Minnesota Meeting: Martin Marty - Religion in America: Should we Bring Religion Out of the Shadows and into Public Life?

Midday | Religion | Speeches | Legacy Amendment Digitization (2018-2019) | Minnesota Meeting
Listen: 89020.wav
0:00 |

Theologian Martin Marty, director of the Public Religion Project at the University of Chicago School of Divinity, addresses the Minnesota Meeting. Marty’s speech was titled, "Religion in America: Should we Bring Religion Out of the Shadows and into Public Life?" Speech is followed by a question and answer period. Minnesota Meeting is a non-profit corporation which hosts a wide range of public speakers. It is managed by the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

6 minutes past twelve broadcast Minnesota meeting are supported by Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly with offices in both Minneapolis and st. Paul providing legal services to businesses around the world and it is time now for today is Minnesota meeting off we go to the Minneapolis Marriott City Center Hotel in Downtown, Minneapolis. Good afternoon. Good afternoon, everyone. Imma need a pan push president of the Bush foundation and a board member of Minnesota meeting. It's a great pleasure to welcome all of you to today's Minnesota meeting presentation. I also would like to welcome or radio audience throughout the Upper Midwest who are hearing this address on the midday program of Minnesota Public Radio. Broadcast of Minnesota meeting are made possible by the law firm of Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly with offices in Minneapolis-Saint Paul and major cities in the United States and Canada. Numbers of Minnesota meeting represent this community leaders from business government Academia and the professions. This is our 16th year in the marketplace of ideas. It's a great pleasure for me today to introduce our speaker Professor Martin Marty one of America's most prominent theologians. Dr. Marty is the Fairfax and Cone distinguished service professor at the University of Chicago where he received his PhD in 1956. Professor Marty is written over 50 books many considered standard text in almost every School of Theology is many honors include the National Humanities medal in 1997 and the national book award. Marty is Professor Marty is affectionately known too many has a strong connection to Minnesota. We all know his son Senator John Marty who is currently undertaking his second bid to be Minnesota's governor. Marty is also the chairman of the Board of Regents of one of Minnesota's most beloved institutions st. Olaf College in Northfield. These days Professor Marty is spending a good deal of his time as director of the public religion project a three-year effort funded by the Pew charitable trusts to understand the role of religion in our nation's public life better. Marty is here in the Twin Cities today to lead a daylong symposium on that topic and has already elicited spirited dialogue among the participants. I myself am a participant in the Symposium along with a hundred other minnesotans from 10 different professional perspectives. The Symposium is being convened by Minnesota Public Radio Civic journalism initiative. I can tell you it has been a very exciting conversation. We at the Minnesota meeting are very pleased to be hosting this luncheon in conjunction with the symposium. Professor Marty will take questions following his address. Jane Rasik and Gloria mcclanaghan of Minnesota meeting will manage the question. It is now my great pleasure to present Professor Martin Marty. friends our 3-year project public religion project Has as its Mantra or Mission quote to bring to light and interpret the forces of faith in a pluralistic society. An advanced writing for Minnesota Public Radio I elaborated on that bring it to light implies that there's been Darkness or at least Shadows. where religion is not an official establishment most places in the world that always has been and in many is still is where does not it is cold everywhere, but nowhere. For those reasons among others. It's often apparently shadowed and in need of being brought to light. When the program for today came to me, I noticed that I was to talk about religion in the shadows of public life and I squirmed a little and I said, where did you get that idea and they said from you so I tend to agree with the proposition at least for the next 25 minutes and we'll try but I want to do a special twist about that sense of Shadows Shadows not in the dark private religion can be in the dark. Religion of the spires to be at home in the public can be in the dark unless we're was trained eyes to see it in the gallery in the mall and University in the market and all of the other places where we transect. There are many people in the field of religion who looking out in public life crying a lot that media and University and market and Mal do not have a more Vivid sense of the visible presence of religion. One of the few absolutes that we have in our office in Chicago is embodied in the little sign that my wife gave me no whining. No one's allowed to have wine. I have a sentence from Oliver Goldsmith and 18th century and wonderful antique type. I am not much given to her whining about the depravity of our present Society whereupon he went on whining. And I find funny things to whine about to but I've never known anybody to change because somebody wind a lot and the public Legend projects job is not to whine about where it isn't but rather to take action to try to discern where it is as we're doing in this steps for him today. As far as we know nobody's ever tried what's going on for about 9 hours here today cross-section of disciplines religions 9 religions interests, and so on people speaking openly and we have our antenna out to listen and I hope to inform the rest of our project just as we're hoping to leave some trail in, Minnesota. I use the image this morning of the particle accelerator which picks up things that are already going Atomic and subatomic particles and it accelerates them and we are doing that for three