Hugh Bonneville Presents New Documentary on Jesus

Press Release

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 6:00pm


Jesus: Countdown to Calvary  is a riveting new documentary in which actor Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) examines the events leading up to the death of Jesus of Nazareth. In time for Easter 2018, the documentary airs Sunday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m. and repeats Saturday, March 31 at 9:00 p.m. on KUED.

Bonneville, a theology graduate of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, travels to Jerusalem to explore the historical context of the last days of Jesus. With the help of noted academics and spiritual leaders, he investigates the complex factors that, in just six days, turned a popular figure into a reviled victim of the Romans’ most brutal form of execution – crucifixion.

Bonneville and his guides use ancient artifacts, Gospel texts, historical analysis and modern insight to provide a fresh perspective on the social, religious, and political tensions at play in first century Jerusalem. The legacies of leading figures like Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and Judas Iscariot are brought into focus; long-held assumptions, some of which formed the root of centuries of anti-Semitism, are challenged head on. 

Featuring state-of-the-art production values, the documentary is framed as a high-stakes political thriller, a clock counting down each critical moment from Palm Sunday to Good Friday. 

The documentary offers a nuanced exploration of the questions that have existed for more than 2,000 years, treating the subject with sensitivity, rigor, and historical integrity. 

Contributors include Prof. Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh); Prof. Paula Fredriksen (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), author of From Jesus to Christ (1988;2000); Dr. Zuleika Rodgers (Trinity College, Dublin); Prof. Ronny Reich (Hebrew University, Jerusalem); Amit Re’em (Israeli Institute of Archaeology); Fr. Gregory Tatum OP (École Biblique, Jerusalem); and Amos Oz, the acclaimed Israeli author of Judas

Professor Bond (MTheol PhD) is the principal academic consultant on the project. She is Professor in Christian Origins with Specialization in New Testament and Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity. 

Last modified: 
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 2:37pm

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