May 28, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 17

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    Divinity School to honor Marty with conference, first alumni reunion

    By Shula Neuman
    News Office

    How is it possible to pay adequate tribute to a man

    who has taught and influenced so many people?

    The Divinity School will recognize the retirement of world-renowned religious historian Martin Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Divinity School, with two concurrent events. On Friday and Saturday, June 5 and 6, the Divinity School will host the conference "Narratives of American Religion" in his honor, in conjunction with its first alumni reunion.

    "The retirement of a member of the faculty who has been with us for 35 years, who has been enormously influential and involved with the education of so many of our students, seemed like the perfect occasion to organize a general reunion of the Divinity School alumni," said Elena Vassallo, Associate Dean of Alumni Relations in the Divinity School.

    A highlight of the conference will be a round-table discussion at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6, moderated by John Callaway, the Emmy Award-winning senior correspondent for public television station WTTW. Marty himself will participate in the round table, along with Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor in the Divinity School, and Garry Wills, professor of history at Northwestern.

    The conference will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, June 5, with "Our Stories. Their Stories: Insider and Outsider Narratives in American Religious History," presented by Stephen Stein of Indiana University. At 1:30 p.m., Catherine Albanese of University of California-Santa Barbara will present "Narrating an Almost Nation: Contact, Combination and Metaphysics in American Religious History." The conference will conclude Saturday, June 6, with the 9 a.m. session "Theology as Entertainment: Oral Debate in American Religion," presented by E. Brooks Holifield of Emory.

    All conference events, which are free and open to the public, will be held in Swift Lecture Hall.

    In addition to the academic component, the weekend will include a Saturday-evening dinner with Marty and Clark Gilpin, Dean of the Divinity School.

    Marty will receive the Alumni Medal, the Alumni Association's highest honor, at the University's All-Alumni Assembly at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 6, in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

    For more information about the Divinity School reunion, conference or related events, call 702-8222 or see www2.uchicago.edu/divinity/calendar.html.