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Filmography - Christianity: S - T

Titles available on DVD and Streaming video as of October 2013


Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of  October 2013

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on prison topics (including VHS tapes) search the library catalog at:

The Sacraments. 2013.  1 streaming video file   (23 min.). After a brief overview of the religious tenets shared by all Christians, this program examines the sacraments of the Christian church, with attention to their varying expressions in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and other denominations. Focusing on each sacrament individually-baptism, the Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, ordination, reconciliation (formerly called confession), and anointing of the sick-clerics and scholars explain what the rite consists of, its spiritual significance, how different denominations celebrate it, and what it means in the lives of individual Christians. Steaming video.

Sacred memory. 2007.  Religion as a Window on Culture   1 streaming video file   (20 min.). Sacred memory forms the infrastructure of most faiths. This program examines these memories in several major religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. The path of religious memory is traced to special holy days such as Ramadan in the Muslim religion, and Christmas and Easter for Christians. The celebration of the birth and teachings of Buddha and those of important gods in Hinduism are discussed as intrinsic to the religious memory of those faiths. The significance of the Christian liturgical calendar is explained by Martin E. Marty, and the significance of the Islamic calendar as a document that traces the important events in the life of the prophet Mohammed is explained by Sayyid M. Syeed, Ph.D., of the Islamic Society of North America.  Streaming video.

Sacred space: Art, architecture, and the role of the state. 2005.  Religion: A World History 1 streaming video file   (59 min.). Roman, Gothic, Baroque, and Rococo religious art, along with Christian iconography, are examined as reflections of the religious and political attitudes of the periods in which they were created. This program also examines the role of the Christian Orthodox Church and the schism of 1054 that permanently divided its members. The degrees of reverence accorded to Mary as Christ's mother by Catholics and Protestants are compared. Streaming video.

Savior of the World.  2009.  The Faith We Confess: A 21st-Century Look at the Meaning and Relevance of the Apostles' Creed   1 streaming video file   (59 min.). The first part of the Apostles' Creed establishes God as omnipotent, and the second part moves on to present God as "the Son." In this program, Christian theologians discuss the nature of Jesus Christ as being both fully human and fully divine. Among the topics covered are the word "Christ" as an expression of spiritual, not political, salvation; the Arian controversy and Christ as God's son; the roots of the term "Our Lord" and the implications of this; the ramifications of Christ's incarnation in human form; Mary and the significance of the virgin birth in ancient and modern times; and Jesus as a "second Adam" without original sin. Streaming video.


Sectarianism and schism in Europe Christianity in the 15th and 16th centuries. 1999.  Two Thousand Years: The History of Christianity   1 streaming video file   (48 min.). 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. Streaming video.



Seneca moral epistles. 2004.  Words of Change   1 streaming video file   (25 min.). If wisdom were given me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden and not uttered, I should refuse it. Thus wrote the 1st-century Roman philosopher Seneca in one of the many letters he wrote to his disciple, Lucilius. These letters were later collected together to form Moral Epistles, one of the central ethical works of the classical period. This program examines Seneca's particular brand of stoic philosophy and chronicles an extraordinary life that spanned the tumultuous reigns of Caligula, Claudius, and finally Nero-whom Seneca served as both tutor and counselor. Included are a number of excerpts from Seneca's Epistles, among them passages in which he deplores capital punishment and encourages unity, brotherhood, and equality among all people-including slaves.  Streaming video.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church. 2007.  I BELIEVE-with Dennis Wholey.  1 streaming video file   (28 min.). In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about the Seventh-day Adventist Church with Elder Roscoe J. Howard III, secretary of the Church's North American division. Topics of discussion include key figures in the history of this Protestant denomination; the reasoning behind the faith's Saturday Sabbath; typical elements of a Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath service; the doctrine of investigative judgment by God; and an in-depth explanation of the Second Coming of Christ. In addition, Senior Pastor Ron Halvorsen, Jr., tours viewers through Sligo Church in Takoma Park, Maryland.  Streaming video.