years and we are hoping that some of that will happen also here today. Why are we doing it? Trying to see where shadow where it's dark where it's light. It is part of an experiment called Civic journalism Civic life project is designed with that in the future to Able trust asked us through the University of Chicago to do this. They didn't say get America equipped up about religion or tell everybody that religion is always good but rather contribute to Civil Life in America. Well, anyone who's close to religion knows it has more sides than one. It has some frightening sides some years ago. I was in a associate dean of a Divinity School and I learned that one of my tasks was to take the Tin Cup out and raise funds for The Graduate study religion. Something I don't mind doing it all to believe in a cause you raise funds for the cause in our culture and I was to do that but I didn't know how cuz this was in the early 1970s and the funding was given urgently for children in the ghetto and great societal needs and I asked a colleague on what grounds can you morally ask people to support The Graduate study of Religion in colleges universities and he said Marty from my field to yours. I may just say the same grounding the 20 years before we started studying sexuality religion is a lot like sex if you get it a little bit wrong. It's really dangerous. And as you look at the stories in today's or any days newspaper from Afghanistan Northern Ireland little better this week and so on you can see that getting it wrong. People believing things passionately and then fighting for Turf and invoking their gods make or worse. So we'd like to engage the forces of American society that they may do that. Secondly one tries to visit an accurate reading of what American life is if the vast majority of American people are somehow religious or spiritual were involved with institutional religion and that is obscured from view in the shadows. We don't understand power. We don't understand whom educated how or whatever. And that often leads to a sense of the dangers of the borders of our reality in 1492. A man named Hartman shado made of a map of the world and and all its edges where you didn't know what was going on. He drew monstrous figures humans with two heads and all kinds of things like this and then hike in Colorado and Monstra here be monsters and I think very often the unknown is the monsters to us and to bring people into open confrontation across the boundaries of their faiths and non face their philosophies and so on is good for the society. And there's a strategic value because I think in so many sectors of American Life voluntary associations, for example, cuz I'll mention later is a very big factor and overlooked. It means that we don't have all the resources at hand. Why talk about Shadows then? Shadows usually refers Not To None religion, but to the fact that in America, we instinctively relate religion to private life. Public-private is a basic polarity and all of our lives and there's nothing we're tending to say more frequently than religion is a private affair. We say that with a good instinct. for one because it is all the great religious teachers and the founders the American Christian majority reading the gospels. Here's the word of Jesus that you should make a public show of your prayer. You should go quietly into your chamber and your closet and God who sees secretly will reward you sanctuaries. They have Retreats there places apart and will never understand religion apart from the many people in the United States today are worried about even the term religion because they associate that with over organized institutional self-seeking religion. As a student of American religion, I never quite sure what it is. They're fighting. I always like to tell people that has Will Rogers said so long ago. I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat. So I remember the organized church have a Protestant. It looks more massive than it is every denomination. By the way from Mennonite to Roman Catholicism is broke, but does that tell they should be if there's a surplus they're not doing their mission. But the institutions do enough wrong. Enough self-seeking that they are often perceived by people is part of the problem by bringing the private into the public regarding the private and so many people as I say now speaking terms of I'm not religious but I'm spiritual. Well those of us who study religion say that's just one more of the religions out there and it gets organized to the large bookstores. You see if you see the section I used to be called religion. It will now say spirituality the are called ancient metaphysical holistic holistic alternative and like sometimes I'll throw in religion along the way and then over your coffee and that's setting you'll see that religious transactions go on and great numbers of people are part of it. So it is forming community of its own kind and get studied along the way to what is designed to protect. the private dimensions of religion green public and the private together. However, as I see it happening increasingly both in the individualized spirituality and its institutional forms, we find it. It's very hard to draw the boundaries of where it shows up and where it doesn't he don't see it for a long time and suddenly it's there. So once I was assigned the task of executing my own sentence about the Shadows, I tried to think of an image that would work for it. And I picked it from the world of art. It said chiaroscuro Nation chiaroscuro means clear and obscure. sunny and Shady the artist used to love to paint a forest for the sun breaking through and Dark Shadow and next to it is a bright Sun or the pillars of a temple on the Acropolis and the shadowed and clear and another word associated with his former toys. They blend into each other. You don't know where it's going to start what's going to stop. That's why I so often in the shadows because it's obscured by other kinds of terms. That's an awful lot of things that go on in religion are also very secular or worldly. Christian rock and