The official release date for Heaven On Earth is January 2004
Religious doctrine has always directly influenced the evolution of art and architecture. The prohibition of representational art in the Koran led to the development of abstract, geometrical decoration in mosques; the spire of a medieval gothic cathedral is a representation in stone of human aspirations to reach a heaven that is, quite literally, in the sky above; the fact that Hinduism feels more at home with the sensual than most religions is obvious in its iconography.
Each programme deals with a different branch of faith --- from Christianity, Islam and Judaism to Buddhism, Hinduism and the ancient and all-encompassing creed of Paganism. Through the great shrines of each religion the civilisations that founded them are explored together with the art of their construction, the unity and division they have engendered and the devotion that sustains them today.
Spectacular location footage captures the beauty and scale of each sacred place, along with the experience of the pilgrims who travel there. Digital effects will show how the shrines would have appeared at the time of their foundation, revealing the mysteries of how they were built.
On one level the programmes exhibit the beautiful objects that have been created in the name of religion. On another level there is an insight into the universality of spiritual aspiration --- the manifestations may be different but the motivations are the same. This is true across cultures and across millennia. In addition the programmes take us to some remote and exotic locations, seldom seen on television before.
A winning combination of ‘Art’, ‘History’ and ‘Travel’ in one spectacular series.