Norwegian Lutheranism (03:39)
Christian Priest Peter Owen-Jones visits the Christmas House in Norway, meeting "Santa Claus" and pondering materialism as religion. The Saint Nick legend is inspired by the Sami, descendants of nomadic reindeer herders. He attends a baptism at a Protestant church.
Sami Shamanism (07:12)
Owen-Jones visits Norwegians practicing European Animism, a nature based faith; he witnesses a yoik and discusses religious philosophy with a fellow British camp member. He explores the wilderness with the head Shaman; they listen, and interpret river sounds.
Lithuanian Judaism (09:51)
An elderly woman gives Owen-Jones a tour of an abandoned Jewish temple, recalling Nazi murders and local corruption. He witnesses a Shabbat prayer service at the nation's last synagogue. He laments Martin Luther's anti-Semitic teachings, and their use by Christian Nazis to defend the Holocaust.
The Hill of Crosses (03:02)
Soviet Communists force Atheism on citizens, killing one million Catholics; thousands of crucifixes don a mound in Lithuania. When Russian authorities destroyed it in 1961, they trigger the Battle of the Crosses; locals build the monument back at night. Owen-Jones adds to the 50,000 piece collection.
Russian Orthodoxy (05:54)
The Soviet Union was the first state to officially purge religion; before the Bolshevik Revolution, one million faithful were attending 80,000 temples. The church again flourishes; Owen-Jones witnesses an Epiphany ceremony at Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Owen-Jones meets with a Russian atheist outside a rebuilt cathedral; he asserts that Communist dogma has replaced the church's and that his higher authority is science. The host attends a debating society meeting where members discuss practical morality.
Hare Krishna (02:10)
Owen-Jones enjoys a procession on a Moscow street. He marvels at the Hindu sect's exuberant celebrations in juxtaposition to their conservative lifestyle values.
Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhism (04:09)
Owen-Jones travels to Kalmykia Republic, home to nomadic Mongol herder descendants. He visits a temple, where monks and the faithful chant to gain meditative states. Russian authorities deny the Dalai Lama access to the community.
Benedictine Monasticism (05:00)
Owen-Jones travels to Catholicism's birthplace; he visits a thousand year old monastery and is taken to an evening prayer service upon arrival. Monks must stay on site, speak very little, and keep a rigid prayer schedule.
The Damanhur Experiment (09:12)
Owen-Jones visits a commune, whose spirituality is based on New Age principles; his guide explains the artistic philosophies and beliefs regarding energy fields. The host listens to music created by plants; he explores the eight halls of the temple thirty meters underground.
Series Conclusion: Rituals (03:15)
Having explored 80 religions around the globe, Owen-Jones' journey ends; he visits Long Man of Wilmington near his Sussex home. He reflects on the faithful and their philosophies; he believes ideologies demonizing others are dangerous and much can be learned from inclusive faiths.
Credits: Europe (00:28)
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