Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-02-24

Christians, Sex and Politics: An American History,” will be the topic of this year’s Ray Frank Robbins lectureship at Samford University Thursday, March 4.

Harvard University divinity professor R. Marie Griffith, a leading scholar in the area of gender, sexuality and American evangelicalism, will speak at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. The public is invited free of charge.

Dr. Griffith’s books include God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (University of California Press, 1997) and Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (University of California Press, 2004). The latter explores the religious underpinnings of the ideologies of the body that play a central role in American consumer culture. Her current book project will examine sexuality debates in 20th century U.S. Christianity.

Prior to joining the Harvard faculty as professor of New England church history in 2009, Griffith was professor of religion at Princeton University, where she also was director of the university’s program in the study of women and gender.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, she holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard.

During her Samford visit, Griffith will participate in an undergraduate seminar on women and evangelicalism, led by Samford professor Dr. Penny Marler. She will also meet with local clergy at a lunch organized by Samford’s Resource Center for Pastoral Excellence.

The annual lectureship, established in 2008 to honor the memory of former Samford religion professor Ray Frank Robbins, focuses on the intersection of scholarship and Christian living.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.