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Filmography - Belief Systems, Paganism: Home

Titles on DVD and streaming as of June 2018


Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2018.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentication 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. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library catalog.


Against the Christians. 1 online resource (1 video file (50 min., 5 sec.)). How does Christianity gain ground in the Empire? Why do Pagan intellectuals fight against Christianity? Where does monotheism stand in the 3rd century? Why do the emperors Decius and Valerian suddenly begin persecuting Christians? How can they avoid being put to death? What are Diocletian's reasons for starting "the Great Persecution"? Streaming video.    

The burning times. 90, 1 videodisc (56 min., 10 sec.). An in-depth look at the witch persecutions that swept through Europe during the Middle Ages. Of those killed, 85 percent were women. An exploration of the process whereby the old pagan communities were destroyed by Church authorities, fear, and misogyny. DVD 6302 and DVD and Streaming video.

Essentials of faith: paganism. 1 streaming video file (24 min.). Drawing on ancient spirituality, most pagans sum up their chosen form of worship within a modern "green" context. Some follow druidry, others wicca, while a third brand promotes the shamanism of hunter-gatherer cultures. This program sheds light on various examples of pagan devotion put forward by four observers of ancient religious rites and customs. Through straightforward explanations and heartfelt expression, the sundry shapes and species of Paganism are explained by Druid priestess Emma Restall Orr, Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol, British coven organizer Jeanette Ellis, and shamanic practitioner Leo Rutherford. Streaming video.   

The films of Kenneth Anger the complete magick lantern cycle. 2010, 2 videodiscs (ca. 179 min.). Collection of films by Kenneth Anger. "A major influence on everything from the films of Martin Scorsese, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and David Lynch to the pop art of Andy Warhol to MTV, Anger's work serves as a talisman of universal symbols and personal obsessions, combining myth, artifice and ritual to render cinema with the power of spell or incantation."--Container. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 3298.   

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Vladimir Smashes the Idols of the Rus. 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 33 minutes).  Observe the marriage of Vladimir, the Grand Duke of Kiev, to Princess Anna, the sister to Byzantine Emperor Basil II, a deal brokered so Vladimir will send mercenary troops to Constantinople. Following the wedding, Vladimir makes it his mission to convert his land to Christianity by fiat and suppress paganism, thus founding the Russian Orthodox Church. Streaming video.   

Marketa Lazarová. 2013, 2 videodiscs (165 min.). This stirring and poetic depiction of a feud between two rival medieval clans is a fierce, epic, and meticulously designed evocation of the clashes between Christianity and Paganism, humankind and nature, and love and violence. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2904 and Streaming video.

The mists of Avalon. 2001, 1 videodisc (183 min.). The mists of Avalon follows the women of Avalon from their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies in the battle between Christianity and Paganism that threatens to bring down Arthur's kingdom. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6488.  

Return of the Pagans. 1 online resource (1 video file (48 min., 45 sec)). Once paganism was seen as an antiquated belief system that modern frameworks had made redundant. Now it is claimed paganism is one of the fastest growing religions in the UK and US. Have the pagan gods of nature given us a new haven for spirituality? Or is it a superficial entertainment for lost westerners? The Panel Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics Eileen Barker, philosopher at the University of London Stephen Law, science journalist, author, and broadcaster Angela Saini, and writer, broadcaster and co-founder of the College for Enlightened Agriculture, Colin Tudge debate the pagan resurgence. Streaming video.   

Rome. 1 streaming video file (49 min.). In 312 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine-the man who transformed Christianity from a clandestine handful of followers of Jesus Christ into one of the world's great religions with a global reach of over two billion worshipers-is believed to have had some sort of religious epiphany or vision that converted him from Paganism to the new faith of Christianity. This transformed a persecuted cult into a religion of power and privilege within the Empire-with Constantine as de facto head of both state and church. Michael Portillo uses his politician's mind to unravel the process by which Constantine and the church came together and questions how ruthless imperialism came to be reconciled with Christ's pacifist, altruistic values - 'blessed are the meek blessed are the poor'. Streaming video.    

Sacred Wonders of Britain. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). Neil Oliver goes in search of Bronze and Iron Age sites that were sacred to ancient Britons, with water seen not just as a source of life, but also of reverence. At Flag Fen near Peterborough he discovers a vast ancient causeway. At Maiden Castle's hill fort in Dorset he unearths evidence of human sacrifices to ward off evil spirits. Neil travels to Anglesey, where Druids deposited Iron Age artifacts and were viewed as religious extremists by the Romans. The invaders recognized Celtic gods but also brought their own, making the natural spring at Bath one of the most sacred sites in Roman Britain Finally Neil goes to Lullingstone's Roman villa in Kent, where covert mosaic messages mark the transition to Christianity that swept away the old religions and changed Britain forever. Streaming video.   

Tale of Three Cities. 1 streaming video file (51 min.). In the first episode, Montefiore uncovers the city's ancient Greek roots, maps its transformation into the imperial capital of a Christian empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, and reveals how ecclesiastical clashes forced Eastern and Western churches apart. In this series, Simon Sebag Montefiore traces the sacred history of Istanbul. Known as the 'city of the world's desire,' it's a place that has been the focus of passion for believers of three different faiths-Paganism, Christianity, and Islam -and for nearly 3,000 years its streets have been the battleground for some of the fiercest political and religious conflicts in history. Streaming video.   

When God Was a Girl. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). Travelling across the Mediterranean and Near East to some of the world's oldest sacred places, in this program Bettany Hughes finds evidence that women were part of the very birth of organized religion. Hughes studies Minoan snake goddess figurines and female representations at sites throughout Turkey, and explains how societal changes saw the worship of Zeus and other male gods begin to diminish reverence for the feminine divine. Hughes also attends a Durga festival in India and learns what this goddess means to her devotees. Streaming video.   

The wicker man. 2001, 2 videodiscs (88 min., 99 min.). When a young girl mysteriously disappears, Police Sergeant Howie travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate. But this pastoral community, led by the strange Lord Summerisle, is not what it seems as the devout Christian detective soon uncovers a secret society of wanton lust and pagan blasphemy. Can Howie now stop the cult's ultimate sacrifice before he himself comes face-to-face with the horror of the Wicker Man? HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6542.   

Work and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England. 1 online resource (streaming video file). Plunge into the substance of daily life for Anglo-Saxons of all social levels, including illness and mortality, the transition from paganism to Christianity, farming, trade, or even raiding. What is clear is that there is tremendous variation in the economic and religious experience of the population. Streaming video.   

Ye gods: religion and art. 1 streaming video file (49 min.). This program considers the debt Western civilization owes to paganism, Christianity, and Islam, showing how each religion has influenced the other and how the art of all three continues to exert an effect on the world. Highlighting the lifelike sculptures of ancient Greece that celebrate what it is to be human; the primitive daubs in Roman catacombs, shimmering Byzantine mosaics, and Renaissance crucifixion scenes; and the dazzling arabesques of Egyptian, Turkish, and Spanish mosques, Matthew Collings points out the common humanity underlying three significantly different worldviews. Streaming video.