The shadow of god: Turning the dark side of monotheism to the light. 2006.  The Golden Thread: The Tie that Binds the Religions of the Book? 1 streaming video file   (58 min.). No religions have proved more combative than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite the fact that they share the same deity-or perhaps because of it. In this program, renowned biblical scholar and religious historian Othmar Keel sheds light on topics such as the volatile historical and cultural contexts in which the Old Testament originated; the protracted struggle of monotheism for supremacy over polytheism; and brutal ruptures between successive belief systems that have pitted Jews against polytheists, Christians against Jews, and Muslims against both Christians and Jews. Keel urges adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to critically review their own histories within a vertical ecumenical vision based on their common origins and not on their denominational differences.  Streaming video.


Shaker Town: A more perfect order. 2008.  1 streaming video file   (57 min.). Centered on faith, hard work, and the early stirrings of racial and sexual equality, the Shaker lifestyle was in many ways ahead of its time. But what was daily life like inside Shaker communities? Several years in the making, this program uses extensive archival footage integrated with reenactments and scholarly interviews to illustrate the Shakers' ordered, highly idealistic society. Visits to historic establishments in Pleasant Hill and South Union, Kentucky, shed light on distinctive Shaker crafts and architecture (churches, barns, houses, and furniture) as well as complex cultural and economic issues (financial management, dissolution of the traditional family structure, and more) that shaped the United Society of Believers.  Streaming video.


Shroud of Turin: Is it real? 2006.  1 streaming video file   (51 min.). Some people say it's the burial shroud of Jesus, while others say it's a fake. This simple piece of herringbone linen - scarred, stained, and patched - may not be pretty to look at, but has spurred an ongoing, passionate debate among scholars, scientists, and believers for centuries. Characterized by a faint shadow that appears to be the shape of a man from both the front and the back, this sacred cloth is held in the church of St. John the Baptist in the Italian city of Turin. Some suggest this artifact contains forensically accurate evidence of the crucifixion, confirming faith - while others are just as certain it is the confessed fake of a forger.  Streaming video


Sister Rose's passion. 2004.  1 streaming video file   (40 min.). Until the Second Vatican Council in 1965, textbooks used to educate Catholic children taught that Jews were responsible for the death of Christ and hence were hated by God. The amendment at Vatican II was thanks to Sister Rose Thering, who had been troubled by the Church's anti-Semitic stance as a child, and appalled by the lack of response to the Holocaust as an adult. In this program, Sister Rose describes her crusade to strike inaccurate and inflammatory language about Jews from the Catholic canon. Historians and members of the clergy shed light on the theological roots of anti-Semitism, and also comment on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which was condemned by the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Streaming video.


Slovak churches. 2005.  Building faith: Sacred architecture   1 streaming video file   (25 min.). Straddling two worlds of Christian belief, Slovak churches are places where Byzantine and Roman Catholic religious traditions meet and merge. This video analyzes eastern- and western-style Slovak church design in two ways: first, it points out their underlying similarities by tracing their architectural roots back to their common ancestor, the basilica of ancient Rome; then, to explain their very visible differences, it follows the history of Christianity over the centuries immediately following the religion's division into its eastern and western branches. By reaching out in both directions, Slovak church architecture partakes of Constantinople and Rome in a way that is uniquely its own. Streaming video.


The Spanish reconquista. 2004.  Spain's multicultural past: The social sciences collection  1 streaming video file   (53 min.). Beginning with the eighth-century defeat of Islamic forces in the Asturian mountains, this program traces the gradual return of Christian rule to Spain. Breathtaking depictions of World Heritage sites guide viewers along the Route of Santiago de Compostela-a Christian pilgrimage that catalyzed the struggle against Islamic control-as well as strategically important cities, including Toledo, Avila, and the last Muslim stronghold to fall, Granada. The historical narrative explains how smaller kingdoms merged to form more powerful unions, leading to the alliance of Castille y Leon and Aragon and, ultimately, the creation of a single Christian nation. Streaming video


