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PASADENA, Calif. - July 27, 2001 - PBS will present two new specials on seminal figures in Christianity, it was announced today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. Devillier Donegan Enterprises (DDE), which recently produced ISLAM: EMPIRE OF FAITH and THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN THE FIRST CENTURY for PBS, brings the specials on figures who charted and changed the course of Christianity - LUTHER and PETER AND PAUL - to the schedule.

LUTHER, produced by Lion Television in the United Kingdom, is the story of the young German monk who managed to provoke, defy, and ultimately weaken an empire that had lasted 1,000 years: the all-powerful Catholic Church. His actions set in motion a train of revolution, war and conflict that would reshape Western civilization. The groundbreaking work of scholars and Luther's own voluminous personal correspondence will be combined with dramatic recreations to present the story of the collapse of medieval feudalism, the beginnings of the ideals of freedom and liberty, and the birth of the modern age. The two-hour special will be filmed across Germany at the most important sites of Luther's life, and in Rome, the center of power with which he struggled. Richard Bradley (currently directing EGYPT'S GOLDEN EMPIRE for PBS and DDE) is executive producer, and Cassian Harrison (THE GREEKS: CRUCIBLE OF CIVILIZATION, PBS/DDE) is director/producer.

PETER AND PAUL is produced by Margaret Koval of Koval Films, co-producer and writer of THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN THE FIRST CENTURY. The two-hour special will look at two giants of the early Christian church who began on profoundly different grounds - Paul as an enforcer dedicated to suppressing the followers of Jesus, and Peter as the leader of Jesus' shaken disciples. Their paths would cross at several climactic points during the formative period of the church. The story of their relationship and their ultimate demise under the Roman Emperor Nero will be told through the words of ancient writers and contemporary scholars, modern archaeology and dramatic reenactments filmed in Europe and the Middle East. Koval will share producing responsibilities with Patricia Asté, series producer of THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN THE FIRST CENTURY.

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