Introduction: Religion and Politics (03:01)
Richard D. Heffner welcomes writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Wiesel argues for total separation of church and state in both Israel and in the U.S. He explains why democracy and religion are fundamentally opposed.
Abortion Debate (04:07)
Wiesel says politicians want votes, but some are religiously motivated. He discusses the implications of moral perceptions in women's' right to choose.
Case of Israel (04:56)
Wiesel takes issue with religious parties imposing their will on government. He explains why he wants to continue the Jewish tradition, as a religious man. He also tries to correct what he sees as injustices within that tradition.
Personal Religious Journey (02:43)
Wiesel was raised in a religious family, and still believes. He discusses how his perspective has changed since the Holocaust. Initially, he continued his Talmudic study as a psychological response to trauma. He later found tools for questioning in philosophy.
Dealing with the Holocaust (03:51)
Wiesel has found solace in studying philosophy, but has no answers. He does not believe in justifying the suffering of others through his own suffering. His biggest disillusionment was realizing that political leaders knew about the genocide, including Roosevelt.
Holocaust Memory (03:11)
Wiesel says words are insufficient for describing what happened to the Jewish people. In writing "Night," he wanted to reach other survivors. As their numbers decrease, they try to build sanctuary around this history; he fears that it will be trivialized.
Representing the Holocaust (04:40)
Wiesel explains why he takes issue with artistic or fictional renditions of the Holocaust. He believes it cannot be "dealt" with and is beyond human understanding.
Credits: Episode 7: Religion and Politics (00:45)
Credits: Episode 7: Religion and Politics
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