PBS Looks at. . . Religion in the U.S. Eight Interviews Show the Diversity of Beliefs Held by Americans

By Ross, Lilla | The Florida Times Union, July 5, 1996 | Go to article overview

PBS Looks at. . . Religion in the U.S. Eight Interviews Show the Diversity of Beliefs Held by Americans


Ross, Lilla, The Florida Times Union


Hugh Hewitt, host of the four-part series Searching for God in

America , admits he came close to getting the theological bends

while preparing for the eight interviews in the new PBS series

that premiers tonight.

"We were moving pretty quickly between traditions," he said.

Working with a research staff, Hewitt and producer Martin Burns

compiled a list of 50 well-known personalities in American

religion. The list was whittled down to eight.

The people chosen for the 30-minute interviews are not

necessarily household names. Charles Colson, speaking for

evangelical Christianity, and the Dalai Lama, who addressed

Buddhism, are the best known.

"We had the general goal of making sure that we had the full

range of the diversity of American belief. And we found people

with compelling personal stories and sound theological

credentials who could convey what they believe and why," Hewitt

said.

The series, which airs at 10 p.m. each Friday in July on WJCT

TV-7, examines several Christian traditions, Judaism, Islam and

Buddhism.

While the topic of religion in America is covered in its

breadth, the interviews themselves seek the depths of personal

experience and conviction. Hewitt said he consciously avoided

conventional questions about abortion and other controversial

issues.

"No one is on a conversion mission," he said. "They are

witnesses, certainly. But over and over again, they said people

should stay within their tradition, practice the norms with

which they have grown up or chosen. People will come away with a

sense of the diversity of approaches to God and that the most

important thing anyone can do is engage in this search."

Hewitt describes the series as "curiosity-driven interviews."

He is an attorney with no formal religious training. He is an

Emmy Award-winning host of Los Angeles' KCET's public affairs

series Life & Times and is a former public affairs radio talk

show host.

He prepared for the interviews by reading extensively and

interviewing authorities in each tradition.

"This wasn't work," he said.

Although the series features 28-minute interviews with each

subject, the longest interview lasted three hours. The uncut

transcriptions are available in a companion book, Searching for

God in America (Word Inc., $27.99).

In addition to the interviews, the book is an anthology of

excerpts from American spiritual writings that range from a

selection from the Baltimore Catechism, on which millions of

American Catholics were raised, to comments from jazz musician

Miles Davis, novelist Walker Percy and former heavy weight

champion George Forman. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

PBS Looks at. . . Religion in the U.S. Eight Interviews Show the Diversity of Beliefs Held by Americans
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.