Bill Moyers's new seven-part series, "Faith & Reason," airs Fridays, starting June 23, on PBS. Authors include Mary Gordon, Salman Rushdie, and Jeanette Winterson.
Q: Why did you decide to just interview writers, rather than speaking to theologians, pastors, etc.?
BM: I was looking for a fresh take. There's a spasm of fundamentalism in the world right now, and fundamentalism is at war with the imagination, at war with creativity, at war with freedom, especially freedom of the mind. And more often than not, the people who feel the weight of that war are writers, and [it is] writers who are exploring deep issues of faith and reason through language. Language gives them the capacity for nuance that you don't have in fundamentalist dogma or creeds or doctrines of any organized religion.
"If you watch the mainstream media in this country, you would not know that there was something called mainline Protestantism. You wouldn't know that there are Catholics who are independent and have remained in the church, even though they are at odds with the church...
"It's inevitable that you will bring your beliefs into the political struggles of our time, but it is essential to realize that your theology, your beliefs about God, cannot be enshrined in legislation or in policies of the state." – Bill Moyers