Rediscovering America's Founding Principles with Jacob Needleman, Ph.D.

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It has been said that when things are at their worst, Americans are at their best. American democracy has existed for more than two hundred years, surviving challenges, betrayals and bashing, bloody wars, and more recently, the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001. With each blow America seems to grow in strength and spirit, and the love of country only deepens. What is it about the structure of the constitution, the structure of the government, and the soul of the people that provides a safe haven for this kind of dynamic evolutionary process? Who were the founders of America, and how did they acquire the vision to establish such a nation? In this richly profound dialogue, world-renowned author, philosopher and professor at San Francisco State University, Jacob Needleman explores these questions and the sacred meaning of America. He provides us with an insightful look into the great collective soul of our forefathers and mothers, and helps us understand the deep significance of our country. "America is a spiritually defined country. It creates the conditions that protect the possibility of a search for knowledge, conscience and spiritual development within its borders. It is probably the most beneficent world power that has ever existed on the earth." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Jacob Needleman, Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University and former director of the Center of the Study of New Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also served as a research associate at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

His books include:

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Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What it means to be an American citizen
  • Why Lincoln and the mystery of his transcendent presence is relevant
  • What is the story of George Washington and how he defined the presidency
  • What was the miracle of 1787 and its contemporary relevance
  • Why America's founders were important
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 12/10/2001        Program Number: 2906