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God in America; Nation Reborn, A; New Light, A


God in America: A Nation Reborn & A Light from Above Program 2, WGBH Edited Master Green Label NOLA: GIAM 102 HD 001

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God in America
Nation Reborn, A; New Light, A
Program Number


Series Description

nterweaving documentary footage, historical dramatization and interviews with religious historians, the six-part series will air over three consecutive nights beginning on October 11, 2010. 2 Parts air each night.

God in America is a six-hour series that tells the sweeping and dramatic history of religion in the public life of America, from the arrival of Columbus in 1492 to the 2008 election. The series explores the potent and complex interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the courts and the political arena.

For the first time on television, God in America explores the tumultuous 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in America, from the first European settlements to the 2008 presidential election. A co-production of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, this six-hour series examines how religious dissidents helped shape the American concept of religious liberty and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation’s courts and political arena; how religious freedom and waves of new immigrants and religious revivals fueled competition in the religious marketplace; how movements for social reform--from abolition to civil rights--galvanized men and women to put their faith into political action; and how religious faith influenced conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War.

I Series release date: 10/11/2010

Program Description

See Individual Titles for additional assets.

Episode Three: A Nation Reborn

Hour three explores how religion suffused the Civil War. As slavery split the nation in two, Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders turned to the Bible to support their cause. Former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass condemned Christianity for sanctioning slavery. In the White House, Abraham Lincoln struggled to make sense of the war's carnage and the death of his young son. The president, who previously had put his faith in reason over revelation, embarked on a spiritual journey that transformed his ideas about God and the ultimate meaning of the war.

Episode Four: A New Light

During the 19th century, the forces of modernity challenged traditional faith and drove a wedge between liberal and conservative believers. Bohemian immigrant Isaac Mayer Wise embraced change and established Reform Judaism in America while his opponents adhered to Old World traditions. In New York, Presbyterian biblical scholar Charles Briggs sought to wed his evangelical faith with modern biblical scholarship, leading to his trial for heresy. In the 1925 Scopes evolution trial, Christian fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan faced off against freethinker Clarence Darrow in a battle between scientific and religious truth.



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Broadcast program

Media Type


Sullivan, Michael (Series Producer)
Chicago: “God in America; Nation Reborn, A; New Light, A,” 10/12/2010, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 22, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5EF7E56ACE584A0AB04A3B0C48EA47DF.
MLA: “God in America; Nation Reborn, A; New Light, A.” 10/12/2010. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 22, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5EF7E56ACE584A0AB04A3B0C48EA47DF>.
APA: God in America; Nation Reborn, A; New Light, A. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5EF7E56ACE584A0AB04A3B0C48EA47DF
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