The Agony And The Ecstasy

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Sarah Dunant presents a cultural exploration into the twin extremities of human emotion: pain and pleasure, and asks why, at different times in our history, we have placed more emphasis on one or the other of the two sovereign masters.

This programme focuses on how Christianity stands Classical ideas about pleasure and pain on their head.

By placing the image of the suffering Christ at the centre of Western culture, pain becomes a way to redemption, and suffering in this life beats a path to pleasure in the next.