exteriors for the first time going to crash the 1 billion dollar market 1,000 million. The promotion of it is no less promotional than it is in the secular world. And with that goes Holy Ghost and those of you who are in marketing would do well to notice the marketing that can be generated in the there's not a clear boundary just as there is none in the most lives of most of the people who registered here is having a scene religion, very important that personal life and in their public and disciplined and Vocational lives. Where do we draw the boundary? Is it Friday night or Saturday or Sunday? And then the other six days most of the people here indicated in the quick response that they must have been them together. So we got to school. Now. It says sunny shady is formato. They blend and blur. It's not in the dark. It always puzzles me when people say religion is a private Affair just to take the first illustration for any City that I mean including this one. I look in the hotel. Drawer phone book Yellow Pages right between check it out chiropractors and cigars. There's a section called churches. When it comes to Jewish churches, it says he's synagogue and when it comes to Muslim churches, it says see see them as if they're all kinds of spin-offs from there. But this morning 111 different brand names and these are not quiet groups. I'm a member of one of them and we make all the noise we can about it. We're hardly private along the way or I can look out of the room at the skyline any Skyline almost anywhere will be dotted with Staples temples and someone if you're in a hospital, you're likely to see someone with a collar going by going to prison or on a campus or in a military unit. Someone who symbolizes the making visible of this shadowed invisible reality. I'm with them in protecting the notion that there has to be a private Dimension to religion. Charles Peggy a great French Catholic early in the century said everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics. He didn't mean mysticism or politics by Mystikal. He didn't mean for my mysticism he meant devotion. He meant prayer life. He meant in the attempt to Prince and the ordinary only what goes on in campaigns and increasing send in the voting booth. He meant the Polish the human City from which we get the word political all the places where we're trying to make a difference. I just get back to what he meant by everything begins in mysticism. There wouldn't be any worthwhile public religion. It's a private religion. I don't know anybody who signs up for a cause just as cause without seeing how that cause matches her belief system. To what do I want to belong where they're going to put my energies and those belief systems are not nurtured. First of all in the public sphere there nurtured at 3 a.m. You scared to die. They are nurtured at the bedside of someone who is today. They're nurtured in the semi-dark were only a little candle burns with a circle of prayer is present their nurtured as we celebrate New Life in the world. Sue Bryce Mitchell acts Adolescent and maturing rides blessings of marriage Giving people and identity Authority motivation care Solace. That's where it all goes. And a lot of that will be then transected through the institutions that deliver them. Years ago when I started out 40 years ago three people Peter Berger Gibson Twitter and I wrote real snotty crabby books about organized religion. We all wanted to be better than it was and we had it figured out to the public world had his act together and our job was to try to get these send me your vallavan parishes. I was a pastor one and I loved it, but I still wrote the book to get them to be relevant to that large order. A couple years ago. We had a project studying at Notre Dame the sociology the parish and a Chicago the history of the congregation or perish and I was to revisit that essay and an embarrassment. I took a new look and said, I'm not too sure the public order has his act together and probably more Americans interpublic life's who congregations than any other way most people who ever teach whoever give a speech wherever administer something whatever try to organize people to make a difference or doing it through these religious institutions, so they are public One reason many people are wary is because when you use the word public they equated with nothing but politics politics is one of the species of the genus public. It's probably the one that's most controversial in the religious realm because when you join a religious group, you are doing it on the basis of a shared religious vision and not necessarily a political vision. Most of the religions will have in their traditional prophetic voice out of which comes morality and ethics and judgment. Isaiah 58 The Lord says through the prophet his was complaining that I'm not paying attention to them. What are they doing with her fasting? I told her too fast and boy, are you fasting you just passed so much you get crabby. You beat each other up. You think that's what I want. You may not like that translation, but it's accurate. Look it up in a hotel room and you're praying a lot, but you're not even your own relative. A lot of people are unjustly imprisoned the fasting I want the prayer I want is that you get involved with that and again after that Palace politics you the Lord says very mystical things about how the blessings come along the way and how rich you are. So I think it's that's the sense in which You deal with the police the human City. That doesn't mean that any religious group is inhibited from entering the formal public political order. It has to take some risks along the way preparing for today's talk. I and tore out from the newspapers the temple score article Sunday Monday and Tuesday that have a bearing on the public dimension of religion and found on the cover of the u.s. News article on James Dobson and focus on the family is being the most powerful yet among the Protestant conservative forces and it shows the ways in which he may very well be what does anybody else in picking the next president United States? If