Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

Robert Bellah - A WORLD OF IDEAS - September 27, 1988
Update Required

Sorry in order to watch this video clip you need the latest version of the free flash plug in. CLICK HERE to download it and then refresh this page.

Read Transcript Comment

Twenty years ago Bill Moyers spoke with sociologist Robert Bellah about the American political climate for the series A WORLD OF IDEAS.

In a campaign where you're looking at the polls every week to see how you're doing, you're not thinking about educating the public about the next ten to fifteen years, you're just thinking about what will get that poll reaction up tomorrow. It's seductive to both the candidate and the electorate not to think about the hard questions, but to talk only about what's most immediately effective.

Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. Bellah is the author and editor of several essays and books. His two most influential articles are "Civil Religion in America" (1967) and "Religious Evolution" (1964). His books include TOKUGAWA RELIGION, BEYOND BELIEF, THE BROKEN COVENANT, THE NEW RELIGIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS, AND VARIETIES OF CIVIL RELIGION and UNCIVIL RELIGION: INTERRELIGIOUS HOSTILITY IN AMERICA and HABITS OF THE HEART: INDIVIDUALISM AND COMMITMENT IN AMERICAN LIFE and THE GOOD SOCIETY both written in collaboration with Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler and Steven Tipton. On December 20, 2000, the Bellah received the United States National Humanities Medal.

>Are Bellah's words still holding true for Election '08? Tell us on the blog

Related Media:
Imam Zaid Shakir
Bill Moyers talks Imam Zaid Shakir, an African-American who converted to Islam as a young man, about the importance of a moderate Muslim voice in America.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church in the United States of America on the challenges facing the church in the 21st century.


Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason BILL MOYERS ON FAITH & REASON
Bill Moyers takes on the persistent questions facing us today with some of the world's most noted authors. Watch the entire seven-part series online.

Maxine Hong Kingston
Acclaimed writer and peacemaker Maxine Hong Kingston talks to Bill Moyers about her writing, her activism, and her work helping soldiers returning from war find peace within themselves through writing.

Guest Photos by Robin Holland

From the Moyers Files

"BUYING THE WAR"
How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? Watch a preview.

BILL MOYERS ON FAITH & REASON: Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and more...

MOYERS ON AMERICA: "Capitol Crimes"

MOYERS ON AMERICA: "Is God Green?"

MOYERS ON AMERICA: "The Net at Risk"

TALK BACK: THE MOYERS BLOG
Our posts and your comments
OUR POSTS
YOUR COMMENTS
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ   
SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES AND PODCASTS EMAIL US