11 episodes series - 30 minutes
|Duration||11 x 30'|
|Author and Director||Luca Trovellesi Cesana|
|Executive Producer||Diego Corvaro|
|Photogaphy||Pietro Jesus Di Stefano|
|Editing||Giorgio Di Stefano|
|Language||Spanish - Italian (1° episode also available in English)|
|Broadcaster||History Channel, Sky Arte|
A travel into the heart of religions and millennial beliefs all over the world, through their history and places of worship, their rituals and values, their ancient and modern symbols.
A fascinating journey to the four corners of the Earth (India, China, Turkey, Iran, Germany, USA, etc.). Protagonists will be the faithful, men and women, along with pastors, monks and spiritual leaders in general, that through their testimonies will lead us to discovery the real roots of faith. The series will include eleven episodes, each one dedicated to one of the following main religions and cults: Catholicism, Protestantism, Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Orthodox Church, Mormonism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism.
The posting of the 95 thesis in 1517 opens the way to a break within the Christian Church known as Protestantism. Since the beginning of the Reformation to this day, about 850 million faithfuls around the world have been joining one of the many Reformed Churches born on that very day. But who was the initiator of the Reformation? What is the Protestant theology based on? What changes occurred within the original Christian cult? We will start from Wittenberg our interesting journey to the roots of one of the aspects of Christianity, generated by the revolutionary ideas of one single man, which keep on living still today through the simplicity of life within Protestant congregations and through each of their daily activities. We will discover how the research of freedom is carried out as an expression of Unconditional Love of God. The music as the highest praise to the Lord. Baptism and Eucharist as the unique Sacraments founded by Jesus himself. The Protestant Reformation, come out from the courage of a zealous Augustinian monk who shook up Christianity to its very foundations: Martin Luther.
In the first half of the Nineteenth Century, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints was founded in the United States of America. After two centuries, it now has more than fifteen million faithful and hundreds of missions scattered throughout the world. But who is its founder? On what is its cult based? Why are its followers known as Mormons? Our journey will start from the small town of Palmyra, up to reach prosperous Salt Lake City in the Utah state. We will get to know the origins of one of the religions which have more widely spread in the American continent as well as in the rest of the world in the last two centuries, based on the revelations of Heaven to a fifteen-year-old boy. We will see how that original community has now turned into a world organization which everyday works for the common good. We will discover how the value of faith is lived as a family, that missionary activity and charity are the basis of every human relationship, that singing and music are the highest expression of love for creation. A great mission born from the faith and courage of a humble prophet of God... Joseph Smith.
The martyrdom and testimony of Peter marked the beginning of Catholic Church, the main branch of Christianity. Today about 1 billion 250 million faithfuls around the world are members of this community guided by the Holy father. But who was Jesus? How does his love act on men? How is the Church structured? From Jerusalem to Rome, we will get to know the roots of one of the most important religions in the world. Since the manifestation of Jesus Christ to mankind and his apostles, up to the creation of the first Christian communities whose heritage is still alive nowadays, in every single life moment of the faithful as well as of priests. We will see how the Missions scattered around the world are devoted to the proclamation of the Word and to aid those in need. The Art as a tool to express the beauty of Creation. The Sacraments as signs through which Lord's Grace operates. Rome as the spiritual and organizational center of Church. Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ as the essential truth of Christian Faith. The love of Peter, humble servant of the Lord who lead the way to the birth of Catholic Church.
After a long period of theological and political disputes, the Great Schism of 1054 marked the creation of the Orthodox Church. About 240 million faithfuls around the world feel this branch of Christianity as their own. But what was the role of Saint Paul? What are the national autocephalous churches? How important are the Holy Icons? Through this journey that will lead us from the Holy Land to Greece, we will discover the roots of one of the most traditionalist religions in the world. Since the manifestation of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago, his word was spread around the world through his apostles. Among them Paul, formerly opponent to the Christian church, after being converted spread the Christian belief up to Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece. He was actually the founder of the first Christian communities. Retracing the incredible story of Paul's conversion, the valiant missionary of Christ's Word who inspired the birth of the Orthodox Church, we will discover its main features, such as the importance of icons and Eucharist.
Lived around the VI century b. C., the old archivist at the imperial court Laozi, decided to leave his motherland, got tired of the corruption and decadence surrounding him. But before disappearing forever from China, he composed the Tao Te Ching”. It was the beginning of Taoist religion, today practiced by about 400 million faithful. But what is the TAO? Why are spontaneity and non-acting so important? Who are the immortal beings? Through a long journey to the cultural and social heart of China, Beijing, we will get to the very roots of Taoism. We will visit the site of Qufu and the Dai Temple, the biggest architectural complexes of ancient China, and will enter the life of monasteries to witness up-close how Laozi's teachings are still the basis of the daily life of monks. We will discover the function of the Meditation, as a technique to re-balance the internal energy. The Art as a reproduction of the naturalness of creation. The Ki as the ancestral energy present within all men. Yin and Yang as the couple of essential principles generated by Tao, the absolute origin of every form of life.