you don't like it, you don't pass a law against if you counter organized James Madison Federalist Paper 10 Federalist Paper 51 It's all over the place in politics. You wouldn't become a mayor of most Northeastern cities. And then he southern city unless you're on very good terms with the pastors of the African-American churches were closest to the people who influence them who can represent them. I wouldn't try to. Enter politics in the 13 County area around New York without being extremely alert to the influence of synagogue in the Jewish community. Some places in the country there more Catholics Than People some places more Mormons and people or whatever. That's our own way of saying that it's overwhelmingly such that you just better know what you're doing along the way people say bless is the private affair because they're afraid you might be asked what your belief system means. When I was standard story in our circles for that, is it a little kid have came home with a black eye and a bruised lip and everything is mother said what happened was over at Kelly's. I know they're your best friends. What happened when I was making smart cracks. Why was Achilles beat up on you about the Pope? Didn't you know the Killer's real Catholic? Yeah, I just didn't know the pope was. Joan of Arc is mrs. Noah to self or send American people. I tried to suggest that the roots of public religion is in private life and it has a right to be guarded because we look out at the world today and we see the role of religion in these massive forms. We seem surprising thing. I don't think this topic would have been on the scene 20 years ago. I don't think a large Foundation would have come to a university and said that it I don't think a public radio program or the Minnesota meeting would do it. We might do the private dimension of religion in many ways but to see the public scene. Why? 200 years ago during the Enlightenment. I think we got into our systems the notion that every time you look out the window there be less religion and it was the last time you looked and with that whatever religion survived it would be very quiet passive reconciled biological ecumenical interface C. Instead of a diamond about the window. There's more not less and the prospering Farms are extremely intense. And therefore one pays attention grabber the 4th 1979 Admiral Stansfield Turner then head of the CIA was asked on issues and answers how we lost the Iranian Revolution. How did CIA not notice it State Department defense department? He said well, we really were doing our job. We were watching everything in her mind. We know the movies. We have Village Customs. We know their schedule or we know all the things the only thing we paid no attention to was religion cuz everyone knows that has no power in the modern world. My colleagues got Applebee meets regularly with the state Department's and with the war college and so on these days and says the state department today is quote. Religion got religion. allergic to it but getting religion is always complex in the public sector because we are so many different things to each other. Is religion in the public good or bad answer is yes. Why is it coming up now in the forms it is. I think at the end of this century and Millennium we look out and we can see a vast change the landscape. 19517 for the world was Muslim today 1/5 is the Christians of the world in the north feel there's some decline their 3000 fewer than they were 24 hours ago. But in sub-Saharan Africa there 16,000 more and a new Vitality is in Christianity in Latin America Hinduism. Again, we on the rise in the sub kind of Asia Soviet Union tried for 72 years using rivers of blood and oceans of ink and miles of barbed wire to expunge it all in the day. The curtain was down. There was more of it around and more variety more Doug in than ever before. With the collapse of the trade systems of the twentieth century that would replace religion. There's a kind of a vacuum and we in our own culture or sensing some of that and that's why people are today and the spiritual search and taking a new look at the role of it. When you talk in these terms that I have about. The role of religion there are people in this room invited. For the day long discussion certainly there people on listening on the radio. Who must have a sense that if religion got no bit wrong is all that dangerous. Maybe these thing to do is just get rid of religion and that solves it all. I want to talk to the University of Chicago alumni night in New York. And this was during the height of Tsar study of militant religious movements around the world. And one of our alumni said, well, I don't know why you don't take the obvious solution. I was born in Tennessee town where everybody was extremely conservative Protestant. They wouldn't let us do anything. We couldn't dance we couldn't believe in evolution be repressed crowd. So I came right at the second day and I said goodbye to Tennessee and and religion and they lived happily ever after why don't you just spread that gospel? well Anyway, that's not really the option most of the known religions of the world. Soviet Union that is produced quasi-religious. If you look at Hitler's Nuremberg speeches, if you look at Miles funeral, if you look at Red Square, they're doing all the things religious people do they're asking for all of my sacrifice of your life. They're asking for total commitment of your belief. They have the ceremonies and the rights. They have all the Mists and the symbols. They have a philosophy to explain it all and someone by no means am I saying that long sentence that the non religion takes on those forms. I'm just saying that the human impulse to make sense of life is going to be drawn on the large-scale of people around such kinds of themes. And therefore if religion is growing around the world. I think the question is going to be in our own culture. How do we see to it that what most people in the culture would see is benign side would come forward. Are these benign sides or very? big elements in our culture When the few people asked