer.

Clip 1: Trailer

Clip 2: Pi & the flying fish