Award-Winning Filmmaker to Host Special Screening of Reinhold Niebuhr Documentary in Northfield

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Martin Doblmeier will present An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story with panel from St. Olaf College and Carleton College.

The Institute for Freedom and Community

The Institute for Freedom & Community at St. Olaf College is co-sponsoring a preview of the upcoming documentary An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story with renowned documentarian Martin Doblmeier to be held at Carleton College.

Niebuhr, an American theologian and commentator on politics, was widely considered an ethical voice during some of the most tumultuous events in American history, including World War I, the Vietnam War, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement. He is also the author of the well-known Serenity Prayer and has been known as former President Barack Obama’s favorite theologian.

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story
Sunday, February 19, 2017
7–9 p.m.
Weitz Center for Creativity – Cinema (WCC161)
Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, Minn.

Filmmaker Doblmeier will be joined by a panel of experts on Niebuhr’s life and the influence of religion on society today, including St. Olaf professors Edmund Santurri and Anthony Bateza and Carleton professors Richard Crouter and Lori Pearson.


  • Edmund N. Santurri, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at St. Olaf College, Martin E. Marty Chair in Religion and the Academy, Director of The Institute for Freedom & Community
  • Anthony Bateza, Instructor of Religion at St. Olaf College
  • Lori Pearson, Professor of Religion at Carleton College
  • Richard Crouter, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at Carleton College (Moderator)

The documentary features interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Civil Rights leader Andrew Young, New York Times writer David Brooks, philosopher and political activist Cornel West, and more. An American Conscience tells the story of how Niebuhr emerged as a religious leader and voice of conscience in an important era of American history. The film will air on PBS beginning in April 2017.

The creator of the film, Doblmeier, founded Journey Films in 1983. Journey Films has produced more than 30 documentary films that have aired on PBS, ABC, NBC, the BBC, and other broadcast outlets around the world. Doblmeier’s films explore the extraordinary in religion, faith, and spirituality. He holds degrees in Religious Studies and Broadcast Journalism and honorary degrees in Fine Arts and Humane Letters.

The event is co-sponsored by St. Olaf’s Institute for Freedom & Community and Martin E. Marty Chair in Religion and the Academy. Other co-sponsors are Carleton College’s American Studies Program, Religion Department, and Arts @ Carleton.

This event is free and open to the public. To learn more about the panelists and this event, visit

About The Institute
The Institute for Freedom & Community was established at St. Olaf College, a private liberal arts college, in 2015 to encourage free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues. The Institute programs, including coursework, Public Affairs Conversation, public affairs internships, and public lectures, aim to challenge assumptions, question easy answers, and foster constructive, respectful dialogue among those with differing values and contending points of view.

About St. Olaf College
One of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf College offers a distinctive education grounded in academic rigor, residential learning, global engagement, and a vibrant Lutheran faith tradition. By cultivating the habits of mind and heart that enable graduates to lead lives of financial independence, professional accomplishment, personal fulfillment, and community engagement, St. Olaf College provides an uncommon educational experience that fully prepares students to make a meaningful difference in a changing world.

About Carleton College
Founded in 1866, Carleton College is a small, private liberal arts college in the historic river town of Northfield, Minnesota. Best known for its academic excellence and warm, welcoming campus community, Carleton offers 32 majors in the arts, humanities, natural sciences/mathematics, and social sciences.

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Rachel Enerson
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