Responding to Tragedy

Aired 2001-02. Since September 11, 2001, it has been pointed out countless times that America has lost its innocence and that our illusion of invulnerability, so ingrained in our attitudes at home and abroad, has been shattered. As we pursue and punish those who attacked us in New York and at the Pentagon, a distinguished panel discussed what religion brings to the debate and the actions of nations at a time of tragedy. The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, a former congressman and now the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, and Rabbi James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor of the American Jewish Committee and a former military chaplain, are joined on the panel by The Reverend Thomas Reese, editor-in-chief of America, the Jesuit Catholic weekly; Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of Al Farah Mosque in New York City, founder of the American Sufi Muslim Association, and Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, along with Nicholas Vreeland, a Buddhist monk who is the director of The Tibet Center in New York City and editor of An Open Heart, the teachings of the Dalai Lama. The group, meeting at the headquarters of the American Bible Society in New York, explored the various moral and ethical issues surrounding the attack, the national and international response and the varied views of a just war.