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“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
Jesus’s advice to his followers is one of the clearest and boldest statements dividing religion from the worldly concerns of money, politics and power.
However, reality in the 21st century though is much more complex.
No religious movement has managed to truly disentangle matters of faith from the messy and confusing stuff of daily life.
God's Business aims to get behind the issues of faith and how it affects people's real lives, their work, their families and the how they view their government and leaders.
Renowned journalist John McCarthy has been investigating these issues and approaches six major world religions with the same questions:
How do these institutions balance the demands of religious teaching and ceremony with wealth, power and human weakness?
How do they function as powerbrokers in the often dangerous realm of politics, both local and global?
And do these dealings inevitably threaten the moral integrity and clarity of purpose of religious institutions?
God's Business is a six-part series by ORTV for Al Jazeera:
PART TWO: Hinduism Goes global
This film tells the story of a small regional Hindu sect that has gone global; the Swaminarayan movement was founded 200 years ago in the state of Gujerat by a man who declared himself to be the ultimate manifestation of God.
His first followers were poor peasants, but this group, many of them Patels, has since spread all over the world as shopkeepers, teachers and increasingly as successful entrepreneurs and highly educated professionals.
Today they’re building vast religious complexes across America and Europe, Africa and Asia. Their most impressive centre, which uses the techniques of Disneyland to convey a message of Hindu pride, was built in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
So influential has the Swaminarayan movement become that both the Prime Minister and President of India presided over the recent opening of the Delhi centre.
But has the movement grown so absorbed in creating a corporate presence, involved in finance, politics and influence – as well as charity work – that it now risks losing its spiritual heart? Are networking and power-play submerging the original message?
PART THREE: Islam in Israel
AVI File Details
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