French documentary filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet traveled around the world to sacred centers of the major religions and met with 12 top religious leaders: His Holiness Alexy II, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi), a Hindu spiritual leader; Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church; Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists; Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Shite Muslim leader: Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and president of the Lutheran World Federation; Michihisa Kitashirakawa, Jingu Daiguji of the Shinto, Grand Shrine of Isle, Japan; Rabbi Yona Metzger, Ashkenzi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Imam Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Cairo, Egypt; Singh Saheb Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Sri Akal Takht, Supreme Sikh Authority; and Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Each chapter focuses on a first-person account of the religious leader's path, photographs of their private and public moments by Stephan Crasneanscki, and responses to a question posed by journalist Virginie Luc. Among those questions are:
- How do you feel the presence of God?
- Have you felt doubt? Was there a moment when your faith was tested?
- What is perfect happiness?
- What is worth fighting for? What is worth dying for?
- How do you see the future? What is you greatest fear?
In the introduction, the Naudet brothers write:
"Our goal with this film and this book is to have the four billion followers of all the world's major religions come face to face with the representatives of God on earth. . . . We hope you, like us, will put aside your preconceptions about the different faiths of the world and rediscover their messages and values through their spiritual leaders. This book represents, through the majesty of its images and its intimate interviews with these spiritual leaders, a true testament of the spirituality of humankind at the beginning of this new millennium."
Best of all are the stunning color photographs not only of the religious leaders but also of different religious practices, rites, and devotional activities.