Starting from Ur, present day located in Iraq, Abraham heard the Lord's voice and lead his people to Palestine. Jews accepted the eternal Alliance becoming the God's Chosen People. The first Monotheism in history was born, with millions of faithful living today all around the world. But who were its Patriarchs? What does Bible represent? What are the people of Israel called upon to? This intense journey will lead us to visit one of the holiest sites in mankind's history: the Holy Land. From Palestine, where Abraham made the covenant wit Yahvè and Jews became the God's Chosen people, up to Jerusalem, where the Sacred Temple was built. We will get to know how difficult is the learning process of the codes of Jewish Law, the “Halakhah” and how those precepts are still today represented by every action of daily life of believers. We will discover how the desire of love and justice are intimately woven in their manifestation. The Rabbi as a leader in the service of community gathering in the synagogue. The Bar Mitzvà as a life transition to the adult phase. The liturgical year marked by Saturday as the God's day. Jerusalem as the sacred seat of the Temple. The People of Israel chosen by God for the eternal Covenant with Abraham, the first patriarch of Judaism.
2600 years ago, in India, a young prince leaved the life he was entitled to and took a long path of meditation that brought him to the lighting. From that day on, the number of worshippers who profess the Buddhist faith has been increasing up to 550 million. But who is Buddha? Which are the Truths he found out? What is this worship based on? Through a long journey from India to Taiwan, between past and present, we will visit some of the most symbolic places which marked the history of a transcendental character of spirituality, the Buddha. We will know the city of Bodhgaya, where prince Siddharta reached the “enlightenment”, arriving to Taiwan, in the Monastery Fo Guang Shan, where stands the biggest statue of Buddha in the world. There we will see how the Buddha's teachings are implemented still today in every daily action of the monks. We will realize that Compassion is the real Wisdom in our existence. We will get to know meditation as a method to get the awareness of oneself; the monks as diligent guardians of the ancient worship; the Four Noble truths as the origin and foundation of Buddhism, a religion born in the deep path towards the enlightenment walked by Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Buddha.
When Mohammed died, in 632 A.D., his followers started struggling on whom had to inherit and carry on his work. According to some of them, the predestined was Alì, cousin and son-in-low of the Prophet. It was the birth of that form of Islam known as Shiism that today has more than 150 millions of worshippers. But what is the Koran? Who is Alì? What is the role of the ayatollah? We will go to Iran, embarking on a suggestive journey to the most important country that made up the “Shia Half-Moon”. In Mashaad we will visit the biggest Mosque of the earth, a wonder of the Islamic world, destination of thousand of pilgrims every year. The museum holds more than a hundred precious copies of the Koran, sacred text of Islam that contains the revelation that the holy Lord himself gave to Mohammed through the angel Gabriel. We will go to Qom, the most important city for Shia studies. We will discover the figures of the ayatollah, considered as genuine reflexes of God in the earth for Shiism, the biggest minority of Islam originated by the fidelity of Alì to Mohammed, the last and final messenger of God.
Between IX and XVIII B.C., Persian prophet Zoroaster received from the God creator of everything, Ahura Mazda, the revelation of the process of salvation for mankind. This is how Zoroastrianism was born, one of the oldest religion in the world that today has about 250.000 worshippers. But who is the mystical Zoroaster? What is the Avesta? What characterises the Mazdaean worship? We will enter into Zoroastrianism pushing us towards the most mysterious areas of Iran. This is where the tomb of the revered prophet lies, a historical figure still shrouded in darkness. In Persepolis we will visit the evocative remains of the ancient Persian Empire, following archaeological traces that will lead us to the places of the known Magi, followers too of the Mazdean belief. The basic principle of Zoroastrianism is the existing dualism between the forces of good and evil. But thanks to the revelations contained in the Avesta, the sacred text written by Zoroaster, it is possible to follow the path of goodness that leads to justice and happiness. In the city of Yazd we will visit the Temple of Fire where there is a flame lit since the beginning of time. Here the millennial Mazdean cult is still held, the ancient faith founded by Zoroaster, a God's messenger sent to the mankind.
Around 610 AD., Allah revealed Himself to Mohammed giving him the task to disseminate his Word in the world. It is the beginning of Islam, monotheistic religion that in Sunni Islam has its main form with more than 1 billion 600 million worshippers. But who is Mohammed? What does Islam mean? What are the Five Pillars? In order to know the Sunni Islam we will go to Turkey. In Istanbul we will visit many Ottoman-style mosques, among them the magnificent Blue Mosque. Here we will know the ritual of the Islamic prayer that, together with the two testimonies of faith, the fast of Ramadan, the pilgrimage to the Mecca and the charity, represent the Five Pillars of Islam. We will enter the Muslim spirituality visiting a Sufi centre where the dervishes whirl elegantly around themselves reaching the mystical ecstasy. At the Museum of Islamic Art we will discover the enchanting Muslim aesthetic, yet without seeing any depiction of the Prophet. In the Koran, in fact, any form of idolatry is categorically forbidden. Islam, a religion revealed to humanity by the seal of the prophets: messenger Mohammed.
About 5.000 years ago, in the current India, a series of currents of thought and devotion were born forming the religion known as Hinduism. Currently there are about one billion Hindu worshippers in the world. But which are the main worshipped deities? What principles is Hinduism based on? What is the reincarnation? In this intense journey to the Indian peninsula we will enter into the fascinating and complex Hindu universe, where Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu rule the pantheon of the many worshipped deities. We will go to Varanasi, the city washed by the sacred Ganges where still today thousands of worshippers perform ancestral rituals, including the one of cremating their dead people in high pyres of fire and scattering their ashes in water. According to Hinduism, in fact, the soul of humans and animals keep on reincarnating time after time in various forms until they reach the perfection. It is in this way that everyone's life is the result of the experience in his previous lives, under the law of Kharma that governs all creation. A Tiruvannamalai we will visit the picturesque Ashram of Sri Ramanaya, a guru who will lead us into the heart of the message of Hinduism, the most ancient religion in the world.