Friday, September 22nd 2017
Jun
2007
26

Bill Moyers meets Martin Amis and Margaret Atwood

Since we like television that makes you think, it’s hard to beat PBS’ Bill Moyers. He sat down last year with a series of spiritually-fueled fiction greats to talk about faith and reason. Worth the price of admission, you can get it online.

Moyers revealed an amazing synchronicity that came about when he was trying to line up his subjects for filming:

I had been thinking of a series like this for some time and weighing who should be part of it. Faith is such a smorgasbord that everyone’s taste is different. I didn’t feel comfortable trying to pick the “representative” Christian, Jew, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim or atheist.

Then I heard that Salman Rushdie, the president of PEN’s American Center, thought religion was such a hot-button issue that he had asked over 100 writers to meet in New York to discuss faith and reason. The light did go off in my head. “That’s it,” I told myself. “That’s my organizing principle. I’m a journalist. I’ll cover that event.” And that’s what we’ve done for this series.

It’s amazing how the world will line up to help you when you’ve set your mind, as Moyers did. Sometimes it’s hard to see this when you’re focused on doing what needs to be done. Moyers understood this early on:

Joseph Campbell did tell me once that if you decide on a large project that is right for you, invisible hands will materialize to lift you toward its achievement. Or, as my mother would have said, “The Lord will provide” — although she would never confuse Salman [Rushdie] for the Lord.

I especially recommend the interview with Pema Chödrön.

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