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YU News

Jeffrey Gurock to Appear in "God in America" on PBS

How has religious belief shaped American history? What role have religious ideas and spiritual experience played in shaping the social, political and cultural life of what has become the world's most religiously diverse nation? Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, will contribute to this discussion on the upcoming PBS Series God in America, which explores the tumultuous 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in the United States, from the first European settlements to the 2008 presidential election. The six-hour series will examine how religious dissidents helped shape the American concept of religious liberty and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation’s courts and political arena; how religious freedom and waves of new immigrants and religious revivals fueled competition in the religious marketplace; how movements for social reform--from abolition to civil rights--galvanized men and women to put their faith into political action; and how religious faith influenced conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War.

Airing October 11, 12 and 13 to over 100 stations coast to coast and in Canada, the six-hour series interweaves documentary footage, historical dramatization and interviews with religious historians. Dr. Gurock will appear in Episode Four which airs on Tuesday, October 12, 10-11 p.m. ET, and will discuss the rise of reform Judaism and reactions of other movements, as well as how immigrant Orthodox Jews reacted to reform and to Americanization.