God On Trial: a new 90-minute drama for BBC Two
Who are we to judge?
Awaiting their fate in a sombre blockhouse in Auschwitz, a group of men – including a physicist, a glove-maker, two rabbis, a professor of law and at least one criminal – struggle desperately not only to survive, but to make sense of their existence.
As they wait to discover whether they have been selected for the gas chambers, these prisoners, driven to the limit by the cruelty of the Nazis, demand to know the answer to the question: What is the nature of a God that can allow so much suffering?
From award-winning writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and starring a stellar international cast, God On Trial is the extraordinary tale of how these men attempt to settle their dispute by putting God in the dock, charged with breaking his covenant to protect his people.
Before three "judges", a gallery of witnesses is called to give testimony.
Powerful arguments from history, from science, from theology and from heart-breaking personal experience are brought before the court.
It is argued that the prisoners are a sacrifice, that man is being punished for his sins, that the universe is godless, that life is a pitiless struggle for survival and that God is not good and has sided with the Nazis.
With only one night to reach a verdict, knowing half of them will be sent to the gas chamber in the morning, their debate is a moving and intense portrayal of how we struggle to make sense of the world and keep the human spirit alive, even when faced with the worst suffering and impending death.
God On Trial is set in an extreme situation, but it wrestles with the great questions we all ask ourselves.