Bill Moyers Journal: Faith and Social Justice

Bill Moyers speaks with Cornel West, Serene Jones, and Gary Dorrien for a fresh take on what our core ethics and values as a society say about America's politics, policy, and the challenges of balancing capitalism and democracy.


Ironically, I was in the audience at Union in NYC earlier this year during the filming of the excerpts at the beginning of the program. Given the recent attention to Calvin's 500th birthday and the Protestant Reformation, here's an interesting discussion by Serene Jones and Bill Moyers:
BILL MOYERS: So I want to ask the three of you from your perspectives. Is it conceivable to you that, as we may be moving into a post racial society, we may be moving into a post-Christian society?

SERENE JONES: I love that term, actually because Christianity could well be its best when it gets completely undone. And Christians who are committed to prophetic presence in the world should be, in one sense, thrilled by the possibility of it being post-Christian.

Because it may mean we're coming to the end of some structures of religiosity that were deadly. You know, in the Protestant Reformation they were calling it the end of Christendom. And what emerged on the other side of it was a completely new form.

BILL MOYERS: Are you saying that there's a...you sense a hope, now for a new reformation?

SERENE JONES: Oh. It's a fantastic moment to be standing at a seminary. That's one of the reasons why I decided, after 17 years at Yale, to come to New York and be at the helm of this little school. It has a great legacy, but it's not a huge mega university.

It's because, and you can feel it in New York so palpably, but what is happening globally. Change in forms of technology. The breakdown and reconfiguration of the nation state. Forms of economic interaction that have never before been imagined.

And a crisis of knowledge. And a crisis of value. Parallel, in really profound ways, what was happening 500 years ago when this little guy named John Calvin got run out of Paris because he was asking the secular question. They ran him out of Paris. And he ends up in Geneva. And, in the midst of all of that, begins to listen to what's happening in Europe. That's the challenge right now, is for us to listen to what's happening globally and to be able to track the emergent forms of spirit. The emergent forms of organizations. The forms of love and the forms of hope that people are finding on the ground in the midst of these changes and that is going to be sort of the spirituality that's coming. And it's coming fast.
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