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Video

Interview Date

8-17-2000

Abstract

Would human beings be religious if they were never going to die?

Dr. Martin Marty discusses his belief that not much in life’s entirety would have meaning without death. Without death, humans are unable to value anything for its worth. Religion is therefore used as a way in which humans value certain life stages and experiences. Without death, all of this would be meaningless.

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Playing Time: 2:42 minutes

About the Interviewee:

Dr. Martin Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years mostly in the Divinity School. He has been a columnist, editor and frequent contributor to a variety of publications. He has written more than 60 books including, Righteous Empire and Modern American Religion and written or contributed to hundreds of articles. Ordained a Lutheran minister in 1952, he served parishes in the Chicago area until joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1963.

Dr. Marty was 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 and was director of both the Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Public Religion Project at the University of Chicago (sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust).

Dr. Martin Marty has received many honors including 80 honorary degrees and several public service medals.

About the Interviewer:

Dr. Alfred Benney is a professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University. He has a Ph.D in Theology from the Hartford Seminary Foundation and teaches courses in Non-Traditional American Religions and Christian Religious Thought. His research interests include "how people learn"; "the appropriate use of technology in teaching/learning" and "myth as explanatory narrative". He has published work on teaching with technology.

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