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Historian George M. Marsden to give Grawemeyer Lecture

Mar 04, 2005
George M. Marsden, winner of the 2005 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, will speak at a public lecture at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on March 30, 2005, at 7 p.m. in Caldwell Chapel. His lecture, entitled “Jonathan Edwards for the 21st Century," is based on his award-winning publication, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press, 2003), which won the $200,000 prize jointly sponsored by the Seminary and the University of Louisville.

“The point of historical scholarship should not be, as it so often is today, simply to take things apart, to destroy myths, or to say that what looks simple is really quite complex,” states Marsden in his book. “It should also be to help people see how to put things back together again. We need to use history for the guidance it offers, learning from great figures in the past—both in their brilliance and in their shortcomings. Otherwise we are stuck with the wisdom of the present.”

Dr. George M. Marsden is a renowned expert on the history of Christianity in America. He holds degrees from Haverford College and Westminster Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from Yale University. He has taught at Calvin College and Duke University, and since 1992 has served as the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

Marsden is author or editor of more than a dozen books, more than sixty articles and book-chapters, and numerous other editorials and published interviews. His areas of expertise include, among others, the history and present state of fundamentalism in America, and the culture of American university education. He once served as an expert witness testifying against the Arkansas “Creation-Science” law (Maclean vs. Arkansas, December 1981). Marsden’s recent books include Religion and American Culture (Harcourt Brace, 1990), Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1991), The Soul of the American University (Oxford, 1994), and The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship (Oxford, 1997).

Marsden has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Freedom Trust, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His winning book was named one of ten “Books of the Year” for 2003 by Atlantic Monthly, one of eight “Best Religious Books of 2003” by Publishers Weekly.

The Grawemeyer Lecture in Religion is offered to the community free of charge and is held in conjunction with a series of lectures and presentations of four other Louisville Grawemeyer winners for 2005:

Award in Ideas Improving World Order:
Roberta Cohen and Francis M. Deng,
“Addressing the Global Crisis of Internal Displacement”
Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 9:30 a.m.
Ekstrom Auditorium, University of Louisville

Award in Education:
Elliot Eisner, "The Arts and the Creation of Mind"
Wednesday, March 30, 2005, noon
University Club, University of Louisville

Award in Psychology:
Elizabeth Loftus
Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 4:00 p.m.
Strickler Hall, Room 101, University of Louisville

Award in Music:
George Tsontakis, ”Violin Concerto No. 2"
Thursday, March 31, 2005, 3:00 p.m.
Comstock Recital Hall, University of Louisville

For more information about the awards visit www.grawemeyer.org
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