Decoding Christianity

6 x 52 min HD Documentary Series

So you think you know Christianity? You know its symbols, its shapes, its art and its rituals – but do you know what lies beneath them? How did they come into being, what do they represent, and why? This ground-breaking 6-part documentary series, unlocks the ‘codes’ of Christianity


  • Executive Producer – Stephen Ellis , Dave Farrell
  • Producer- Stephen Rooke , Michael Steinberg
  • Director – Stephen Rooke
  • Presenter: Christy Kenneally 
  • Writer – Alberta Nokes , Christy Kenneally
  • Researcher – David Ryan
  • Director Of Photography – Mick O’Rourke
RELEASE DATE: March 2008
GENRES: Documentary
SERIES FORMAT: 6 x 52 minute HD
SHOOT LOCATIONS: U.S., Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, the Czech Republic, France, Italy Wales, Ireland and Ethiopia


  • Channel 4 , S4c Wales , Smithsonian Networks, TG4 , Ur Sweden , Vision Tv

DECODING CHRISTIANITY provides a compelling new insight into both the artistic and the spiritual, decoding the signs, symbols, iconography, myths and miracles of Christianity.

In each episode, the presenter, Christy Kenneally begins by posing a key question that is fundamental to our understanding of Christianity – for instance, “What are angels, where do they come from and why do we believe in them?” He then sets out to find the answer to this question, investigating and decoding the signs, symbols, iconography, myths and miracles of Christianity. He seeks out the sources that hold the key to understanding our initial question and thus comes closer to decoding Christianity itself. Over six episodes, the presenter’s quest takes him to far-flung corners of the earth: from the primitive frescos in the catacombs of Rome, to the massive, colourful pilgrimage at Kulubi in Ethiopia, to the extraordinary Hill of Crosses in Lithuania, we are taken on a journey into Christianity in all its fascinating and colourful manifestations.

As our presenter’s quest progresses, he uncovers more mysteries. Tension builds as he is forced to ask questions of himself and his religion. He encounters experts, believers, enthusiasts, historians and holy people, all of whom help him on his quest to decode Christianity. As he continues his investigation, we are drawn into his personal journey of enlightenment and understanding.

Christy Kenneally realises that the spiritual and the artistic impulses are closely related. Throughout history, they have fed off each other: religion has inspired art and art has inspired religion. Through art and symbolism, the presenter decodes Christianity, unlocking its mysteries from the inside out.

Decoding Christianity is a Tile Films co-production with Vision TV international. The series was filmed in eleven countries including; the United States, Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Wales, Ireland, Ethiopia and the Philippines. The series is made with onscreen presentation in three languages; English, Irish and Welsh. It was co-produced by Tile Films for Smithsonian Channel USA, VisionTV Canada, S4C Wales, TG4 Ireland, UR Sweden and Channel 4 International UK


“The epic 6×50 minute series is the final part of a trilogy dating back to 2003 when with the support of TG4 in Ireland and S4C in Wales we started to develop the series Heaven on Earth looking at howethe six major religions of the world found expression through the Art and Architecture. This series was broadcast in 2004 and found widespread success and went on to be broadcast across the world on channels such as A&E History Channel International US, History Channel UK, History Channel Latin America, SRG SSR idée suisse – Switzerland, YLE Teema Finland and SBS Australia.

This first series was followed up by a series called The Lost Gods exploring the forgotten Gods of six ancient world civilizations. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Maya, Inca and the Celts. TG4 in Ireland and S4C in Wales were again on board and were joined by Vision TV in. As with the first series The Lost Gods had widespread appeal and did very well.

Through out the years when we were making Heaven on Earth and The Lost God many in the production team felt we should return to the theme of the Art and Architecture of Christianity because of the richness of the subject so it was fantastic when the main broadcaster partners signed up to the final part of the trilogy. “

Dave Farrell
Executive Producer

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