Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years

Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years is a program that covers the different aspects of Christianity in the early stages. It highlights all of the persecution that Christians received when this religion started. It also covers the way that Christianity grew and how it originated. The first two thousand years of Christianity highlights all that early Christians experienced for holding on to their faith. It also discusses how the religion has grown in churches and throughout the world. It is an analysis of what Christians believe and how they have continued to grow in numbers despite the scrutiny they face.

1 Season, 8 Episodes
December 5, 2008
Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years

Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years Full Episode Guide

  • Christianity sees the rise of science, industry, and the modern nation-state, and for the first time church and state are separated. Narrated by Dorian Harewood.

  • Martin Luther, a lowly friar in a small German town, ignites a revolution that tears Christendom apart and reinvents it from within. The Protestants herald the end of the medieval world and the beginning of the modern age. Narrated by Dorian Harewood.

  • Overcoming threats, Western Christianity emerges as the driving force of civilization, leading Europe to unprecedented power and prestige. Narrated by Dorian Harewood.

  • By the year 1000, Christianity emerges as virtually the only faith in Western Europe, having survived a millennium of constant threat. But Western Europe is wracked by savage warfare, and to the south lies the greatest challenge of all--the Muslims. Narrated by Dorian Harewood.

  • The Golden Age of Christianity began, appropriately enough, on January 1st. On that day in the year 800, the Pope placed a crown on the head of the Frankish king Charlemagne, declaring him the new Holy Roman Emperor. "The Faith Conquers" details the enlightened reforms that Charlemagne instituted, which lifted Europe from the Dark Ages and cemented Christianity as the cornerstone of Western Civilization. At the same time, military campaigns spread the Word of God through the power of the sword, while monks in the east invented a new alphabet to translate the Bible into Slavic tongues. By the year 1,000, all of Europe was part of Christendom. But the destruction of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem by Muslim warriors foretold of the violence that was soon to come.

  • For 300 years, Christians were the target of violence and hatred in the Roman Empire. That changed overnight-literally-when the Emperor Constantine saw a vision of Jesus in a dream, the religion had gained its single most important convert. The clear evidence that Christianity was growing in power and influence leads many to question whether Constantine's conversion was genuine or a savvy political move. Here, experts on both sides of the issue agree that the effects of the conversion were more important than the reasons behind it. From the birth of the monastic movement to the shaping of the New Testament, "Church and Empire" traces the sweeping changes that eventually led to the triumph of the religion in the Western world, and the decline of the Roman Empire.

  • Five centuries after the death of Jesus, Rome fell to the Goths, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages. Yet on either end of the continent, Christianity continued to grow, though it would soon face a new challenge. "The Glory of Byzantium" visits the magnificent sites of the Byzantine Empire. There, where its Christian Emperors claimed the title of "Vice-Regent of God," learning and culture flourished, while Europe suffered through the Dark Ages. But a new threat emerged on their doorstep, as Islam swept from the Arabian sands to conquer half of Christendom in only 100 years. The eventual answer to this danger lay to the west, in Ireland and the British Isles, where the followers of St. Patrick established a network of monasteries. Scholars reveal how, in this remote land, a religious revival was born that would spread throughout Europe.

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