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Two Thousand Years: The History of Christianity
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1.

African Ascetics and Celtic Monks [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 5th and 6th Centuries

Part one of this program features the sacking of Rome and introduces Augustine of Hippo and his The City of God, which examines the Church's uneasy relationship with human frailty and worldliness, as piety became identified with self-denial and celibacy was viewed as central to the pursuit of perfection. Part two tracks the spread of Christianity to Ireland and its establishment in Britain and northern Europe by Celtic monks, who had formulated the concept of penance and the culture of pilgrimage. However, it was not the Christianity of Saint Patrick, but of Rome, that succeeded in dominating Britain.
Online
2007; 1999
2.

Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 7th and 8th Centuries

Part one of this program contrasts the ill health of Rome and its Church with the spiritual and material vitality of Byzantium. But all was not well even in the east, as war with Persia and the rise and swift spread of Islam made the Holy Land off-limits, while arguments about the nature of Christ continued to split the Christian world. Part two focuses on the conversion of the Saxon tribes first by Bishop Boniface-the Apostle of Germany-and then by King Charlemagne, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
Online
2007; 1999
3.

Crusaders and Schism in the East [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 11th and 12th Centuries

Part one of this program documents both the papal reforms that severed the ties between the Church and wealthy Roman families and the rift between Rome and Constantinople. Efforts to reconcile differences in doctrine, clerical practice, and political influence ended in the excommunication of Constantinople's Patriarch. Part two outlines the first four Crusades, in which Jerusalem was won and lost and Byzantium fell to the swords of its own Christian allies. The transfiguring influence of Islamic scholarship on Europe is also spotlighted.
Online
2007; 1999
4.

Heresy, War, and the Black Death [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 13th and 14th Centuries

Part one of this program follows the dual enterprises of constructing cathedrals and stamping out heresy. Buildings of unprecedented grandeur exemplified the power and influence of the Church in Europe, as did the systematic destruction of the heretic Cathars. Part two covers King Philip IV of France's defiance of Church authority and the Black Death. Although the Pope declared the Plague a judgment by God, rumors of a Jewish plot were rife, leading to anti-Semitic massacres in Germany and elsewhere.
Online
2007; 1999
5.

Fighting Intolerance and Slavery [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Part one of this program traces the spread of Christianity via the Puritans to North America. Victims of intolerance in the Old World, the emigres swiftly proved intolerant of others in the New World, leaving it to the Quakers to promote the religious freedom later associated with the United States. Part two outlines the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the Methodism of John Wesley, and the concept of human rights. How had the un-Christian institution of slavery endured so long in France, England, and, most notably, in egalitarian America?
Online
2007; 1999
6.

Coping With Scientific and Social Change [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Part one of this program, presented against a backdrop of Gothic architecture and pre-Raphaelite art, asks whether religion and science can coexist in a post-Darwinian world. Are Creation and Evolution mutually exclusive? Part two focuses on the questions raised by the global movement toward social equality. Must Christianity adapt to survive, and if so, do issues like female priests and homosexuality threaten to rob it of its scriptural authority? Should the Church restructure along democratic lines? And what role will New Age religions and the Pentecostal movement play as Christianity enters its third millennium?
Online
2007; 1999
7.

Sectarianism and Schism in Europe [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 15th and 16th Centuries

Part one of this program highlights the Great Schism. The Papacy's move to achieve political independence and the flowering of the Renaissance are presented as well-along with the violent opposition to the new papal politics and the humanism that was remaking God in man's image. Part two plots out the religious revolt sparked by the sale of indulgences, from Martin Luther's 95 Theses, to the Inquisition, to the Protestantism of John Calvin. The spread of the Catholic faith to Latin America by the Jesuits is also discussed.
Online
2007; 1999
8.

The Birth of a New Religion [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 1st and 2nd Centuries

Part one of this program presents the life of Jesus against the backdrop of first-century Judea, inhabited by the Jews and occupied by the forces of the Roman Empire. Was Jesus the long-awaited Messiah? After the Resurrection, Saul of Tarsus, later Paul, became a champion of a budding new religion based on Jesus' teachings: Christianity. Part two traces the spread of the faith and its inevitable clash with Rome. Despite persecution, Christianity thrived, setting down roots and creating the New Testament.
Online
2007; 1999
9.

The Dark Ages and the Millennium [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 9th and 10th Centuries

Part one of this program probes the nature of Christian prayer, questioning Eastern reliance on icons rather than the Word, as in the West. Were the incessant attacks on Constantinople by Islamic and Bulgar forces a divine judgment for idolatrous behavior? Part two chronicles the chaos in Europe that broke out with the death of Charlemagne and the approach of the millennium. The ensuing political instability, combined with the questionable Cadaver Synod and fears of the Apocalypse, stood in stark contrast to the efforts of the Peace of God movement and the Abbey of Cluny to maintain order.
Online
2007; 1999
10.

Trials and Triumphs in Rome [electronic resource]: Christianity in the 3rd and 4th Centuries

Part one of this program places Christianity-an outlawed faith-within the context of the religiously diverse Roman Empire, whose citizens worshipped the old Greco-Roman gods, mystery cult figures such as Mithra, and the Emperor himself. But by appealing to all people and promising eternal salvation, Christianity began to surpass the popularity of the Roman religions. Part two begins with Diocletian's Great Persecution; proceeds to Constantine's conversion, the Edict of Milan, and the Council of Nicaea; and closes with the excommunication of Theodosius.
Online
2007; 1999