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Divine Women

Season 1
Award winning historian Bettany Hughes explores the complex attitudes towards women and religion, from 10,000 BC to the present day, in this enthralling BBC Select history documentary. The status of females and faith continues to be a contentious subject. But it wasn't always this way. In the past, women were often powerful players in the act of worship, from the very birth of organized religion.
20123 episodes
Free trial of BBC Select


  1. S1 E1 - When God Was a Girl
    April 9, 2012
    When were women first involved in organized religion? In this fascinating history documentary for BBC Select, acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes goes back to the beginning of time and finds startling evidence that shows women being there from the very beginning. She visits a world where goddesses ruled the heavens and the earth and reveals why our ancestors thought of the divine as female.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  2. S1 E2 - Handmaids of the Gods
    April 9, 2012
    Once priestesses played a vital role in organized religion. But why did their influence diminish? In this fascinating BBC Select history documentary, Bettany Hughes delves into the hidden story of women's place in faith. She uncovers the ancient Greek worship of the goddess of sex, Aphrodite, and heads to ancient Rome, where the fate of the civilization lay in the hands of six sacred virgins.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  3. S1 E3 - The War of the World
    April 11, 2012
    How did the period known as the Dark Ages turn into a golden age for a few remarkable religious women? In this illuminating history documentary for BBC Select, acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes uncovers Theodora, a prostitute turned powerful empress. Then she looks at the wives of the prophet Muhammad including Khadija, whose words are still read by over two billion men and women today.
    Free trial of BBC Select


More info

Audio languages
English [CC]
Leonie Jameson
Bettany Hughes
BBC Studios
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