Titles Available as of May 2021
This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.
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.
Chinese Christians are growing in number-but are their beliefs compatible with Western teachings? Why does the Communist government look so favorably on a "foreign" faith? Has the Gospel become a tool of authoritarianism? This program searches for answers as it explores the startling ascent of Christianity in China. Outlining the persecution of Christians under Mao, the film studies a past split between nationalist Catholics and those who obeyed Rome; the differences between the Three-Self movement and the house church phenomenon; and the influence of poverty and migration on church membership. Leaders from Beijing's Christian Council, the China Christian Council, and other groups are featured.
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.
Durrow lies in the center of Ireland and was one of a number of monasteries where teams of scribes wrote and illustrated manuscripts. The Book of Durrow was written about a hundred and fifty years before the better-known Book of Kells; its treatments are more restrained and abstract than Kells.
After the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI - an unprecedented event in modern times - a non-European has been elected for the first time: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina. The newly elected Pope is fully aware of the challenges awaiting him and conceded: 'They came to find me at the end of the world.' The new Pope inherits a church that is facing a historic crisis: dwindling congregations in the 'traditional northern countries,' a Church that is perceived to be out of step with modern society, its silence when faced with the pedophile scandals that have rocked the institution in recent years, the question of celibacy and sexuality, the training of new priests, the position of women in the hierarchy of the church ... It urgently needs to polish its image and bring back its faithful. Is the Catholic Church prepared, though, to question itself and embrace the democratic modernization of society?
The French Revolution explodes, and the Church, at the center of the controversy, must redefine its relationship with political power. This program focuses on religious controversy throughout the ages to the 19th century, when Christianity finds a new vitality and diversity of worship in democratic societies. Vatican II (1962-1965) is discussed as having paved the way for modern Catholicism, and the Protestant Ecumenical movement, also of the 1960s, is credited with reconciliation among the various Christian denominations.
Because we are removed from spirituality today, Smith believes we find it difficult to understand the true meaning of Christianity. Smith explains that Christianity wouldn't have existed if its "spirit had not been real and dense and palpable and evident to everyone around. Smith finds the intimate relationship between the Jews and their God "a living conversation between the human and the divine that goes on generation after generation. Through his son-in-law, Smith came to admire the beauty of the weekly Jewish Shabbat, and when his daughter died, he found solace in Jewish mourning rituals.
When can the beginning of Christianity be dated? Should it be when Jesus is born? When he dies? When a mixed community of Jews and Pagans is created? At the time of Constantine's conversion? When Theodosius decrees Christianity to be the Empire's official religion? Or at another date? What measures does Theodosius take to impose Christianity? Do the Pagans accept the new religion? Who are the Christians' main enemies: Jews or heretics?
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?
In verses 157 and 158 of Surah IV, the Qur'an tells the story of the crucifixion of Jesus very differently from the Christian tradition. In it, Jesus is crucified, "or so it appears". Might those who witnessed the scene have been victims of an illusion? Might someone else have been crucified in his place? Did Jesus really die on the cross?
This program tells the story of how Christianity became the world's largest religion. Christianity in Mexico includes ancient indigenous concepts that have been adapted in what is now a genuinely Mexican faith. In Africa, the pattern was the same: missionary efforts came to little, wrecked by European social and cultural arrogance. And we learn that today's fast-growing African Christianity is far older than the missionary movement. In Ethiopia Christian traditions go back to the century of Christ. The pattern is the same across the former colonial world, in Asia, Africa and Latin America. No longer does Europe have a stranglehold on Christianity. A new indigenous Christendom has emerged in the developing world. And these new Christians believe it is Europe that now needs converting to the true faith.
Where does the familiar image of Satan come from? Does it predate the writing of the Bible? Or did the Devil's persona develop after the New Testament and organized Christianity appeared? This absorbing documentary sheds new light on the Prince of Darkness by examining his manifestations in various religious traditions, in literature and the arts, and in our collective psychology. Experts in theology, history, and culture share their knowledge of Satan's evolution through the centuries, discussing ancient Hebrew scriptures and apocryphal narratives, the influence of pagan imagery (such as horns and a pitchfork) on medieval concepts of the Devil, and the development of the Catholic rites of exorcism.
