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PBS documentary series God in America discusses the weaving of religion and public life. It covers from the early American settlements to the election of 2008. The documentary tells how religion influenced events, such as George Whitefield's influence of the American Revolution or the civil rights fight for women and people of color. Starting with the culture clash of Spanish Catholics with the ritualistic Pueblos, the series discusses the writings and mindset of the people that shaped both religion and America.

This six episode series was produced by the history minded The American Experience and current affairs centered Frontline. Series producer Marilyn Mellowes did most of the research and development of the series. The executive producer, Michael Sullivan, was nominated for a Producer Guild of America award for his Frontline work. The series was made possible with the help of many educational institutions and religious organizations collaboration.

The series is narrated by Campbell Scott, the son of famed actor George C. Scott. They have such people as Keith David, who portrays Frederick Douglas, for the dramatization of events and people that show the melding of faith and public life. Series director David Belton and producer Sarah Colt worked with the actors to bring the historical figures to life. They got them to think in the moment, instead of just looking back. They did this by combing the written thoughts and improvisation.

This series shows that by showing the beliefs of people such as the Presidents of the United States and key historical people who helped shape the nation. This is done by covering the speeches and documents of 400 years, such as John Winthrop's speech A Model of Christian Charity. They also show the way such documents have been used. As with Winthrop's' speech, President Ronald Reagan uses the phrase city on a hill and adds shining to make a political point on the differences between America and the Soviet Union.

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PBS
1 Season, 6 Episodes
Documentary & Biography
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God in America Full Episode Guide

  • The final installment brings the series into the present day, exploring the religious and political aspirations of conservative evangelicals' moral crusade over divisive social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

  • This episode examines the post-World War II era, when rising evangelist Billy Graham tried to inspire a religious revival that fused faith with patriotism in a Cold War battle against "Godless communism.

  • During the 19th century, the forces of modernity challenged traditional faith and drove a wedge between liberal and conservative believers as some embraced change while others adhered to Old World customs.

  • This chapter explores how religion suffused the Civil War. As slavery split the nation in two, Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders turned to the Bible to buttress their respective causes.

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