A History of Christianity (TV series)

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This article is about one TV series. For other uses, see History of Christianity (disambiguation).

A History of Christianity is a six-part British television series originally broadcast on BBC Four in 2009. The series was presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch and was repeated on BBC Two in 2010.


The aim of the BBC was to produce "a new 'landmark' series which will examine the origins of Christianity and the relevance of the faith in the modern world".[1]

Presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of History of the Church at St Cross College Oxford, the series considers the evolution of the Christian faith and its four main forms: Orthodoxy, Oriental Christianity, Western Catholicism and Protestantism.


# Title Directed and produced by Original airdate
1 "The First Christianity" Gillian Bancroft 5 November 2009 (2009-11-05)
Details how Christianity's origins lie east of Jerusalem and Rome.
2 "Catholicism: The Unpredictable Rise of Rome" Sian Salt 12 November 2009 (2009-11-12)
Explores the rise of Roman Catholic Church.
3 "Orthodoxy – From Empire to Empire" Sian Salt 19 November 2009 (2009-11-19)
Explores Eastern Orthodox Christianity's fight for survival.
4 "Reformation: The Individual Before God" Gillian Bancroft 26 November 2009 (2009-11-26)
Looks at the Reformation and its attack on the Catholic Church.
5 "Protestantism – The Evangelical Explosion" Gillian Bancroft 3 December 2009 (2009-12-03)
Traces the growth of Evangelical Protestantism across the globe.
6 "God in the Dock" Sian Salt 10 December 2009 (2009-12-10)
Examines the concept of scepticism in Western Christianity.


One reviewer of the DVD set commented: "Diarmaid is certainly well-educated, and his knowledge of Christian history seems to be quite vast. And while he has his book knowledge, he seems to be genuinely excited about the subject he's discussing. He presents the first years of Christianity in a factual way, in a manner that's enthusiastic but doesn't belie his own personal beliefs. For all we know Diarmid could be a Buddhist, such is his presentation of the facts. He seems excited, but not showing a certain bias either way[2]"

Another reviewer of the DVD set commented: "What has surprised many of us is MacCulloch's vehement hostility, even hatred, which he seems to express with regard to the Pope. This does not bode well for a balanced television series funded at Catholic licence payers expense[3]"


A book, published in September 2009, is available.

The series was released on DVD on 1 February 2010 with the title, A History Of Christianity.


External links[edit]