THINK Out Loud

THINK Out Loud @the Abbey is a free series of events and discussions on social, economic, and environmental justice issues. Keep checking this space as we finalize the dates and times for each event!

Tuesday, October 24, 7:00 PM: Join us for a showing and discussion of “An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story.”

From the documentary website: “Although he may be best remembered today as the author of the famed ‘Serenity Prayer,’ Reinhold Niebuhr — an outspoken American-born pastor, writer, and political activist — remains one of the most influential public theologians of our time.  Presidents from Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter have credited his impact on their thinking, as well as John McCain, countless historians, theologians, political thinkers, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who cited Niebuhr in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.’

Niebuhr’s career spanned some of the most tumultuous decades in American history, from World War I through Vietnam, from the Great Depression through the Civil Rights Movement. An early pacifist and socialist, he was closely monitored by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI throughout his life, but would later serve as a consultant to the State Department during the Cold War

Niebuhr rose from a small Midwest church pulpit to become the nation’s moral voice — an American conscience — during some of the most defining moments in recent history. His books, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941–43) and The Irony of American History (1952), continue to influence theological and political thinking. An American original, his unique insights into human nature and its relationship to political movements and social justice propelled him to speak openly, and often critically, to an America consumed by moral certainty.  For Niebuhr the priority was always justice, his guiding principle was hope in a redeemer God, and his weapon was an extraordinary gift for clarity of thought that made him a leading voice of conscience for his time.

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story is directed, written and narrated by Martin Doblmeier, the creator of dozens of provocative, award-winning films on faith including Chaplains and Bonhoeffer. Rich in archival material, the documentary features interviews with former President Jimmy Carter,  Cornel West, Andrew Young, David Brooks, Susannah Heschel and a host of internationally recognized historians and theologians.

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story is produced by Journey Films, Inc., and is a presentation of Maryland Public Television. Major funding provided by the Lilly Endowment. Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.”


Coming soon:

  • “Bonhoeffer” – a documentary by Martin Doblmeier about theologian, pastor, and Nazi resistor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • “An Act of Love” – documentary about a Methodist minister who was “defrocked” when he conducted his son’s same-sex marriage

Past Events:

September 19, 7:00 PM: Food Justice and the Fair Food Campaign, a presentation by the Interreligious Task Force on Central America.

July 6, 7:00 PM: “50/50” – a documentary  and discussion about the 10,000-year history of women + power .

June 15, 7:30 PM: “From the Ashes” – advanced screening of a new documentary produced by National Geographic, and consponsored by Interfaith Power and Light.


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