The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America
About This Episode
The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America explores the beliefs, practices and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The documentary offers an in-depth look at the differences and surprising similarities among the Asian religions and the "Abrahamic" faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Also examined are the challenges of interfaith marriage, the younger generation's struggle to reconcile their families' traditional expectations with the desire to forge their own identity and the difficulties in maintaining one's cultural and religious heritage in a largely Judeo-Christian environment.
Cinema vérité-style scenes capture a variety of religious ceremonies, festivals, rituals and sacred dance: a Hindu holiday celebrating Ganesha's birthday; a service recounting the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, at a temple in Maryland; a royal Hindu wedding; and the 300th anniversary celebration of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures. In addition, cameras visit the oldest Buddhist temple in the U.S., located in San Francisco's Chinatown, and contrast a Buddhist monastery in West Virginia with its Catholic counterpart in Washington, D.C.