us to study and promote efforts to bring to light in a trip at the role of religion American Life, they said put as much energy into studying its healing role as in its conflictual roll. Usually if religion in public life makes it radio television newspaper magazine or whatever. It's because there's conflict. I write the annual articles for Botanica and World Book on protestantism and then I'll have to report until summer when all the nations come together and fight themselves and they make news but that's not why they're Baptists because back home all these other things have been happening all along. Well when we started looking that we got very impressed by the researchers of people like Robert will snow in Princeton, which finds it slightly more than 50% of American people are in a regular volunteer activity unmatched anywhere in the world. And when you ask them 72 80% of them say they are motivated by religion and or are working through it adjust institutions. They share common stories with no says you can't coerce people in the volunteering many people shouldn't have tried. You can moralize them. Everyone in this room probably has tried if you're responsible for voluntary Association. Nothing happens. You can't beguile them. Who is Charlotte of fun. You get them caught up in the story and then they find it is rewarding and they want to be part of the story. They live off the ancient stories of their scriptures in the Christian World a Good Samaritan type story would be an exemplary. But all the religions have them and then they add to the story by what they're doing. When are they done told stories of American life? So those of you who are non-religious or anti-religious and I think you can do a great service by forcing religion and religious groups to purify themselves in the public ground. Those who are profoundly religious might spend more energy on mysticism and politics connect those of us who are religious in particular ways have to learn more ways to relate to the non-religious and the other religious. We are an extremely pluralistic society and we're going to become more so not less so 1965 change in immigration laws make it possible. For more people from Asia and Africa. And in specially these days this Panic world to become a part of the mix, that could be more not less. We're not going to be forced into single mode. So we have to relate to the other in a different way. So am I getting rid of it? Is it better by asking how do you bring forth those sides of to contribute to the Palace the political of a civil order? Abraham Lincoln and one of his speeches after talking about the ways in which in each individual and in each community and then seats Nation. We have the dark side the dangerous side and the positive hope that the better angels of our nature might come forth. We believe the best odds for that are if believer non believer believer and other believer confront each other from the depths of their own convictions in the public sphere. They learned the limits of what the other is after they learned some empathy for why the other is after the way the other person is that John Courtney Murray, the wages would think it was influenced me about along the way in this define a republic as people locked in civil argument people locked in civil argument locks because we occupy the same place. Nobody wants to leave and nobody is going to so we're locked. You can't have Justice without argument. In politics in Commerce or anywhere. So the issue is to make it civil and I would argue now it's centuries and that the people whose name you might put in an envelope and have them open a hundred years from now as people who helped make this Century worthwhile for people who are profoundly connected with their own tradition. Don't flossophy their own scripture and they can reach out to others. Martin Luther King is inexplicable apart from his Baptist Roots, but he needed Gandhi satyagraha and Gandhi was Hindu to the core, but he welcomed through Jesus. Pope John XXIII got off his throne and embraced the Jews as they came in in a gesture that probably did more than the documents that still issue from their Thomas Burton was as perfect as you can get Trappist monastery and is talking to Buddhist and Hindu monks on the day. He dies. You don't become less. Baptist Hindu Catholic along the way for doing this you might even be reached richer along the way out to Portrait. I've given therefore it's not the religion is in the dark of only privacy or in the light of the public. We're only that should happen but in the shadows of the evil character where light and darkness interact and sfumato they blur along the way. People gathered here today, and I hope people listening or invited there for it to that wonderful Shadow and light show. Thank you. Thank you. Dr. Martin. You're listening to dr. Martin Marty who is the director of the public religion Project Beacon to the Minnesota meeting on the Stations of Minnesota Public Radio the first question for you here today from coronary Z and who is recently retired Pastor the First Unitarian Society corn. Dr. Bharti, I was intrigued by your use of the the imagery of the shadow. Of course every every religion. However, private Republica chooses to be Cast its own shadow and I would suspect that would be a good idea. If every religion indeed exam of the self critically in regard to the kind of Shadow. It casts within the larger society in regard to this governing question that we have all try to address ourselves to what role should religion have in public life. I think that the number of the very interesting comments you've been making during this brief speech of you are suggest that maybe we could even specify that by asking what role should religion have. Should religion play. in the advance the American Democratic faith because I think that is evident from voting patterns and the cynicism about political leaders and so on that one very, one bit of common ground that many religions could organize in concert with one another would be to contribute to a greater understanding of how