Beliefs spelled out in the Apostle's Creed link Christians around the world-but in practice, the faith has fractured. This program presents views from five insightful and widely differing believers who reveal their thoughts on conflict and harmony within Christianity. The participants are Terry Waite, author, humanitarian, and former hostage in Beirut; Ann Widdecombe, conservative British politician and Catholic convert; the Reverend Joel Edwards, General Director of the U.K. Evangelical Alliance; Bishop Richard Holloway, author of Godless Morality: Keeping Religion out of Ethics; and Alison Elliot, the first woman to be Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Ethiopia has maintained its Christian identity for more than sixteen centuries. With neighboring Somalia dominated by Islamic militants, Ethiopia has also become a key ally in the West's battle to contain al Qaeda. Father Mariam Taye, a high priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, offers viewers a rare glimpse of a Christianity that is still practiced much as it was nearly 2,000 years ago. Christian faith serves as a lifeline for the impoverished people of rural Ethiopia. We also examine the religious roots of Ethiopia's ongoing conflict with Somalia.
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?
This program brings viewers to exceptional sacred sites throughout the Near East and Asia to trace the first expansion of Christianity from Jerusalem - which was not to Rome with Paul, but to Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Armenia, and Ethiopia. After the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD followers of Jesus fled to Asia Minor, establishing a thriving ecclesiastical community at least 100 years before Constantine made Christianity Rome's official religion. The video highlights the significance of the Syriac Orthodox Church and discusses differences between Eastern and Roman imperial Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity, and the impact of Islam in Syria. It covers the rule and the rivalries of Constantine, Nestorius, Cyril, and Timothy I; the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon; and a stronghold of the faith even further east of Rome: the powerful Baghdad-based Nestorian Church, whose dominion by the 8th century included parts of India and China.
Part four of the series From Jesus to Christ chronicles the new challenges of the Christian movement - both internal and external - as it became separate from Judaism. From 100 to 300 CE, as the movement grew throughout the Roman Empire, it faced heated debates regarding beliefs, worship, and even about Jesus himself. Externally, Christians were often persecuted as the movement became suspicious in the eyes of the Roman authorities. But through it all, Christians prevailed. And what started as a small sect of Judaism became a significant part of the population - eventually, a part of the official religion of Rome. This was a momentous change for Christianity and at the dawn of the fourth century, the cross was transformed into a symbol of triumph. It was then that Jesus of Nazareth became worshiped as the divine; when he became, Jesus Christ.
Christianity is now over 2,000 years old. Yet today in the West it faces its greatest challenge--modernity and the rapid rise of the secular society. Can Christianity survive in the West? In the final episode of the series, practicing Catholic and leading barrister Cherie Blair examines how Christianity has fared in the face of World Wars, unprecedented suffering and monumental social change. While Christianity is marginal in Western Europe, it is strong in the U.S. Blair examines U.S. megachurches and argues that U.S. Christianity broke free of the tradition, architecture and aesthetics that cut Western European Christianity off from modern society. The U.S. experience shows that Christianity can make itself part of contemporary society.
For over fifteen hundred years, Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge, but in the seventeenth Century, the beginnings of a scientific revolution began to challenge the Christian view of the world. Eminent scientist Colin Blakemore interviews esteemed scholars and Churchmen in order to understand how Science has transformed Christianity over the last four centuries. He argues that science is the biggest challenge Christianity has ever had to face, and that it will eventually make religion unnecessary.
For more than a millennium Western civilization looked to the Church for answers to questions about life's meaning. But for many, acceptance of ecclesiastical doctrine wasn't enough. This program traces the roots of modern religious skepticism back over 400 years to examine both the unraveling and the endurance of Christian belief. It explores challenges to established theologies in the ideas of Spinoza, Newton, and Voltaire and in the ideals of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Victorian era and considers erosion of faith in the 20th century caused by the impact of World War I and political totalitarianism. The video goes to Auschwitz, the Vatican, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields to consider how the Holocaust, the Second Vatican Council, and late-20th-century social change further weakened Church authority in the West, even as Christian congregations grow elsewhere around the world.
With gentle irony, this film records the overlay of Christianity on native beliefs that occurs in the Huli tribe, one of seven hundred tribes living in Papua New Guinea. In many areas of the world where Christian missionaries have brought their message, similar confusions and misconceptions abound. Recently, two rival groups of missionaries appeared in Papua, one Catholic and the other Seventh Day Adventists, creating competition for conversions.
What's worse: to do something wrong and be punished for it, or to be punished for something that you didn't do at all? This problem is at the heart of some of our deepest questions about God and humanity, sin and justice, damnation and grace. In this program with Bill Moyers, Elaine Pagels speaks about how the early Christians faced the realities of suffering and guilt, and how their answers still affect us today. A professor of religion at Princeton University, Pagels finds in the story of Adam and Eve more than a parable from ancient faiths; in Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, she explores what the old story of the Garden of Eden reveals about our attitudes toward sexuality, politics, suffering and guilt, and the roles of men and women in Western society.
