Revelations

Sunday, August 16 on 4

Film-maker Antony Thomas conducts in-depth interviews with leading figures in the five principal faiths in this country: Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Vincent Nichols, the recently appointed Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, Professor Tariq Ramadan and Swami Pramtattvadas. As well as addressing the “big questions”, including their concepts of God, heaven and hell, they speak frankly about their struggles and moments of doubt, about the divisions within their ranks and crimes that have been committed in the name of religion.

Sunday, August 9 on 4

Filmmaker Richard Alwyn has gained unprecedented access to a spiritualist church in East London to provide an intimate portrait of people whose worlds have been transformed by a belief in life beyond the grave. This poignant film about grief and loss lifts the lid on a belief system that many are quick to ridicule as Alwyn meets mediums and members of the congregation, and explores the different paths which have led them to the church. The film reveals how each person has a different story but all take comfort in their visits to the church.

Sunday, August 2 on 4

In Jewish law, it is the husband’s right to decide whether he will give his wife a divorce, called a Get . If he refuses her, the wife may be sentenced to years of living in a dead marriage. She cannot remarry in the Orthodox Jewish way, and any child she has from a new relationship is considered illegitimate. In Hebrew, she is called an Agunah : a “chained woman”. With rare access to the Orthodox Jewish community both here in the UK and also in Israel, this film explores the controversial world of Jewish divorce to find out why these apparently outmoded laws still hold sway.

Sunday, July 26 on 4

If you’re young, single and Muslim, finding love is getting increasingly difficult. Qualifications, height, job prospects and even complexion are high on the list of demands. At the Birmingham Central Mosque they think they have the answer; a Muslim Marriage Bureau. The Bureau has over 1,000 people on its books and Mr Haq and Mr Razzaq are the matchmakers. These two middle-aged men are at the vanguard of a Muslim marriage revolution. For them, the Bureau offers a third way, a space between the traditional arranged marriage and the Western dating scene.

Sunday, July 19 on 4

This observational documentary follows the work of exhumation specialist, Peter Mitchell, whose idiosyncratic profession has already seen him exhume 30,000 bodies – sometimes individuals, sometimes whole cemeteries – for reburial in new graves. This film follows Peter over several months, as he supervises the controversial exhumation of a Christian cemetery in Egypt: where some of the bodies have been buried for as little as just a few months; and where he also oversees a mass exhumation job at an old churchyard in Scotland.

Sunday, July 12 on 4

The last place you might expect to find a chaplain is on the frontline with the Royal Marines, dodging bullets in Afghanistan. Filmed earlier this year, this programme follows two Royal Marine chaplains, Nigel Beardsley and William Gates, as they travel around ‘their parish’ in Afghanistan, bringing faith to the frontline. Unlike the other armed services, they go wherever their parishioners need them and that often means putting themselves in the line of fire with nothing but their faith to protect them. It is a story not just of belief, but of heroism, human grit and the role of religion on the modern battlefield.

 

Sunday, July 5 on 4

Revelations: Muslim School traces the lives of two girls from very different backgrounds in their first year at a Muslim faith school. The Nottingham Islamia has opened its doors to cameras, giving a rare insight, through the eyes of two children, into what it means to have a Muslim education in Britain today. Seven-year-old Zara is third generation Pakistani, and Aysha, 12, is a white girl from a mixed English/ Pakistani family. Filmed over one year, the film captures Zara and Aysha’s lives both at school and at home as they make choices about their identity and beliefs.

Sunday, June 28 on 4

Revelations is a brand new strand of eight films that explore the impact religion has on the lives of believers and non-believers in Britain today. In the first film author and filmmaker Jon Ronson asks how agnostics come to Christianity. Increasingly, it’s through Alpha, a course devised many years ago in a well-heeled church in London’s Knightsbridge. But what happens on an Alpha course? And do agnostics really become Christians in just a few weeks? Jon Ronson investigates in his own inimitable way.

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