Christianity: The Second Thousand Years
Christians can often be quick to assume that the form and meaning of Christianity is static, but if we reflect on the year 2000 as a significant milestone, the second millennium of the world’s largest religion has truly been an amazing journey of faith and turmoil. This four-tape series is a millennial celebration, examining the evolution–good and bad–of Christian churches and theologies over the last thousand years. After a brief summary of the origins and early growth of the Church, the first tape starts out examining how war and Christianization went hand in hand under Charlemagne and other Holy Roman emperors while military and perceived cultural threats loomed on the frontiers with Islam. The second tape examines the height of the Church’s influence and its corruption, which led to the Avignon papacy and the Reformation (the subject of the third tape). The fourth tape looks at primarily American reform movements in the 20th century through the leadership of people like Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and Desmond Tutu. Although 1,000 years of Christian history will clearly be treated with some superficiality in only four VHS tapes–Eastern Orthodoxy and postwar ecumenism have been almost entirely left out, for example–this is an informative and entertaining documentary with A&E;’s typically high production values. –Erik Macki VHS.
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