Religion is part of human history, our society today and the processes of deep social change--right, left and center. As such, it is an important topic to be understood by any political left seeking changes in consciousness. Here we are not so much concerned with 'truth' or 'falsehood' regarding religion and faith, as we are with the role it plays in the lives of people, and the uses to which it is put by all classes.
This far-ranging exploration of biblical history, in 3.5 hours of video covering 7000 years of history, makes use of archival footage of previous archaeological excavations, maps, biblical illustrations and computer animation, revealing ancient architecture, cuneiform tablets and other rare artifacts. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this enthralling documentary features interviews with archaeological specialists and biblical scholars from all over the world, including experts from the Louvre, the Museum of Cairo, the Museum of Jerusalem, and the British Museum. The Bible Unearthed does something which has never been done before: it reveals a still-unraveling revolution of what we know of the society, the history, and the men who wrote the Bible.Access Here
Weber, the Protestant Ethic and Capitalism
In his first major work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber argues that the Protestant faith, especially Luther's notion of "calling" and the Calvinist belief in predestination set the stage for the emergence of the capitalist spirit. With his more complex understanding of the causes of capitalism, Weber accounts for the motivations of capitalists and the spirit of capitalism and rationalization in ways that Marx does not. 50-minute lecture by Yale's Iván SzelényiAccess here
The Protestant Revolution
Historian Tristram Hunt looks at how Protestantism has affected people’s lives in The Protestant Revolution. This is a story of a revolution which has affected every person in the West, and nearly every country in the world. It is a revolution which influences the very fabric of existence – from what we do for a living, to who we vote for, who we go to war with and how we see ourselves as individuals and as nations. Four one-hour videos.Access here
Islam: Empire of Faith
15 PBS Videos, about 15 minutes each. Islam, followed by more than a billion people worldwide, is the worlds fastest-growing religion and will soon be the world's largest. Islam: Empire of Faith explores the first millennium of Islamic cultures,from the revelation of Prophet Muhammad ( P.B.U.H ) to the greatest Islamic empires. The accessible overview shatters stereotypes and enlightens readers - both Muslim and non Muslim alike to the many of contemporary Muslim civilization.Access Here
Through the Wormhole:
A Journey Through the Science of God
Hosted by Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole will explore the deepest mysteries of existence - the questions that have puzzled mankind for eternity. What are we made of? What was there before the beginning? Are we really alone? Is there a creator? These questions have been pondered by the most exquisite minds of the human race. Now, science has evolved to the point where hard facts and evidence may be able to provide us with answers instead of philosophical theories. Through the Wormhole will bring together the brightest minds and best ideas from the very edges of science - Astrophysics, Astrobiology, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, and more - to reveal the extraordinary truth of our Universe.Access Here
Religion Without A God: Life of the Buddha
This documentary covers the life of Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince from India who went out to find the reason for "Dukkha" [problems] of human life. He later found the reason of Dukkha and teached a way to live life. He was later known as the Buddha, the founder of "Buddhism".Access Here
A 90-minute documentary on how ideas of gods and the deity have changed through time. It features some of the work of theologian Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs. The film traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Karen Armstrong makes a good effort at distilling the intellectual history of monotheism.
ZEN IN AMERICA. Zen in America is a multi-part documentary series on Zen Buddhism in North America. Still in production, the series on Zen, both a nontheistic religion and an approach to life, will introduce viewers to Zen's history in North America through first-hand accounts and experiences. Dozens of its components are available already. Access Here
The Gospel According to St. Matthew Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian Communist fimmaker, in deciding to make this two hour film, read all four Gospels straight through, and he claimed that adapting a film from one of them "threw in the shade all the other ideas for work I had in my head." Unlike previous depictions, Pasolini's film does not embellish the biblical account with any literary or dramatic inventions, nor does it present an amalgam of the four Gospels. Pasolini stated that he decided to "remake the Gospel by analogy" and the film's sparse dialogue all comes directly from the Bible.
Given Pasolini's well-known reputation as an atheist, a homosexual, and a Marxist, the reverential nature of his film was surprising. At a press conference in 1966, Pasolini was asked why he, an unbeliever, had made a film which dealt with religious themes; his response was, "If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief." The film begins with an announcement that it is "dedicato alla cara, lieta, familiare memoria di Giovanni XXIII" ("dedicated to the dear, joyous, familiar memory of Pope John XXIII").