Christianity: A History
About the Show
Eight-part history of the Christian faith, looking at its origins, development and turbulent past. High-profile British personalities examine a religion that has particular resonance for them.
Series 1 Summary
Ours is said to be a Godless age, yet billions remain faithful to religions thousands of years old.
This provocative eight-part series explores the history and global impact of the world's biggest religion through the personal views of leading British figures.
Over the course of the series, eight high-profile personalities - including Michael Portillo, Rageh Omaar, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Cherie Blair - look at the origins and history of the Christian faith.
In each film the presenter addresses a subject that means something particular to them. In doing so, they bring their own perspectives to a challenging and comprehensive debate that explores Christianity's role in shaping the modern world.
Howard Jacobson examines the origins and consequences of Christian belief and argues that, although Christianity originated in devout Judaism, for Jews, it has been, for the most part, a calamity
Broadcaster and former politician Michael Portillo investigates the role of the Roman Empire in transforming Christianity from an underground sect to the official religion.
Theologian and broadcaster Dr Robert Beckford argues that Britain's conversion to Christianity in the sixth century is the single most important event in the country's history.
Acclaimed war correspondent Rageh Omaar examines the legacy of the Crusades and the lasting impact on the relationship between Islam and the West.
Ann Widdecombe MP examines the turbulent years that divided Catholics and Protestants in Western Europe five centuries ago during the period of the Reformation.
Actor, playwright and broadcaster Kwame Kwei-Armah examines a new indigenous Christendom that has emerged in the developing world of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Scientist Colin Blakemore examines Christianity's relationship with science, arguing that science is the biggest challenge Christianity has ever faced.
In the final programme, practising Catholic and leading barrister Cherie Blair considers the challenges facing the future of Christianity.