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This Week: Riverside Church
This Week
December 26, 2003

This week on NOW:

In an American religious climate growing increasingly fundamentalist, increasingly conservative, and increasingly intolerant of difference, New York City's Riverside Church is a beacon, and a remarkable house of God. A tower of steel and stone, it has become a monolithic skyscraper in America's religious landscape and a towering comfort to those who worship there. An oasis of diversity, Riverside is a thoroughly American Protestant church. In its preeminent pulpit resides Reverend James Forbes, shaped by the inequities of racism, guided by a different religious impulse than many of his contemporaries, and buoyed by a seemingly boundless spiritual reserve.

In “Speaking to Power” NOW with Bill Moyers tells the story of this extraordinary place of worship and profiles its spiritual leader, whose candid observations of contemporary public policy and religious doctrine stand in marked contrast to fundamentalist Christianity. Revealed in this compelling 60-minute documentary are subtle and profound changes in the religious fabric of America, and the prospects for peace and tolerance in troubled times.

In Depth

Wood carving

Reverend James Forbes and the Riverside Church

History of the Social Gospel

Interfaith worship

The Christian Left?

Separation of Church and State

Riverside church exterior
NOW Explores Faith in America

Faith-Based Initiatives

Compassionate Conservatism


Talk about faith in America on the message boards.


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.


Speaking to Power
Producer: Kathy Hughes
Correspondent: Bill Moyers
Editor: Kathi Black

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