Religion

GREAT MUSEUMS
The Art of Islam at the Met and the Louvre

 

Today, at a pivotal moment in world history, two great museums beckon us to explore the splendor of Islamic art – lifting the veil on our shared cultural heritage. GREAT MUSEUMS: THE ART OF ISLAM AT THE MET AND THE LOUVRE showcases the objects on display in the Islamic galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Louvre in Paris to reveal a roadmap of connections that explains why the foreign seems familiar. Narrated by Philippe de Montebello, the former director of The Met, GREAT MUSEUMS: THE ART OF ISLAM AT THE MET AND THE LOUVRE examines the extraordinary artistic masterpieces in the museums’ Islamic Art collections, and reveals a surprising number of connections that unite Western and Islamic traditions, in art, science, and literature. The film explores the surprising cultural relationships between the Islamic and the Western worlds. The art of Islam reflects 14 centuries of changing political and cultural landscapes across three continents. The term “Islamic art” – coined by 19th century art historians – includes all art produced in Muslim lands from the 7th century forward, from Spain to Morocco, Egypt, the Middle East, Central Asia and India, to the borders of China. Universal museums like The Louvre and The Met help dispel the idea that cultures are exclusive, when, in fact, they are intertwined and connected.

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Forever Pure

 

This is the story of famed Israeli soccer club Beitar Jerusalem F.C. after it acquired two Muslim players, which led to a racist backlash – and eventual soul-searching from their new teammates.

 

FRONTLINE
From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians – Let The Reader Understand / Kingdoms in Conflict

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians, Part 1 of 2

 

FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. This two-part series transports viewers back 2,000 years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. The first program traces the life of Jesus of Nazareth, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion around 30 C.E. The film then turns to the period that followed Jesus’ death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the first revolt – the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The series also explores evidence suggesting that Jesus’ followers, because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages, looked at and interpreted Jesus and his teachings in many different ways.

 

FRONTLINE
From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians – Pax Romana / A Light to the Nations

 

FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. This two-part series transports viewers back 2,000 years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. The first program traces the life of Jesus of Nazareth, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion around 30 C.E. The film then turns to the period that followed Jesus’ death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the first revolt – the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The series also explores evidence suggesting that Jesus’ followers, because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages, looked at and interpreted Jesus and his teachings in many different ways.

 

Secrets of Saint John Paul

 

Examine previously unknown correspondence between Pope John Paul II, now a saint, and an American woman. Through hundreds of letters, a deep relationship begun between then-Cardinal Wojtyla and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka continued after he became pope. Though there is no suggestion in the letters or in the documentary of any impropriety between Pope John Paul II and Dr. Tymieniecka, what we learn from his letters sheds informative light on both his intellect and his humanity.

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Kumbh Mela

 

Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.

 
Kumbh Mela
Every twelve years, tens of millions of men, women and children gather on the flood plain of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in Allahabad, India, for the largest gathering of humanity for religious purposes on the planet, and host Bruce Feiler is there.  This is the Kumbh Mela, the great Hindu festival where pilgrims come from across India, and around the world, to bathe in the water where two sacred rivers meet.

 

Host Bruce Feiler travels to the Kumbh with a group of spiritual seekers from across America, first stopping in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, downstream from Allahabad, to take part in traditional rituals on the Ganges, India’s most sacred river that is worshipped by Hindus as a goddess. Bruce and the pilgrims travel on by bus to the vast tent city built on land that was underwater just months earlier and will be flooded again in just a few months more.  Bruce and the American pilgrims settle into camp, surrounded by millions of other pilgrims, holy men, gurus and ash-covered naga babas, the naked ascetics who are the most visible symbol of the Kumbh Mela. They join millions of fellow pilgrims and holy men and women who are bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in a ritual that Hindus believe washes away sins and breaks the endless cycle of reincarnation.

 

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Osun–Osogbo

 

Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.

 

Osun–Osogbo
Tues., Dec. 30, 9:00 pm
Host Bruce Feiler travels to Nigeria with a group of African American pilgrims who are attending an annual festival in honor of the Yoruba Goddess Osun as a way to reconnect with their cultural and spiritual roots.  This indigenous African faith, sometimes called Orisa Devotion, was first carried to the Americas during the Transatlantic Slave Trade where it evolved and spread to become one of the ten largest religions in the world with upward of 100 million practitioners.  It is most widely practiced in the Caribbean and Brazil, but after being forced underground during slavery, it is now growing in popularity across the U.S.A., especially in African American and Cuban neighborhoods.

 

In company with pilgrims from Miami, New York and Boston, Bruce Feiler visits the last remaining Yoruba sacred grove in Nigeria, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the Osun Festival attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors from across Africa and around the world.  As two young American pilgrims are initiated as priestesses to the goddess Osun, a Miami-based priest reveals that it’s music and dance that brings most African Americans back to a faith where culture, art and spirituality are inextricably mixed.

 

 

FRONTLINE
From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians, Part 1 of 2

 

FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. This two-part series transports viewers back 2,000 years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. The first program traces the life of Jesus of Nazareth, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion around 30 C.E. The film then turns to the period that followed Jesus’ death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the first revolt – the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The series also explores evidence suggesting that Jesus’ followers, because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages, looked at and interpreted Jesus and his teachings in many different ways.

 

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Shikoku

 

The Island of Shikoku in Japan is the birthplace of the most revered figure in Japanese Buddhism, the monk and teacher Kobo Daishi, who brought a populist form of Buddhism to Japan from China in the 9th Century.  For hundreds of years, a 750-mile pilgrimage route has circled this mountainous island, connecting 88 separate temples and shrines that claim connection to the Great Master Kobo Daishi.

 

Host Bruce Feiler circles the island, following a pilgrim trail that’s taken by hundreds of thousands of Japanese and international pilgrims every year – a Buddhist pilgrimage that welcomes pilgrims of all faiths.  While the majority now drive or travel by train or bus (a two-week journey), many still set aside 60 or more days to walk the entire route, especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and pilgrimage season is at its height. 

 

Temple priests introduce Bruce to sacred ceremonies that date back thousands of years, revealing how the presence of Kobo Daishi is believed to accompany all who follow in his footsteps.  Out on the pilgrim trail, Bruce meets with different American walkers – a hiking group from the Pacific Northwest, a retired soldier from California, and two recently-married doctors from Indiana – to learn why they’ve come to Shikoku and what they are hoping to find.

 

 

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