the Democratic Faith. It's practice its history. Its Theory could contribute to the enhancement of American Life today because a good deal of religion in American Life tends to be consumerist. And we deal with politics is consumerist and a consumerist society is inherently a privatized want it seems to me so we would need to get into the pug in public aspect of it in terms of democracy. Okay, I agree with you on the general assumption. I don't think we can say that that has to be the main function of the religions, but I think if they want exists in a Democratic Society, they better be holding up the mirror and and looking at each other probably the most eloquent critic of consumerism today is a religious figure named John Paul II having seen the end of Communism. He's now looking at the flea market in the enterprise system and his documents intestine was I know it says good things if you're a capitalist and free-market person and then he comes to town and says, however, you're you're you're involved with the great God Mammon or whatever tries to put a perspective on it. And I think that is the way that has to come from the first part of your question and I'll close with that. Is to say I think the way the purification comes is to the challenge each gives to each other the problem with religion where there was an established religion. Where anybody had too much to handle the show was nobody could be a Critic of it and I think in America the very pluralism means you can ask somebody else to to put up, but we aren't going to go to convert everybody to the vision that one of their main functions is appraisal Democratic Society. Doc and Marty you can expect a Lutheran Laden question from this table. Would you please explain Martin Luther's concept of vocation and or the two kingdoms? And how that might inform us relative to the question what role should religion have in public life. you gave me an and or so I'm going to do the or add the two kingdoms is such a complex thing either. I think it's a very very good deal. But this nineteenth-century story where guy was tarred and feathered and running out of town with tires and feathers and somebody said the Monroe Doctrine. I was supposed to be alone. I told him I I I I love the Monroe Doctrine. I believe in the Monroe Doctrine. I live by the Monroe Doctrine tie for them. I just didn't know what it was. And if I find it the the act of describing the one hand of God in the other hand of God in the two kings comics on it quickly get to calling which is not again Lutheran private preserve it all but it is a strong accent some years ago. Look magazine was talking to various religious groups. What did Jehovah's Witnesses believe what it was believed on every kind of thing at the end. They asked Yeltsin rough the Lutheran Faith. He said yes, they just don't think they're the only ones who hold it. So at least in respect until calling it's all over the place and it's coming in strong are all the time in the in the face. But the notion is that a special stamp. It's got your name on it. You are responsive to if your believer in God that you are called by God that you have a responsibility if it's on loan you are a steward. I think the special Twisted Luther brought to the like is that every day is a new start you dare not carry over the guilt of the day before or the word for the day next you inevitably will but there's no reason to and I think I liberate you for what is then for the new day with the next question from Jon Stewart? Who is the state of Minnesota public defender? Dr. Marty, I work in criminal justice representing Indigent people who are accused of crimes and I would like to see a more Humane criminal justice policy in this country. It baffles me that So Many religious groups are advocating for capital punishment and other really harsh measures that seem not to take into account the possibility of somebody being redeemed or of a community being healed and I wonder if you could comment on that. I'm with you from the tone and implication of your thing. I'm mystified too since we cannot find any deterrent feature. You're reduced to m. Same we're taking all these things very serious head back and forth to Charles Colson a couple years ago and it puzzles me when he said I find a new account for the death penalty because of some really heinous heinous crime. And so I guess it's it's we've got to show our sense of justice and revenge and I thought that was strange for an Evangelical who and who believes you can turn and that keep someone alive. They might live long enough to turn it just seems so strange folk John Paul II really came out strongly again criticized in the US recently for being the the nation with the highest death penalty thing. And of course, there's some Bible verses that day. You can always site for this taking the sword and taken out in vain but doesn't have to be that way WC Fields when said I've been studying the Bible for a lot of years looking for a loophole there a lot of loopholes on this one and I think that the the developing plot among the prophets and in the gospels of Jesus is much more toward. the advocacy of life Thank you. I next question is from Tim Bayer who is with the corporate offices of Dayton Hudson Corporation? Dr. Marty answer being made to reconcile the differences between formal relations. And my question is whether you think the success of those attempts is likely to have an impact on the role of religion in public life and perhaps more pointedly the role of religion in corporate life. The word you said was a formal religion is talking to each other. Yes as in ecumenism Interfaith relations. Oh, yes. I'm riding four volumes on American religion the 20th century up until the 50s most products and energies were defined by over against Catholic most Christian over against you and The ecumenical movement. Whatever stage is in now and it's obviously in a new stage. If it did gave us enough gifts that you don't have to go back to where they were. It's always going to be taking different patterns, but the barriers are down a certain kind of