The Story of God with Morgan Freeman is a six-part documentary miniseries, which airs on Sunday, April 3, on the National Geographic Channel. The documentary series, hosted by Freeman, takes a deep look at the evolution of religion and humanity’s existential search for God, meaning and purpose.
“The purpose of religion in the story of humanity is, in a word, cohesion,” Morgan Freeman said, in the premiere screening at the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Religion holds the human race together.”
— Nat Geo Channel (@NatGeoChannel) April 3, 2016
Morgan Freeman is probably the best choice as a host for a documentary such as this, since the actor has famously played God in Hollywood movies. The Oscar winner may have what some consider to be pretty unique views on an all-powerful, all-knowing creator, with many speculating whether or not Freeman is agnostic, an atheist or neither.
“I call myself a lifelong student of religion,” Freeman continued. “But I haven’t landed on any conclusions.”
While speaking with The Wrap in 2012, Morgan Freeman discussed his 2010 television show Through the Wormhole. During the interview, the actor was asked whether or considered himself to be an agnostic or an atheist, and Freeman replied with what some considered at the time to be a pretty bizarre answer.
— Nat Geo Channel (@NatGeoChannel) April 4, 2016
“It’s a hard question because as I said at the start, I think we invented God,” the Bruce Almighty actor said. “So if I believe in God, and I do, it’s because I think I’m God.” He later went on to clarify, stating that he is created in God’s image and/or vice-versa. But after The Story of God, have Freeman’s views changed?
“I can relate to the big questions that most of us ask ourselves: Why am I here? What’s my purpose? How did we get here? Those questions resonate with me. And while science has produced answers to many of the big questions, it doesn’t offer answers for everything.”
In The Story of God, we take a visit to Rome, Guatemala, Israel, India, Egypt, Mexico and New Zealand, and people in each area were essentially all asking the same questions, just in different ways. Morgan Freeman stated that ultimately his views on spirituality were not changed, but this adventure allowed him to learn more about religions such as Hinduism. Each of the episodes in this six-part documentary series focuses on a particular issue/topic within the framework of religion and God.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) April 4, 2016
“We visited the site of the oldest known temple in the world, these T-shaped stones that were definitely a religious site in pre-settlement times, 11,000 years ago,” Freeman’s producing partner James Younger added. “The kind of consensus is that, in this case at least, people had some kind of spiritual or religious life before they came together in large communities.”
Younger states that perhaps the people were in need of that cohesion, and that religion and morality allowed them to have control of themselves and function better as a collective. The Story of God is a documentary that took over two years to put together, with a whole host of interviews with people in scientific disciplines, professionals in theology, neurology — just to name a few. And while conversations about religion, faith, and other existential questions might appear boring to some, Morgan Freeman as the narrator is able to hold everything together quite nicely.
— Zap2it (@Zap2it) April 3, 2016
The Story of God‘s premiere episode tonight is centered around the concept of the afterlife, with Freeman stepping inside an Egyptian pyramid and examining the hieroglyphs addressed to the dead. Future episodes will be dealing with topics such as the concept of the devil, creation myths and humanity’s belief in miracles.
[Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images]