|01||In The Beginning Was Sinning||20130210||20130819|
Three programmes in which the Rev Richard Coles excavates the ideas of sin and atonement across time and the world, from the dawn of ethics to the full force of Judeo-Christian damnation and salvation.
The Devil is blue, pot-bellied, seated on a languorous green serpent, and is three-quarters through a hearty meal of haunch-of-human. Around him, men hang from gibbets or spew from the three tongues of red fire which are the rivers of Hell. For the medieval master Giotto, sin had a very real form. And for the faithful who came to worship with Enrico di Scrovegni in his chapel in Padua in northern Italy, the price of human error, was firmly rammed home by the vast glowing fresco that met their gaze as they left the chapel to go back out into the vice-filled medieval city. Scrovegni too had sin very firmly on his mind, because the chapel he built was his family penance for the sin of usury of which they stood accused.
From primitive man, through the development of notions of indulgence, guilt and retribution, to the full force of medieval tormented souls and Dante's circles of Hell, Rev Richard Coles explores the ideas of sin and atonement.
'Sin' is a Christian concept, yet to what extent are the essential elements that constitute it - error and disorder - equally essential parts of other world religions, underpinning populations with very different belief systems in cultures from Asia to the Americas?
In this first programme, Richard explores what exactly is meant by sin, and its origins in man's earliest ethical structures. And he travels to Italy to discuss some of the world's most graphic illustrations of the consequences of sin and wrongdoing - in Siena's depictions of the satanic figure of Tyranny and Giotto's extraordinary frescoed Last Judgement in Padua.
Producer: Simon Elmes.
In this first programme, Richard explores what exactly is meant by sin, and its origins in man's earliest ethical structures. And he travels to Italy to discuss some of the world's most graphic illustrations of the consequences of sin - in Florence's Baptistery and Giotto's extraordinary frescoed Last Judgement in Padua.
|02||Lead Me Not Into Temptation||20130217||20130822|
The Rev. Richard Coles continues his series exploring the idea of sin by tackling temptation and the way sin has become not merely an archaic idea in many contemporary societies but a positively attractive tool in the hands of commerce and advertising. He talks to senior figures in the advertising industry about the rise of the 'naughty but nice' school of commercial and explores the way Sin has been marginalised by modern secular societies while remaining central to others. Can the law operate entirely without reference to sin and 'in this world of sin' are children still being encouraged to establish values and judgements that owe their origins to religious ideas of sin and good.
Producer - Tom Alban.
|03 LAST||Sunday Feature||20130224||20130823|
The Reverend Richard Coles visits Lincoln Cathedral, the focus of Medieval pilgrimage, to begin the last of his series exploring contemporary and historical ideas about sin. Having looked at the central place Temptation still has for many in both religious and secular societies the attention now swings to methods of redemption, purification and the goodness that is defined only by its counter to the idea of sin.
Bathing in the Ganges, Islamic Pilgrimage and the Hajj and Christian pilgrimage are all constructed around notions of cleansing and redemption. But Richard also hears from figures from the environmental movement who suggest that attitudes and actions to our natural world might also be construed in terms which resonate with the conventional spiritual ideas of redemption.
Producer: Tom Alban.