fun on your question of capital punishment a certain kind of Catholic certain kind of Jew certain kind of methodists are going to be linking together in a way. They couldn't have years ago in corporate life and corporate is very complex cuz you got your stockholders of their various backgrounds along the way but I do think Ian in the management the morals the ethical patterns that are projected. I need a ride from the deepest religious impulse of the people and I don't think you can project that into your formal in the all the policies and invisible wait, but I think in the company Retreats and so I think it's really great to have set up for these can be discussed along the way. I think it's one of the more hopeful features of American religion allow things to be pessimistic about but I think there's been some gain their you wouldn't have happened. If the form of bodies hadn't done the talking minute they talk to catch up with lady. That's about what it amounts to right after Vatican II there were living room dialogues and boy the first year they were a big hit second. Are they laid an egg y? We're going on all the time and now they were licensed so you didn't have to have them formal. I think that's what it happened. Thank you Mary. We have a next question from Rose McGee. Who is the poet and storyteller? Oh, thank you Doctor Marty. I come from a background that typically says that you don't separate religion from public life and you walk the walk and you talk the talk one of the questions that's on my mind that I'd like you to respond to is how do we make the whole subject less intellectual? It's become a very intellectual subject matter. What is the tradition you're describing? I assume the African-American churches or where this lines are very roaded is involved as much their intellectual side is there but it is very much the walk the walk last Sunday. I was in on ordaining one of our students cuz he put a Limba O'Connell Joshua from Malawi and Pastor Herbert Martin Progressive Community Church. Well, when you look at the program what goes on there for a week this man can lead Marches On City Hall, but he's not arrogant that he's got it. All right. It's rather to get the conversation going and then big things happen and when they start what they have on their child care what they have on their dropping an after-school kids can shoot pool instead of get in trouble all the addiction groups that meet under that it's it's just of 20 30 40 kinds of things and then when cause he made his little post ordination remarks, he just said God said Jesus that was good for them and I seen Jesus still here. I'm sure glad God sent Pastor Martin in this church, and you could just see it the pulse you add up all of those a lot of others are doing it. But I think it's true. You can talk to somebody to death and get immobilized these the centipede always knew how to run until they ask how he kept his legs apart and he got all tangled up thinking about it and and there's some What a project is out to do kind of catch up with what people are doing informally and kind of legitimating and making it public and I don't think that that means the blurring separation of church and state. I think we have an instinct is to win those boundaries are being crossed. Thank you. It's from Ken Doyle who is with mass a journalism and mass communications at the University of Minnesota. The Doctor Marty the question I've been wrestling with all morning has to do with the difference between Religion and Ethics. And what is it of good? And what is it of evil that religion adds to FX? Good question. Novelist. Mary McCarthy is is said to have said religion makes good people good and bad people bad and I think we can all see something of that. I am from University of Chicago where you're never allowed to get through the day without having to mention Aristotle. And I think he teaches us that you become good. What is my good doctor say probably by looking at the options in the ethics classroom learning all you can from all the sources, but then it has to be in grafted into and they are way of life. I think you'll become ethical in this sense by habituation what happens in there in the womb and in the nursery and in the church and in the school and the Friendship Circle all of those kinds of things along the way and you can do that. without religion Some of the very most ethical people the country to do it without so I'm not saying that you'd have to be ethical in a religious in order to be ethical and indeed for a pluralist society many of the ethical transactions. We have you can't back up all the time. Will this is this hotel is full of neurosurgeons. I thinking when it comes time for a rub neurosurgery. I don't care if it's a Mormon or narrow surgery and so it is with a lot of the ethical questions. It's at the use of resources. I think religion makes a plus in that it's closer to the patient world is towards the questions are actually brought it in almost any of the dimensions. I think that's what religion does it tells Miss McGee had the same love story. It's responsive to the stories of what makes people at their deepest ready to engage Civic life. Thank you. Dr. Marty have a question now from Rabbi Joseph Idol heard. He was the senior Rabbi at Temple Israel. Marty you invite us to share with you that place of blurring between the Sun and the shadow. How will you help us be protected against syncretism and the homogenisation of those important differences? The question syncretism homogenisation wearing Brewing everything together. I think there's where you keep the private in the public thing going that is do you nurture those who hang around him to be nurtured by specific immunity? I think this is a sample Dorothy Day. Right in the middle of the urban scene. She took care of anybody with anybody and she had a pre Vatican II party long after Vatican II when Danbury going to come by and he want real Brad and Andra Worthen chalice. Why not? She was currently being replenished their and I think that that's why I use the models of people that are deeply involved