A spirituality of co-creation partnering with god. 2007.  Beyond Theology: 29249s.  1 streaming video file   (28 min.). Traditional monotheistic religions are characterized by a hierarchical model in which a paternalistic deity, assisted by ascended saints and angelic beings, oversees the unfolding drama of life on Earth. This program questions the suitability of that model to the challenges of the 21st century as it presents the idea that humankind should step forward to accept greater responsibility for its own actions while becoming more attuned to the transpersonal creative energies at play in the universe. Participants include Sister Joan Chittister; retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong; James Forbes Jr., of New York City's Riverside Church; Boston University's Stephen Prothero; the Reverend Scotty McLennan, Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University; and B. Alan Wallace, of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. Streaming video.


The Swedish Lutheran Church. 1992.  Credo: An introduction to the major religious traditions of Europe   1 streaming video file   (30 min.). 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. Streaming video.


TEDTalks Karen Armstrong--2008 TED Prize Wish,  charter for compassion. 2008.  1 streaming video file   (21 min.). Religious thinker and former nun Karen Armstrong has written more than 20 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have in common and how our faiths shaped world history and drive current events. Armstrong's 2008 TED Prize wish asks us to help her assemble the Charter for Compassion, a document around which religious leaders can work together for peace. In the fall of 2008, the first draft was written by the world via a sharing website and in February of 2009 the words of the world were collected and given to the Council of Conscience, a gathering of religious leaders and thinkers. The Charter was launched in November 2009.  Streaming video


Televangelism in Brazil. 1998.  Politics, Religion, and National Identity 1 streaming video file   (42 min.) . Until recently, Brazil was the world's most populous Catholic nation-until the Pentecostal Protestants began a televangelical campaign that has resulted in a national identity crisis. This program examines the TV ratings war between the Pentecostals and the Catholics, whose Charismatics are countering with television programming of their own. Additional insights are offered by Liberation theologian Leonardo Boff.  Streaming video

Ten Gospel manuscripts.19932.  Scribes, Scholars, and Saints: The Art of Celtic Manuscripts 1 Streaming video file   (26 min.). Ten early medieval manuscripts of the Gospels are preserved at Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy. This program introduces not only the most famous-the Book of Kells-but also the rest, including the Book of Durrow and the Cathach, the oldest surviving Biblical manuscript.  Streaming video


Testament early church and Jewish diaspora. 1998.  Religion: A World History  1 streaming video file   (52 min.). Using the book the Acts of the Apostles, this program traces the birth of Christianity to the development of the first Christian communities. Christian persecutions and the role of the catacombs as places of hiding and worship are discussed, along with the activities of the founders of the first synods, theologians Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, and Saint Augustine. An examination of the Jewish diaspora from ancient times to the present provides a valuable historical perspective on political events in Israel and the Middle East.  Streaming video


Three pillars Confucius, Jesus, and Mohammed. 1998.  Religion: A World History 1 streaming video file   (53 min.). The identities of the founders of three major religions-Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam-are studied in this program. The story of Confucianism and how its tenets spread to the Chinese social and political structure includes discussions about the yin (feminine principle) and the yang (masculine principle) The significance of Jesus as a prophet for Muslims, and God incarnate for Christians, is analyzed. Mohammed and the religion he created as codified in the Koran are examined. Temples, churches, and mosques are discussed as intrinsic to the practice of each religion.  Streaming video


Ties that bind connecting communities across religious boundaries. 2006.  1 streaming video file   (60 min.). Fundamentalism may be on the rise, but the American interfaith movement is also alive and well. This Emmy-nominated documentary follows seven women-all leaders in Chicago's Christian, Jewish, or Muslim communities-who have gathered to share views, express fears and concerns about the post-9/11 world, and build bridges of peace between their faiths. Participants include the Rev. Willie T. Barrow, chair emeritus of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet synagogue; and Karen Danielson, Public Education and Outreach Director for the Muslim American Society, Chicago chapter. Commentary is also provided by National Book Award-winning religion scholar Martin Marty and Interfaith Youth Core founder and executive director Eboo Patel. The DVD version includes a discussion guide and bonus disc featuring additional conversations and excerpts from a town hall meeting.  Streaming video


