Continuing its Centennial Celebration, Oklahoma Baptist University will welcome nationally recognized author and lecturer Dr. Martin Marty for a centennial Hobbs Lecture on April 14. The public is invited to attend the event during the weekly chapel service at 10 a.m. in OBU's Raley Chapel.
Marty is one of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture today. He is the author of more than 50 books and 5,000 articles. He also is a speaker, columnist, pastor and teacher.
He served as professor of religious history for 35 years at the University of Chicago, where he maintains the title of Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. Since his retirement, the university has established the Martin Marty Center to promote "public religion" endeavors.
"Dr. Martin Marty maintains a heavy and distinguished speaking schedule, and we are so honored to host him on our campus for the Spring 2010 Hobbs Lecture," said Dale Griffin, OBU dean of spiritual life. "His expertise on the topics of Baptist heritage and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, on whom this year's chapel series has been built, makes Marty an excellent choice for the lecture."
Marty earned a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1956. He also has been awarded honorary doctorates from 75 colleges and universities.
He writes the column "M.E.M.O." for the "Christian Century," on whose staff he has served since 1956. He has served as editor of the semimonthly "Context," a newsletter on religion and culture, since 1969. He also is a weekly contributor to "Sightings," a biweekly, electronic editorial published by the Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
He has served as a Lutheran pastor, ordained in 1952. He served parishes in the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago for a decade before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1963.
The Herschel H. and Frances J. Hobbs Lectureship in Baptist Faith and Heritage was OBU's first endowed lectureship beginning in fall 1980. The Hobbs Lectureship program annually sponsors a lecture at OBU and highlights speakers that share phases of Baptist faith and heritage with the OBU community. Friends of the late Dr. Hobbs, who was pastor of First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, and of the late Mrs. Hobbs, created the endowed fund in honor of the couple's years of outstanding Christian service.
"Marty knew Dr. Hobbs personally and has had an interest in the series for many years," Griffin said.