in the community one of my concerns with spirituality today. And even the deepest forms is it is so often unmoored. You don't know where you're coming from or going to and I like people who wrestle all their life with texts or Traditions with the community with that language and then it doesn't all get blurred together the typical American according to most recent Thing by Alan wolf says were very tired of of the other. We're not threatened by them or not aggressive toward them, but when it gets down to what I call the three in the morning questions, you don't do it in general. I don't know whether was here or earlier today that I referred to George santayana as a great philosopher once said, we don't talk language. We talk French or Korean or English, so we aren't religious. We are that in a particular language. Thank you. We have at last question here from Arthur babington Johnson. Who's the president CEO of the stair step initiative Bennington? Dr. Marty it seems to me that people do come true religion often because what you call the 3 a.m. Questions that end in the certain absence of certainty that we have my ability to understand things in the team's meat. Also, the one of the challenges of the scriptures is that man with his sense of the Mind thinks. You can solve everything in God consistently prove to us know that's not the answer and I wonder though consistent with the rabbis question about syncretism is it your sense that there is truth and that bedtime our journey and religion can lead us to truth. A great great great British philosopher who says there is truth but in a pluralistic society, we don't have the warrants by which we can prove that our truth is the truth for everybody. I don't see a point in being religious and then and not aspiring to tutus and to having it but he says we have to learn enough awareness about where our limits are so that we can get the secret kind of verification. So I would hope I would die for the name of Truth and I will spend all my life with people who will not do it for that but mine for something else and in the Civil order we have to find ways to work this agreement, but with the proximate and I don't think pluralism necessarily means near relative is defined as having one foot on a banana peel and the other on a banana peel. And I think our places to stay in their mornings and I think the Minnesota meeting for the hospitality this new and thank you. Martin Marty Theologian Martin Marty speaking today at the Minnesota meeting in Downtown Minneapolis. Dr. Marty is the director of public religion project professor at the University of Chicago's School of divinity and the official title of his dress today religion and America. Should we bring religion out of the shadows and into the public Life part of Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio special Series this month on religion in everyday life broadcast, Minnesota meeting are supported by Oppenheimer wolf and on way with officers and both Minneapolis and st. Paul providing legal services to businesses around the world. Now, if you missed part of Martin Marty speech today, we will be rebroadcast in this program at 9 tonight here on Minnesota Public Radio. Second chance to hear what he had to say Martin Marty tonight at 9. Here on NPR at doesn't for our mid-day program today now. We hope you'll be able to join us tomorrow should be an interesting program should be a lively program for that matter. First of all at 11 tomorrow. Stanley Hubbard's going to be joining us. Mr. Hubbard is the chairman and CEO of Hubbard broadcasting. That's the family that has been operating a kstp-tv for 50 years. Now one of the real well just one technological innovation after another over the years a lots of programming Innovation. So KSTP was the first TV station in the Twin City metropolitan area for a matter fact the first one between Chicago and Los Angeles. They're celebrating their 50th anniversary and Stanley Hubbard. It will be stopping by our Studios tomorrow to talk a little history and look into the crystal ball as well. So that's at 11 and then over the noon hour. We have a national Press Club broadcast for you tomorrow. Tomorrow dr. Mae Jemison former astronaut will be speaking at the national Press Club. She was the first African American woman to serve as a US astronaut and she's going to be focusing tomorrow on Science Education how we might improve what kids are learning in the school's terms of science why it's important that the Science Education the be emphasized in the school's tell Stanley Hubbard at 11 tomorrow, and then dr. Mae Jemison the national Press Club at noon tomorrow and thanks for tuning in today. How important is face and spiritual?

Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

This Story Appears in the Following Collections

Views and opinions expressed in the content do not represent the opinions of APMG. APMG is not responsible for objectionable content and language represented on the site. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report a piece of content. Thank you.

Transcriptions provided are machine generated, and while APMG makes the best effort for accuracy, mistakes will happen. Please excuse these errors and use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report an error. Thank you.

< path d="M23.5-64c0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.2 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.3-0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.1 0 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.2 0 0.4-0.1 0.5-0.1 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.1-0.3 0.3-0.5 0.1-0.1 0.3 0 0.4-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.3-0.3 0.4-0.5 0-0.1 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1-0.3 0-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.2 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.3 0-0.2 0-0.4-0.1-0.5 -0.4-0.7-1.2-0.9-2-0.8 -0.2 0-0.3 0.1-0.4 0.2 -0.2 0.1-0.1 0.2-0.3 0.2 -0.1 0-0.2 0.1-0.2 0.2C23.5-64 23.5-64.1 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64"/>