Nashville Public Television doc God in America prescreens Oct. 3 with panel discussion

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Nashville Public Television, in partnership with Lipscomb’s HumanDocs Film Series, will present a viewing of one hour of the six-hour documentary God in America, a co-production of American Experience and Frontline, to air on Nashville’s PBS channel on Oct. 11-13, at 9 p.m. each evening.

The Lipscomb pre-screening, held at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3, in Ward Hall, will include a panel of religious experts discussing the film which explores the 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in America, from the first European settlements to the 2008 presidential election.

The Lipscomb event will also include a panel of religious experts discussing the “marketplace” approach to faith that has long characterized religious life in the region. How much individualism -- or the “American Dream” -- can faith swallow? How does the ability to shop for church impact the message of a faith community, its members’ commitments and its witness to the larger society?

Panelists will be:

  • Moderator, Rhonda Lowry, senior fellow in Lipscomb's Institute for Christian Spirituality
  • Joseph Breen, pastor of St. Edward Catholic Community
  • Germán Castro, pastor of El Shaddai Christian Church
  • Gail Seavey, senior minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church
  • A fourth panelist from the Churches of Christ

God in America 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.

“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.”