UK pubcaster BBC has unveiled new religion and ethics programming for 2017 across BBC1 and BBC2
On BBC1, Earth’s Sacred Wonders (3×60), explores how faith and religious belief have been a driving force in people’s creative expression. Each film will look at how humans have built awe-inspiring buildings and used stunning natural surroundings as places of worship.
Also on tap for BBC1, a strand of five films (5×40) that explore faith and ethical issues in major religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The docs feature a range of voices that explore issues of faith and ethics in new ways.
The first two commissions in the new strand are The Hotel For Refugees, a film about a small Irish Catholic community dealing with the impact of the arrival of Syrian refugees, and The Jews Of Canvey Island, which follows the North London Hasidic Jewish community as they relocate from urban Hackney to the greener pastures fields of Canvey Island in Essex in search of more affordable housing.
Elsewhere, The Pilgrimage (3×60) on BBC2 explores how relevant the medieval rites of pilgrimage are in today’s society. It follows a group of famous faces including Neil Morrissey, Debbie McGee, Heather Small, Ed Byrne, The Reverend Kate Bottley, Raphael Rowe and JJ Chalmers, as they join thousands of other pilgrims on an epic route through the Spanish landscape. The pilgrimage offers the celebrities the opportunity to reflect on their perspectives on questions of faith, ethical and spiritual issues.
Elsewhere on BBC2, the channel marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the doors of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg with the (1×60) special, Reformation. Historian David Starkey (pictured) tells the story of the Protestant Reformation and reveals how and why Luther’s defiance would gain such momentum. Starkey explores the consequences of Luther’s actions on Christianity and society at large.