The Protestant Revolution (2007) BBC Four

The Politics Of Belief

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Video Description

In the series opener, historian Tristram Hunt uncovers how a debate about religion in 16th-century Germany sparked a political revolution. From the bloody battlefields of medieval Germany, to the civil wars of the 1640s in Britain, Protestantism unleashed a series of revolutions and wars that rippled across Europe. And the reverberations of the Reformation continue to this day. The programme explores how the role of Protestantism has influenced the current conflict in the Middle East and the foreign policy of George W Bush.

Protestantism inspired a new way of thinking; a challenge to authority that has crossed centuries and continents. Martin Luther's challenge to the Pope in the 16th century inspired conservatives and radicals alike, and its history is one of conflict, challenge and rebellion – from the early religious radicals in Germany, to the founding of the British Labour Party and the Civil Rights movement in Fifties America. The Protestant Revolution unravels how a breakaway form of Christianity has come to shape the political landscape of the modern world.

Source: BBC

Documentary Description

(Only Part 1 is available)

Four-part documentary series in which historian Tristram Hunt explores the scientific, cultural, economic and political aspects of Protestantism. Historian Tristram Hunt looks at how Protestantism has affected people's lives in The Protestant Revolution, a new, four-part series for BBC Four.

This is a story of a revolution which has affected every person in the West, and nearly every country in the world. It is a revolution which influences the very fabric of existence – from what we do for a living, to who we vote for, who we go to war with and how we see ourselves as individuals and as nations. The series investigates the scientific, cultural, economic and political aspects of the movement with the aid of key academic witnesses, and concludes that the reach of Protestantism is so profound that it is impossible to imagine the modern world without it. The series explores how the revolutionary nature of the Reformation shaped the world we live in today, from modern art to the war in Iraq.

When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door, he unleashed a revolution in thought and events which would have both astonished and horrified him. From modern capitalism to the shape of the nuclear family, Protestantism has moulded the Western world in its image, and this is the dramatic story of how and why that happened. Tristram says: "Now that the traditional culture of Protestantism has fallen away in the UK, I wanted to show just how elemental a force this religion has been in shaping our modern world. "From the books we read, to the political parties we vote for, to the ways we live and love, the Protestant revolution continues to reverberate. "As Britain struggles with its sense of national identity and as the forces of evangelical Protestantism grow across the world an understanding of this faith, its meanings and legacy seems more vital than ever."


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