Segments in this Video

America: Bible Literacy (03:21)


Biblical literacy in the U.S. is "pretty thin" according to Rev. Peter Gomes of Harvard University. The Bible has become an integral part of American culture, to the extent the country has invoked the Bible as the "American way."

America's Legacy of Biblical Interpretation (02:39)

In 19th-century America, Protestants split over the Bible's historical accuracy and the degree to which the Bible is inspired by God. Evangelicals and liberal Protestants continue this disagreement today. The Bible is a compendium of 66 books.

Evolution vs. Biblical Creation (02:18)

Many people who accept the biblical account of creation as scientific proof find evolutionism threatening to their religious faith. Every story of creation cross-culturally must be understood in the context of historical conditions in which it came into being.

Biblical Creation Myth (05:04)

In the 6th century B.C.E., the biblical priestly order in Babylonia wrote the creation story as a source of comfort for the homeless Israelites. Instead of a violent creation myth, they wrote of a god greater and more loving than Marduk, the Babylonian god.

Value of Biblical Stories (03:43)

Most people talk about the Bible as a set of stories as opposed to abstract theological principles. The stories become models for how people think about themselves. The parables of Jesus are effective in teaching moral and spiritual guidance.

Moral Imagination and Biblical Parables (02:56)

If the moral imagination conceives of a time or circumstance that is redemptive and good, then one can go from reality as it appears towards that which is better. The moral imagination takes the parables of Jesus and transforms them into a path to goodness.

Spiritual Courage to Seek a Better World (04:19)

The biblical parables of Jesus are not just moral tales. Like the Zen koan, the parables force people out of the confinements of their worldviews into a new light of perception. The Pilgrims demonstrated the courage to seek out a better world.

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Evolving with the Bible: Controversy, Conciliation, and the Bible’s Place in American Culture

Part of the Series : Beyond Theology
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
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America’s history has been repeatedly marked by debate over how the Bible applies or does not apply to social and scientific issues. Even strictly within the realm of religion, conservatives and liberals are divided about the authority and meaning of the Bible. This program examines Bible-related points of polarization and explains how different readings can coexist and even enrich each other. Topics include the place of the Bible in American culture, the Creationism/Darwinism debate, the Judeo-Christian creation myth in relation to other cultures’ creation myths, and the use of biblical parables in the classroom as tools to stimulate students’ moral imagination. Participants include the Reverend Peter Gomes, of The Memorial Church of Harvard University; religious mythologist Karen Armstrong; Harvard Divinity School’s Harvey Cox; James Forbes Jr., of New York City’s Riverside Church; Princeton University’s Robert Wuthnow; and Boston University’s Stephen Prothero. (28 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL39592

ISBN: 978-1-60467-557-3

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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“This is an ambitious series with some of the most interesting voices in religion in America today. They take us beyond the current conflicts about religion and politics and show us a hopeful vision of faith based on the deepest longings of heart and mind.”  —Bill Moyers


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