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A History of Christianity

Season 1
In this illuminating BBC documentary series, Diarmaid MacCulloch, one of the world's leading historians, reveals the genesis of Christianity and explores what it means to be a Christian. Along the way he unearths surprising facts about the religion, including how it started and the development of ideas surrounding God and Jesus. Can looking at Christianity’s past reveal clues about its future?
20096 episodes
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Episodes

  1. S1 E1 - The First Christianity
    November 4, 2009
    59min
    NR
    Diarmaid MacCulloch explores the extraordinary rise of the Roman Catholic church as his BBC history documentary series continues. Over one billion Christians look to Rome, more than half of all on the planet. But how did a small Jewish sect which preached the virtue of poverty, become the established religion of western Europe - powerful and expecting unfailing obedience from the faithful?
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  2. S1 E2 - Catholicism - The Unpredictable Rise Of Rome
    November 11, 2009
    59min
    NR
    Diarmaid MacCulloch explores the extraordinary rise of the Roman Catholic church as his BBC documentary series continues. Over one billion Christians look to Rome, more than half of all Christians on the planet. But how did a small Jewish sect which preached the virtue of poverty, become the established religion of western Europe - powerful and expecting unfailing obedience from the faithful?
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  3. S1 E3 - Orthodoxy - From Empire To Empire
    November 18, 2009
    58min
    ALL
    In this BBC history documentary, Diarmaid MacCulloch charts the development of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Russia and the Balkans, which has more than 150 million members worldwide. Worship is carefully choreographed, icons pull the faithful into a mystical union with Jesus Christ and everywhere there is a symbol of the double-headed eagle. What story is this ancient drama trying to tell us?
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  4. S1 E4 - Reformation - The Individual Before God
    November 25, 2009
    59min
    NR
    Diarmaid MacCulloch examines the religious revolution of the Reformation and reveals how a faith based on obedience gave way to one of individual accountability to God and Jesus. The groundbreaking BBC history documentary explores the ways in which key reformers like Martin Luther challenged the dominance of the Catholic Church. But why did such a damaging religious schism develop?
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  5. S1 E5 - Protestantism
    December 2, 2009
    59min
    NR
    Diarmaid MacCulloch continues his BBC history documentary by tracing the growth of an exuberant expression of faith that has spread across the globe: Evangelical Protestantism. It began with a concern for social justice, but has developed into a variety of styles including the glitzy flair of American preachers and Africa’s adherence to local traditions. But why are its methods so effective?
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  6. S1 E6 - God In The Dock
    December 9, 2009
    59min
    ALL
    Diarmaid MacCulloch concludes his BBC history documentary by looking at the notion of skepticism. Tracing its origins back to 17th-century Amsterdam, he examines the ideas of Spinoza, who refused to see God as a supernatural being, while Isaac Newton quietly pursued a similar approach. But, despite displaying remarkable resilience, can any religion survive the relentless advances of science?
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Details

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Subtitles
None available
Directors
Gillian Bancroft
Producers
Jean Claude BragardGillian Bancroft
Starring
Diarmaid MacCulloch
Studio
Open University
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