Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Does anyone know a good DVD series on the History of the Church?

I'm sure EWTN must have something that would be good content--but I want more than just talking heads.

I was disappointed with a recent purchase (which I returned today) from Koorong. I should have known better, as it was produced by the "History Channel" in the States. It was a 4 DVD set called "Christianity: the First Thousand Years" and "Christianity: the Second Thousand years". The contents are listed here on Wikipedia. And you can read some reviews here on Amazon. You will see that there are a variety of opinions among the reviewers, but I go with the guy who lists the following outright falsehoods contained proposed by the series:
1) James, not Peter, was the leader of the first Christian community.
2) The role of women in the early Church.
3) The film says that the three-fold hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon was "proposed" by Ignatius of Antioch, in the 100s A.D..
4) Not once in the first disc of the film is it mentioned that the orthodox branch of Christianity was known as "the Catholic Church".
5) The DVD says that Pope Saint Leo I was the first Pope to assert authority over the East.
6) In Disc 2, Post-Reformation Catholicism is passed off as completely anti-intellectual and anti-technology.
7) The series ends on a negative note with the document "Dominus Iesus".
8) The Church in Colonial America is presented as pro-slavery, with certain exceptions among friars.
9) The lie that Pope Pius XII did nothing to help Jews is told in this documentary.

Other errors could be listed, but that is good for starting with. Add to this the so-called experts that they wheel on to verify their claims: Elaine Pagels of Gnostic gospel fame, and John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar!!!

So, back to the original question: anyone know any decent audiovisual material on Church history out there?

1 Comments:

At Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:12:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

I'm always alarmed at the folks here in the U.S. who have been told that the History Channel is really, seriously a "history" channel.

I wonder if Ignatius Press would have something along the lines you're looking for, David.

 

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