A four part series which looks at the historical Jesus, and the move of Christianity from Galilee to Jerusalem, Rome and then India, began on BBC Radio 4 yesterday.
'In the Footsteps of Jesus' presented by Edward Stourton, best known for his grilling of politicians on the 'Today Programme', embarks on a journey in the footsteps of Jesus, bringing to life the world in which He lived.
The BBC says there has never been a greater public demand for information about Jesus, the real man.
Mel Gibson's The Passion and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code have both tapped into this desire to learn more about the man who is at the centre of the world's largest religion, says the BBC's Religion and Ethics department.
In the new series Edward Stourton traces how the idea of Jesus and understanding of Him has changed through the centuries; from Jesus, to Christ, to Emperor and then to Guru.
During the making of series, director of the religious thinktank Jonathan Bartley was interviewed about Jesus' politics, and debated with Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, the extent to which Jesus can be considered 'political'.
The four part series can be heard on Radio 4 over the next four weeks:
Galilee - Jesus the Jew. The historical Jesus
Monday 21 November 2005, 20:02 - 20:30
Jerusalem - Jesus the God. Breaking away from his Jewish roots
Monday 28 November 2005, 20:02 - 20:30
Rome - Jesus the King. Emperor Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire
Monday 5 December 2005, 20:02 - 20:30
India - Jesus the Guru. The Gospel message spreads to India
Monday 12 December 2005, 20:02 - 20:30