Once again, Bill Moyers demonstrates his mastery at bringing together powerhouse thinkers on progressive thought. The July 3 show of Bill Moyers Journal titled “Faith and Social Justice” featured Cornel West, Gary Dorrien, and Serene Jones who collectively teach a course at Union Theological Seminary called “Christianity and the U.S. Crisis” (which can actually be watched via iTunes–thanks, UTS and Apple!). I wish I could post the segment here, but you’ll have to use iTunes to dig it up for yourselves.
His panel’s expertise is so diverse in its voice that his questions range from the non-believers view of who speaks for Christians today to how do non-believers view the Christians of today beyond the lens of the majority, while also bringing the tangent of politics and social justice to bear on the current economic crisis as well as one of the most succinct summaries of the history of social justice that I’ve come across (let we forget that working unions are, fundamentally, based on love for one another in the face of oppression). His panel, rooted in teaching, is often used not only to frame current teachings in their class, but how and what students are looking for in today’s faith practices.
Cornel’s voice is strong and, as always, his wit and street cred (academic and pop) are what make this panel pop and snap. But it’s also quite undeniable that both Dorrien and Jones are looking forward to bringing a freshness to progressive Christian faith beyond academia and Bible study, in order to look to how faith is or is not being integrated into the daily practices and politics of Barack Obama’s administration. And Moyers plays along–urging each of them to help us look backward and forward while standing at this intersection of faith and social justice.