In our final installment of reflections on the Scholl Center’s recent “Out of Many: Religious Pluralism in America” program, Andrew Simon has done a very nice write up of Martin Marty’s evening lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Simon picks up on Marty’s insistence that America’s religious diversity is not just a cosmopolitan or urban phenomenon. As Simon writes,
Marty suggested that disparate religious traditions permeate the cultural geography of America, defining the identity of large and small communities alike. Lest we think we can pinpoint the home of America’s religious tradition in one particular locale, perhaps a centuries-old church in a small town in Massachusetts, or we think that the American religious tradition has no meaning whatsoever, in fact it lives in all places of worship, each as critical to the character of religion in America as the next.
The participants of the Out of Many program would later confirm this point in Marty’s morning seminar. Each shared their own stories of religious encounters in classroom from locales as diverse as El Paso, Texas to Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
You can listen to, download, and get a transcription of Marty’s lecture on the NEH’s write up as well.