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.
Historic cathedrals occupy places of honor in cities across America. In this program, visit some of the most beautiful Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the United States. San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, rich in Hispanic heritage, is the oldest cathedral building in the U.S. The Cathedral of St. Louis in New Orleans was built in the 1790s amidst the Creole culture of the French Quarter. New York City holds three gems: the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and the Cathedral of St John the Divine (Episcopal)-the largest cathedral in the world, and still unfinished! Finally, visit the magnificent Washington National Cathedral, which has provided a pulpit to the nation through times of trial and reflection.
This film tracks a seeker's quest across 4,000 miles of India in search of answers about where Jesus was during the "hidden years" from ages 12 to 30. Although the New Testament is silent on those years, in India there is an ancient tradition that young Jesus joined a caravan and took the Silk Road to the East, where he lived with both Hindus and Buddhists before returning to begin his ministry.
A personal short documentary exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Queer filmmaker Jessica Devaney grew up deeply immersed in Evangelical Christianity in Florida. After breaking with her youth as a nationally recognized activist and leader among conservative Evangelicals, Jessica left Florida and didn't look back. She built a life that took her as far away from home as possible. Over time, her daily life became a progressive echo chamber. The mass shooting at Pulse was a wakeup call. By avoiding hard conversations with church leadership, had she missed opportunities to challenge homophobia? LOVE THE SINNER probes our responsibility to face bias in our communities and push for dignity and equality for all.
When Martin Luther nailed his 95 ‘points for discussion’ to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, his quiet life exploded into international confrontation, an argument with the Pope, and ultimately, the Protestant Reformation. While the religious, social, and political consequences have been much discussed, this program reveals a fundamentally human story of honesty, faith, and fortitude.
In July 16, 1054, a dramatic event occurred during the worship service in the Church of Hagia Sophia: a papal delegation delivered a document excommunicating the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Patriarch promptly excommunicated the Pope in return. Known as The Great Schism, the act divided Eastern from Western Catholic Christianity. Going on location to the most venerated sites in the Byzantine world, this program presents a history of Eastern Orthodoxy.
In the sixteenth century Portuguese Catholic missionaries introduced Christianity to Japan. The religion flourished for about fifty years, but by 1614 the Tokugawa government issued an edict that outlawed Christianity and expelled the missionaries from Japan. About 150,000 believers went underground and continued to practice their religion in secret.
China's economy is booming-and so is its Christian community. This program examines the rise of the country's nondenominational Protestant movement, its basic structure and organization, and its relationship with the government. Spotlighting new, moderate religious freedoms in Chinese society, the film visits Christian churches in Nanjing Province and interviews a number of ministers and congregation members. Cao Sheng-Jie, President of the Chinese Christian Council, discusses building a "truly Chinese church," while students at a prominent state-supported seminary describe their reasons for converting to Christianity and entering the ministry. The role of Christianity in President Hu Jintao's "harmonious society" is also explored.
Queers in the Kingdom traces the legacy of historical evangelical Christianity through the rise of the secular university and the struggles of the Christian college to remain relevant. This documentary exposes evangelical Christian culture in the U.S. as the underlying force that legalizes Bible-based homophobia. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 200+ well established Christian Colleges where LGBT students must remain closeted and celibate or risk being expelled and condemned as sinners.
The Reformation was a period of rebellion, upheaval, and war - all sparked by one man whose revolt against church authority led to the creation of Protestantism and ultimately, to a reinvigoration of the Catholic faith. This program travels to churches in Europe, Britain, and Mexico to explore the key figures, philosophies, and movements of the Protestant Reformation. It looks at the issues that inflamed Martin Luther, and then Zwigli and John Calvin, as well as the doctrines that divided them, and the many branches of Protestantism that formed as a result. The video also provides an overview of the English Reformation and the English Civil War, the Reconquista, the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation, the impact of missionaries in Mexico, the sectarian tensions in Bohemia that sparked the Thirty Years War, and the flight of Calvinist Protestants - Pilgrims - to the New World.
Did Muhammad want to create a new religion? Why does Islam purport to be the religion of Abraham? Why does Muhammad situate himself in the long line of prophets, just after Jesus? Is this the reason the names of Muhammad and Jesus appear together on the inscription on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem? Why has Islam been considered a heresy of Christianity?
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.
The Qur'an accords a place of great prominence to Mary, the only woman it mentions by name. Why is Jesus always presented as the "son of Mary"? What are the implications of this expression, which seems to further convey the "terrible calumny" Mary is accused of? Why is she said to be the sister of Aaron and Moses, though they are separated by a thousand years? An HBO Production.
