The philosophy department of Oklahoma Baptist University’s Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry will host a panel discussion Friday, Sept. 29, on the topic, “Challenges and Opportunities: Fundamentalism, Secularism and Evangelical Christianity in America.” The forum will take place at 4 p.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium in the Bailey Business Center on OBU’s campus in Shawnee.
The panel will include special guest lecturer Dr. David Bebbington, religious scholar and professor of history at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Bebbington will be on campus for multiple events from Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
He will be joined on the panel by OBU faculty Dr. Daniel Spillman, associate professor of history; Dr. Sidney Watson, professor of English; Dr. Matthew Emerson, associate professor of religion and Dickinson Chair of Religion; Dr. Lindsey Panxhi, assistant professor of English; and Dr. Matthew Arbo, Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Assistant Professor of Theological Studies and Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life.
Bebbington has taught at the University of Stirling since 1976, serving as professor of history since 1999. He has also taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Regent College in Vancouver, Notre Dame University, the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Baylor University. He was an undergraduate at Jesus College in Cambridge from 1968-71. He began his doctoral studies in 1971 before becoming a research fellow at Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge in 1973.
He has spoken at various institutions around the globe, including several guest lectures at OBU. Two of his recent publications include “Baptists through the Centuries: A History of a Global People” and “Heaven on Earth: Reimagining Time and Eternity in Nineteenth-Century British Evangelicalism.”
On Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. Bebbington will lecture on “Evangelism and Secularization in Britain and America from the Eighteenth Century to the Present,” in the Mabee Lecture Room in Stavros Hall. The Friday panel will use this lecture as a springboard for discussion.
Friday morning at 10 a.m., he will speak about William Carey during missions chapel in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. On Monday, Oct. 2, he will conclude his visit with a lecture on “The Legacy of George Whitefield.” The lecture takes place in Geiger Center 218-220 at 7 p.m.
“OBU is honored and privileged to have Dr. Bebbington sharing his wisdom and knowledge on our campus,” said Dr. Tawa Anderson, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the honors program. “Our panel of esteemed OBU faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines will interact with Dr. Bebbington to explore how our common religious history can inform our contemporary understanding and missional engagement.”
OBU’s Philosophy Forums are intended to spark interest in and engagement with philosophical topics and issues that have broader rational and practical implications. The fall series will include two more forums. The next forum will take place Friday, Nov. 3, and will host a worldview book launch symposium. The symposium will feature engagement and a panel discussion of “An Introduction to Christian Worldview,” a book co-authored by Anderson, along with Michael Clark and David Naugle.