Jerusalem: Center of the World

Jerusalem: Center of the World

Tue, 10/18/2011 - 7:00pm

This epic film about one of the most fascinating and complicated cities in the world draws on religious texts, the science of archaeology and the oral traditions passed on through millennia to try to determine why Jerusalem - sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam - has occupied the minds of so many for so long.

Credit: Courtesy of Two Cats Productions

The epic history of the world’s most contested piece of real estate.

For centuries, untold numbers of Jews, Christians and Muslims have gone to Jerusalem to look for God, while billions more have worshiped from afar. Jerusalem: Center of the World, airing Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2), is the first documentary of this scope to delve into the historical facts and religious beliefs that have led so many thousands to live and die for this city.

Host Ray Suarez, together with an outstanding roster of historians and scholars, explores the founding of the city and the birth and convergence of the world’s three major monotheistic religions. He lends voice to the key events in the city’s history as described in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, the Talmud, the Hagaddah, the Koran and the Hadith, and takes viewers through Jerusalem’s constantly shifting role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Jerusalem: Center of the World goes far beyond the city’s exteriors to follow the paths taken by Abraham, David, Jesus and Mohammed, among countless others. From a strikingly intimate perspective, Suarez travels deep into the city. He touches the walls of Hezekiah’s famed underground water-filled tunnels built from solid rock more than 2,500 years ago; he faces the same wall the Biblical King David likely faced when conquering the city in the 10th century B.C.E. Suarez also visits the recently discovered Siloam pool where Jesus, it is said, cured a man’s blindness and he takes viewers right into the Dome of the Rock, from where Mohammed, Muslims believe, ascended to heaven. With illustrations from more than 300 pieces of iconic artwork from every genre and period, Jerusalem: Center of the World brings to life one of the oldest cities in the world.