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Among Believers

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. The story of medieval Jews struggling to preserve their identity--and sometimes their lives--under the rule of Christianity and Islam. Whether labelled 'Christ-killers' by the Christians or 'dhimmi' (non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic community) by the Muslims, diaspora Jews built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in exile in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution interspersed with periods of tolerance, protection and peaceful co-existence. Drawing on some of the documents they left behind, this episode offers a vivid portrait of Jewish bankers, merchants, doctors, poets and artists flourishing in Lincoln, Cordoba, Venice and Cairo and tells the story of their mass expulsion from Spain in 1492.
Series: The Story of the Jews

The Ming

   2016    History
The tale of one of China's most famous dynasties begins with the amazing story of Hongwu, a peasant rebel who founded one of greatest eras in Chinese history. The film takes us to his great capital Nanjing, with its 21 miles of walls, each brick stamped with the name of the village that made it. Following the trail, we go to the Bao family village and see the villagers act a Ming murder story. Like many authoritarian states, the Ming were obsessive about architecture. We see the giant fortifications of the Great Wall, the ritual enclaves of the Forbidden City in Beijing and travel with bargeman Mr Hu down the Grand Canal, China's great artery of commerce right up to the present day. We then hear about Admiral Zheng He's voyages to Africa and the Gulf decades before Columbus, watch the construction of an ocean-going wooden boat 250ft long, and hitch a ride on a replica Ming junk in the South China Sea. As state prosperity grew, so did a rising middle class. Wood looks at Ming culture in Suzhou, the 'Venice of China'. Staying in a merchant's house, he discovers the silk, ceramic and lacquer-making industries, and visits one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Then on to Macao and the arrival of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, who hoped to convert China to Christianity. In the cathedral in Beijing, we learn more about these fateful exchanges with the west. Finally in Shaoxing, we visit the house of the 'Ming Proust' and at grassroots the Zhao family in Fujian where the film ends in an elegiac mood with the fall of the Ming in 1644.
Series: The Story of China

Clash of the Gods:Thor

   2009    Culture
Idolized in ancient Norse mythology as the protector god, Thor battles evil ogres and a giant serpent bent on destroying mankind. It's the quintessential fight for survival that culminates in a final showdown between good and evil. But was the rise and fall of the hero Thor ancient code for something greater? Today, new discoveries unlock the hidden truth behind the Norse god of Thunder. Able to wield thunder from his hammer, Thor was the most revered of the Norse gods, from fending humanity from the giants that brought calamity, to his pursuit of the Midgard Serpent. Though, his fate is told to sealed during Ragnarok, it is actually the invasion of Christianity that proves far more damning to this mighty god.
Series: Clash of the Gods

Did Darwin kill God

   2009    Science
There are some who believe that Darwin's theory of evolution has weakened religion. Conor Cunningham argues that nothing could be further from the truth.He travels to the Middle East where he shows that from the very outset, Christianity warned against literal readings of the biblical story of creation. In Britain, he reveals that, at the time, Darwin's theory of evolution was welcomed by the Anglican and Catholic Churches. Instead, he argues that the conflict between Darwin and God was manufactured by American creationists in the 20th century for reasons that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with politics and morality. Finally, he comes face to face with some of the most eminent evolutionary biologists, geneticists and philosophers of our time to examine whether the very

The Normans: Normans of the South

   2010    History
Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam co-existed in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character. In 1095, the Normans enthusiastically answered the Pope's call for holy war against Islam and joined the first crusade. They lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually helped win back the holy city from the muslims. This bloody conquest left a deep rift between Christianity and Islam which is still being felt to this day.
How the Universe Works Season 6
How the Universe Works Season 6

   2018    Science
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

   2013    History
The Story of Science
The Story of Science

   2010    History
The Gene Code
The Gene Code

   2011    Science
One Strange Rock
One Strange Rock

   2018    Nature
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science