March 08, 2019
Julio Bermudez and Morgan Freeman

Julio Bermudez, a professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, is appearing in the episode “Visions of God,” part of the third season of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. The episode will air on the National Geographic channel on March 19, 2019. The documentary series explores various cultures and religions, particularly regarding beliefs about God or a higher being.

Bermudez was invited on the show because of his research on the neuroscience of contemplative buildings and the phenomenology of sacred spaces — how sacred architecture and spaces are experienced by a person. In the episode, Bermudez takes Freeman through the Chartres Cathedral in France and discusses how sacred architecture can be a gate to God.

“If well designed and built, sacred buildings have the capacity to induce a contemplative state, not unlike those occasioned by profound prayer,” said Bermudez. “The resulting architectural experience may then lift us into the realm of the transcendent, enabling us to enter in contact with God.”

The program was shot in November 2018. Watch the trailer of Season 3 below.