Earl Lectures 1971 - Martin E. Marty

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Martin E. Marty

"What is an historical historian? The one who tells us who we are based upon what ground we stand on. It involves footprints. And feet. And dirt. And sky. The place in between and its legitimate players. It means seeing beneath the surfaces. What is the sacrament? The presence of God from the rear, the astonishing recognition of trust that he is near, so we need not fear the darkness, nor the land, nor the sky, nor the empty space awaiting the human step. What is the hand of a priest on the head of a small child? The affirmation of that trust, and the recognition that there is blessedness in that hand, there is promise. It is a joyful exchange, a minister with a child, an historian with the world where a hidden God is at work."

-Wendy Murray Zoba, "A Sense of Place: The Many Horizons of Martin E. Marty," The Christian Century, 3 October–5 November 2002

Listen to Lectures:

In January 1971, Dr. Marty gave three consecutive nightly lectures, following the Earl Lectures format of the time.  Click on the title to hear the lecture:


Marty, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he taught for 35 years. He is the author of more than 50 books including The One and the Many: America’s Struggle for the Common Good (Harvard University Press, 1998); Education, Religion and the Common Good (Jossey-Bass, 2000); and Politics, Religion and the Common Good (Jossey-Bass, 2000).

He contributed five volumes — including Fundamentalisms Observed and Fundamentalisms Comprehended — to the multi-year University of Chicago Press Fundamentalism Project, for which he also served as series co-editor. Among Dr. Marty's other publications are a biography Martin Luther (Viking Adult, 2004); Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers: Exploring Christian Faith (Augsburg Books, 2007); and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters and Papers from Prison": A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2011). He won the National Book Award for Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (Harper & Row, 1977).

In addition to the National Book Award, Professor Marty's honors include the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools, and the Order of Lincoln Medallion. He is past president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association. He has served on two U.S. Presidential Commissions.


 1971 Lectures Program1971 Conference Program

Click on the images to see the 1971 Conference Program and the 1971 Lectures Program featuring Martin E. Marty


Martin Marty and others, Earl Lectures, 1971

 Above: Receiving line at the Earl Lectures 1971. Left to right: Stuart Anderson, Raezella Anderson,
Martin E. Marty, Paul Lehmann (?), Harland Hogues.
Below: Marty and others at the Earl Lectures, 1971.
Images by Betty Jane Nevis Photography, Berkeley, CA.  

Martin Marty at the Earl Lectures, 1971



Martin E. Marty Home page
Martin E. Marty at the University of Chicago Divinity School
Martin E. Marty at The Christian Century