Segments in this Video

Virtue Defined (04:24)


Ancient Greek and Chinese cultures believed virtue, that which regulates our moral lives, is based on emotional attunement to the world rather than simply following rules and fears.

Reverence Defined (04:33)

Reverence is the capacity for awe in the face of the transcendent, those things that man did not create such as god, justice, truth, nature, and beauty. Reverence fosters respect between people.

Hubris and Greek Tragedies (03:31)

Hubris, or arrogance, is the opposite of reverence and is rooted in a lack of respect for the difference between humans and gods. Characters in Greek tragedies suffered because of arrogant attitudes.

Reverent Soldiers and Civil Behavior (04:49)

Greek literature portrays conquered enemies with humanity. Reverence is the virtue that protects the helpless from the powerful. The best clue to how reverent we are is how we treat people around us.

Failure of Reverence (03:54)

One of the most devastating forms of irreverence is the belief that one knows the literal mind of God and is carrying out a sacred mission. Committing terrorism on behalf of God is a failure of reverence.

Reverence and Religious Wars (02:18)

Religious wars are endemic to the human experience because of fear, failure of reverence, and failure to recognize the common reverent attributes of various religions.

Speaking God's Will Reverently (01:59)

It's possible to give human voice to interpretations of God's will and remain reverent at the same time, but care must be given to maintain humility and avoid bold, authoritarian proclamations.

Reverence and Politics (05:06)

Reverence has more to do with politics than religion because it has more to do with relationships between people than it does relationships with God.

Reverence in Daily Life (01:52)

Reverent behavior exists in everyday situations when people live, work, and play together with mutual attitudes of respect and harmony.

Tyranny and Fall of Empires (03:39)

History teaches that all the world's great empires have fallen. Powerful nations, like the United States, would be wise to approach leadership roles in the world with care and reverence.

Just Wars (03:41)

Just wars are those fought for just reasons by soldiers who are disciplined, who recognize the humanity of an enemy, and who act with reverence.

Modern Lessons from Classical Greek (04:57)

Classical Greek authors like Homer had an extraordinary ability to see beyond cultural differences to find a common human nature that is still relevant today.

Reverence Exists in You (04:15)

Seeds of the virtue reverence exist in all people; without nurturing these seeds die. The way to find and nurture reverence is to seek out feelings that underlie reverent behaviors.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

NOW with Bill Moyers: Paul Woodruff on Reverence

DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



The capacity for awe in the face of the transcendent: that is how Paul Woodruff, one of America’s foremost interpreters of Plato and other venerable thinkers of ancient Greece, defines reverence. In this program, Bill Moyers and the author of Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue examine this crucial yet frequently misunderstood and misapplied concept and its implications for the world today. Topics include the nature of the transcendent, hubris versus humility, the reciprocal relationship between justice and reverence, tyranny and terrorism as failures of reverence, the vital link between reverence and politics, and the surprising realization that religion is not always reverent. (51 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL32511

ISBN: 978-0-7365-8067-0

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.