Still Wrestling: Martin Marty
"Sometimes its good when things get messy," says the noted historian of religions, and University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, Martin E. Marty. He's been studying that messiness - the blurring of lines between religions, and the frictions that come between them - for more than forty years.
In this far-ranging interview, host David Dault speaks with Professor Marty about the state of religion in America, as well as his thoughts and feelings about "wrestling with the diminished things" - the limitations that come with age. It turns out, Martin Marty delights in the challenge.
Marty served as an ordained Lutheran pastor before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years. While there, he established the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion. Upon his retirement in 1998, the Institute was renamed The Martin Marty Center in his honor.
Marty has written or contributed to over a hundred books, and has authored over 5,000 articles on various subjects.
During our conversation, Professor Marty refers to the Robert Frost poem, The Oven Bird, which we include below.
The Oven Bird
BY ROBERT FROST
There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.