So the rest of the programme looked at the development of the Eastern Church - one thing that was drawn out several times was the as it was no longer affiliated with a state it concentrated more on a less secularly powerful set of teachings. Monasticism & hermits as a concept started over in the east, and there is a feeling that one should suffer & live simply in this life in order to deserve the glory of the next (which is easier to hold on to if your bishops and priests are not as powerful in a secular sense as they were in the Roman Empire). He showed us some congregations of Christians across Syria & Turkey, and even a church (now a buddhist temple) in the middle of China - Eastern Christianity spread much further east than we "expect" from the history of the church as portrayed in the West. One of the main strands of the programme was that Eastern Christianity existed more in a dialogue with the other cultures and religions it found itself living alongside and inside. And that this was because it was not in a position of power - whilst Christians weren't forcibly converted in the major Muslim cities they were second class citizens in another culture that valued learning. And China clearly had ancient traditions of their own. So there was no feeling of "converting the barbarian" here, Christianity couldn't come in as a conquering state imposing itself on the people.
An interesting programme & about a subject I'm interested in (so I'm looking forward to watching the rest of this too) - but I don't think I've done it justice writing it up! As well as all the interesting info it was also full of academics geeking out about things they were interested in which was fun to watch :)
And we finished the evening with the last part of Joanna Lumley's Nile - she went from Lake Albert (flying over the Sudd as there was potentially trouble in that region) to the very longest source of the Nile. Great scenery - including footage of a herd of hippos in a lake. And some crocodiles (she finally got to see some!). And she got to go and look at a White Rhino mother & cub, which was also nifty - tho she's braver than I as it also looked quite scary. The Victorian source was in Lake Victoria, but a 2006 expedition found the longest tributary leading into the lake and the start of that is now designated the source. The trek up to it looked intimidating, mostly straight uphill through a lot of plant life, but finally she got there.