Sweden was one of the last European countries to adopt Christianity, and now appears likely to be the first to abandon it. This program gives a concise account of Lutheranism, and examines how-or even whether-organized religion can survive in an affluent, liberal, thoroughly materialistic society.
Why did the Christian Church collapse in Jerusalem but thrive in the West? How did Rome become the center of Catholicism after the invasion of Islam in the East? This film examines the early Church in the imperial capital from Nero's persecution of the apostles Peter and Paul to the triumphs of Christianity becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of contemporary culture, one in eight girls in the U.S. today has vowed to remain "unsoiled" until marriage. But the seven children of Randy and Lisa Wilson, the Colorado Springs founders of the Purity Ball, take the concept one step further. They save even the first kiss for the altar. Following the Wilsons for two years, this impressive documentary observes the family's life up close as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage, and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. As VIRGIN TALES takes in home routines, church services, social gatherings, conventions and purity balls, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.
America’s 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the world’s future is foretold in Biblical prophecy, from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This film explores this apocalyptic world view from the home front in America to the future battlefield of Israel. By weaving Christian, Zionist, and Jewish perspectives along with telling archival materials, this eye-opening film also probes the potentially explosive alliance between Evangelical Christians and Israel, an alliance that may set the stage for what one Evangelical leader calls World War III.
On World Youth Day, 2002, hundreds of thousands of young Roman Catholics from all over the world descended on Toronto's Downsview Park to see and hear their spiritual leader, Pope John Paul II. To commemorate the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, the center of the city was taken over by throngs of pilgrims who helped reenact the Way of the Cross-a passion play featuring a highly convincing portrayal of the crucified Christ. The procession gathered momentum along a downtown street, ultimately attracting both travelers and local residents and coalescing into a transformative, communal, living drama. This program documents the sprawling event, offering viewers a window into what many participants described as the most important moment in their spiritual lives.
When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake St. Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth's mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.
The Chosen Ones is a modernized retelling of the life of Jesus Christ.
An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
Zé-do-Burro has only one worldly possession, his donkey, that he named Nicolas and considers to have a sole like himself, a law abiding Christian just a trifle naive. During a tempest, Nicolas is seriously wounded, and Zé-do-Burro, out of despair, makes a promise: to carry a cross as large as Christ's, to the altar of Saint Barbara - the nearest being in the city of Bahia. He vows to do so in a Candomblé session, dedicated to the goddess Yansan - that in the popular belief corresponds to that Christian saint. Nicolas fully recovers from his illness, and Zé-do-Burro produces a large cross with his own hands and tools, and then carries it on foot to Bahia, accompanied by his wife, Rosa. He has to stay by the church's closed door, and the only person who comes to meet them is Bonitão, the local pimp, who offers to take Rosa to a pension while Zé-do-Burro keeps his promise of staying by the cross.
This classic film tells the story of the life of Jesus, with dialogue taken from the Gospel of Matthew. Many critics believe it to one of the finest religious films ever made.
In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God's Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle.
A story of the passion between a nun and God, her "divine spouse," Jean-Daniel Lafond's film paints an astonishing portrait of Marie de l'Incarnation - a mid-17th-century mystic who abandoned her son and left France to build a convent in Canada, where she became the first female writer in New France. A religious adventure story, the film shows actress Marie Tifo seeking to inhabit this unusual role. Using a script by Jean-Daniel Lafond, she tackles the nun's incandescent writing and her candid letters to her son. The documentary fuses actress and role, past and present - and takes us on a truly extraordinary historical and artistic journey.
In Nazareth in Galilee, at the time of Roman emperor Augustus and of the king of Jews Herod, lives a simple young woman, Mary, between the love of her parents, of her fiancé Joseph the carpenter, and of her fellow citizens. One day, a dazzling light, that of an angel, announces to Mary that, through the work of the Holy Spirit, she will give birth to a son, Jesus, who will be called the son of God.
John Bunyan's 1678 novel is one of the most famous Christian allegories even written. It describes one man's journey from "The City of Destruction" to "Celestial City," and the many adventures he has along the way. This 1979 adaptation stars Liam Neeson in his first major role.
This film brings the story of Jesus' life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar(r)-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays the role of Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.
Emily Mason, a New Jersey college student, who finds herself in a dusty dying small southern town, a thousand miles from home, selling Christian books door-to-door. Through a series of misadventures in 'the Book field,' and her growing friendships with the endearing and often comical local residents, Emily begins to discover what is most valuable in life, at the Valley Inn. Featuring Joey Lauren Adams.
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.