Roger In Context: Season 2

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8 minutes, 17 seconds

Roger Williams, 17th Century champion of religious liberty, squares off with The Opponent, a mysterious character bound to grab power at any opportunity. Enjoy this cinematic interpretation of the legacy of Roger Williams, produced by the National Park Service at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, Rhode Island.

arial view of the large, stately marble Rhode Island state house
Across the street from Roger Williams National Memorial is the grand marble statehouse, constructed in 1901. It serves as the seat of power in the state.

David Lawlor

Roger Williams National Memorial is the site where in 1636, a small community of outsiders established a new form of government. They applied the principles of democracy and limited government in an attempt to free theselves from the tyrrany of religious laws. This new community set the stage for many principles our nation holds dear today, such as separation of church and state and government of the people.

Roger Williams was a champion of religious freedom in early America. He fiercely defended religious diversity as a way of protecting his own religios freedom. He saw political powers that claimed that they had the authority of God use that influence to persecute and oppress.

In this dramatic interpretation of Roger's ideas, his character challenges "The Opponent," a representation of political power, to a game of chess. The opponent uses religious authority in the form of Bishops on a chessboard, to cheat and overtake Roger's disobedience.

This complex dialog and argument is set within the backdrop of Roger Williams National Memorial, a park site in Providence, Rhode Island. A ranger talks to visitors about the complexity of American society while the epic chess battle continues to unfold.

Roger in Context: Season 1 can be viewed on the National Memorial's YouTube page.

Last updated: February 22, 2024

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