A time for burning. 1967.  1 videodisc (58 min.). The pastor of an all-white Lutheran church in Omaha, Nebraska tries to get his congregation to reach out to their fellow black Lutherans, only to find a wall of resistance among his church.  DVD 4251

Tracing Constantinople. 2010.  1 streaming video file   (54 min.). Built by Rome's first Christian emperor, legend has it that Constantinople was founded with the help of the angels, by divine decree. Throughout the conquest of successive empires the city has remained guardian of a rich spiritual heritage and center of the Eastern Orthodox world. Beginning with a recap of Constantinople's origins, this program offers a dazzling tour of Byzantine religious sites in and around Istanbul. The video explores the history, architecture, and mosaic icons of Hagia Sophia, the Church of Saint Irene, the Chora Church, and others, and also visits the holy springs at Baloukli. The Ecumenical Patriarchate and its significance to Eastern Orthodoxy is covered as well.  Streaming video.


Transjordan: Holy land, historical land. 2006.  Living Stones 2: Uncovering Ancient History: Living stones 2.  1 streaming video file   (28 min.). Transjordan-the Oultrejordain of Crusader times, known to the ancients as Edom and Moab-is steeped in biblical history. In this program, archaeologists Fawzi Zayadine, Mohammed Waheeb, and Carmelo Pappalardo attempt to match up biblical events with the terrain where it is said that they occurred. The refuge of Lot, the trail of the Exodus, the place of Jesus' baptism, Moses' vantage point on the summit of Mount Nebo, and early churches of the Madaba region are the focus of their exploration. In addition, Catreena Hamarneh, director of the Madaba Mosaic School, discusses the remarkable Madaba mosaics and their restoration.  Streaming video


Trials and triumphs in Rome Christianity in the 3rd and 4th centuries. 1999.  Two Thousand Years: The History of Christianity   1 streaming video file   (47 min.). 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. Streaming video.


True believers: Religion in today's China . 2011.  1 streaming video file   (24 min.). China is on the rise economically, but the post-Mao era has also seen an increasing hunger for something beyond material prosperity. From the novice Daoist monk honing tai chi skills atop a sacred mountain to the uncountable worshippers of the underground house church movement, this program reports on modern China's emboldened-yet still cautious-religious population. In the city of Wenzhou, evangelical pastor Zheng Datong agrees to be interviewed, despite secret police looking on. Pastor Samuel Lamb, another lightening rod for security surveillance, insists that "oppression simply leads to more believers," while Pastor Joseph Gu, leader of a mainstream Three-Self Patriotic Movement church, describes the rapid growth of his congregation. For a much different yet equally spiritual perspective, the film turns to Daoist kung-fu master Zhong Yunlong at the Wudong Mountain monastery, where a sacred shrine still attracts pupils and travelers.  Streaming video


The true image of the earth. 2004.  The Face of the World: A History of Human Exploration   1 streaming video file   (30 min.). Galileo's recantation in 1633 opened a gap between Christianity and science, a separation that widened as the first great age of European exploration came to a close. This program studies the second great age ushered in during the latter half of the 18th century amidst a thickening web of French and British colonialism-an age in which maps and charts facilitated political and economic objectives far more than religious concerns. In this program, the voyages of James Cook, the mapping of the Sahara, and the arbitrary partitioning of the Middle East clearly demonstrate the use of cartography in the service of empire.  Streaming video



The Twelve Apostles: History's great revolutionaries. 1999.  1 streaming video file   (90 min.). This program traces the lives and legacies of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ who spread his message of faith across the known world through the New Testament. Their devotion and resilience enabled Christianity to become a global religion with more than 2 billion followers today. Streaming video