How has religious belief shaped American history? What role have religious ideas and spiritual experience played in shaping the social, political and cultural life of what has become the world's most religiously diverse nation?
For the first time on television, God in America, a presentation of American Experience and Frontline, will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States. The six-hour series, which interweaves documentary footage, historical dramatization and interviews with religious historians, will air over three consecutive nights on KUED beginning Monday, October 11 at 8:00 p.m.
God in America examines the potent and complex interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty, and how that concept has played out in the nation's courts and political arena. The series considers the role religious ideas and institutions have played in social reform movements from abolition to civil rights, examining the impact of religious faith on conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War and demonstrating how guarantees of religious freedom created a vibrant and competitive American religious marketplace.
"The American story cannot be fully understood without understanding the country's religious history," says series executive producer Michael Sullivan. "By examining that history, God in America will offer viewers a fresh, revealing and challenging portrait of the country."
"Americans are awash in a sea of faith, but their knowledge about religious faiths and religious history often runs as shallow as their commitment to religion runs deep," notes Stephen Prothero, professor of religion at Boston University, who serves as the chief editorial consultant for God in America. "A series like God in America can help correct that imbalance and provide the basis for a common understanding of the role religion has played in American public life."
KUED FOLLOW-UP PRODUCTIONS
In conjunction with the national series, KUED will broadcast two follow-up productions. On Monday, October 11 at 10:00 p.m., KUED airs God in Utah, a half-hour report on religious diversity in Utah. The documentary shares the stories of several unique Utah religious figures and how their faith enables them to contribute to the community. These include Father Omar Ontivernos, a Hispanic Catholic Priest of the Salt Lake Diocese; Noor Ulhasan, a Muslim member of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable; and Alex Boye, popular African-American recording artist and soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Their insight and personal stories offer greater understanding of their own beliefs and the beliefs that many in the Utah community share in common.
On Wednesday, October 13 at 10:00 p.m. immediately following the conclusion of the national series, KUED airs Utah Voices: God in America, a thoughtful discussion of the PBS series and its relevance to Utahns with host Ken Verdoia and guests from the religious community.
To extend the reach of the series beyond the television screen, KUED has formed strategic partnerships with Utah's faith community to deepen public understanding of Utah's diverse religious community.
October 5, 2010
The Westminster College Office of Spiritual Life, the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable and KUED will host a screening and discussion of God in America Tuesday October 5th at 7:30 p.m. in the Gore Auditorium on the Westminster campus, 1840 South 1300 East
October 15, 2010
The Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake welcomes the public to attend Friday congregational services at Khadeeja Islamic Center located at 1019 W. Parkway Ave. (2495 South) in West Valley City from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. with Q & A from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Conservative and modest dress is appreciated. Imam Mehtar will perform a service in English with congregational prayers in Arabic, to follow.
October 16, 2010
Visit the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple, 1142 West South Jordan Parkway, during a very special festival for the temple.
Take a Turkish cooking class and learn to cook a traditional Turkish dish called Manti beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Turkish Cultural Center (363 West 2720 South, Suite A). Following the cooking lesson, join a discussion on religion in Utah.
KUED also is encouraging viewers to hold their own viewing parties with their neighbors. For a discussion guide visit this link, http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/outreach/host.html and list your event as an official viewing party on the national God in America Web site.
God in America Series
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