The 78 years old actor, Morgan Freeman is the best actor to have ever played the role of God in a TV production and probably the one who is skeptical enough to search through religions for a more accurate version of God. Freeman, as the executive producer alongside partners from Revelations Entertainment, have created a six-part documentary series that will air on National Geographic Sundays, called “The Story of God”. The documentary follows Freeman on an international, intercultural travel where he tries to discover and experience various religious beliefs and finds a common ground for the concept of God.
Curiosity is one of the most primal human traits, but it seems to be forgotten when it comes to religion. There are many religions and all of them are based on blind faith, yet all of them believe in a higher power, a divinity that has created our world as it is. Although all religions have different rituals and practice, by getting to the core of their belief and analyzing the common grounds in each religion we might just find a more accurate concept of God and escape the “tyranny of certainty” as Lori McCreary, one of Freeman’s partner describes religious faith. McCreary believes that “questions can sometimes lead to even a deeper understanding of one’s own belief and faith, and if we can allow for the questions without people feeling like we’re pulling away at the fabric of belief, then that’s healthy,” and based on that the team has ventured to get to the core of five most influential religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.
The idea of creating such a documentary was raised six years ago, in a trip to Hagia Sophia, Istanbul a former Byzantine basilica which has been converted into a mosque and later into a museum. What surprised the team was the fact that paintings of Jesus were still on the walls, they have believed that those images would have been covered up. Apparently, Jesus is part of the Islamic religion, only he is considered to be a prophet. So, Morgan Freeman and his partners have decided to question the belief in God and find a more common concept by searching more than one religion.
Basically, what the documentary is focusing on is questioning the five major religions and getting beyond the traditions, to the actual faith in a higher power and what are the consistent threads of belief. Apparently, all religions associate God more with the hope of life after death than with creation itself, the concept that life doesn’t end in death is the common ground in any religion. After all, people have the need to believe in God because they are afraid to face a reality where life after death might not be true. It seems that the hope for an afterlife is enough to power faith in different types of religions and make people believe that by praying and doing what their religion asks they will get to meet God. Unfortunately, this type of “have faith and don’t ask” attitude is not a good one, but that is a matter for another discussion. Freeman and his team might have discovered a more accurate story about God, which is most definitely something to look forward to.