Wrestling with God: The Meditations of Richard Marius

Overview

Historian, novelist, and masterful teacher Richard Marius struggled with religious belief throughout his life. His very devout mother taught him to memorize the Bible from a very early age and influenced him to make a commitment to enter the ministry when he was a senior in high school. However, during his first year at the University of Tennessee, his faith was shaken by a reading assignment in freshman English-an essay in which the author argues that the universe is purposeless and meaningless. After receiving ...
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Overview

Historian, novelist, and masterful teacher Richard Marius struggled with religious belief throughout his life. His very devout mother taught him to memorize the Bible from a very early age and influenced him to make a commitment to enter the ministry when he was a senior in high school. However, during his first year at the University of Tennessee, his faith was shaken by a reading assignment in freshman English-an essay in which the author argues that the universe is purposeless and meaningless. After receiving a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Marius attended graduate school at Yale University to study Renaissance and Reformation history, receiving a PhD in history with adissertation on Sir Thomas More. During his years as a student, he occasionally held the position of supply pastor, but, after graduation from Yale, he decided to enter the academic world as a history professor. And he continued to preach when the opportunity arose. Wrestling with God is a collection of twenty-three sermons or meditations, delivered in a variety of settings, and spanning Richard Marius's adult life from the late 1950s until a few months before his death. Many of them were delivered at Morning Prayers, a daily service in the Appleton Chapel of the Memorial Church at Harvard University. In these selections, he explores the questions of faith and doubt, belief and unbelief, good and evil. His explications are informed by an eclectic knowledge of the Bible, art and architecture, music, literature, history, philosophy and theology, politics and current events, travel, and languages. A skeptical humanist, Marius nevertheless was infused with his own kind of religious feeling, and his struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life will resonate with all readers who struggle with the ultimate questions of existence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572334571
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Marius (1933-1999) taught at the University of Tennessee before directing Harvard's expository writing program from 1978 to 1996 and then teaching literature courses until his retirement in 1998. He was the author of Thomas More, Martin Luther: The Christian between God and Death, and four novels about his native East Tennessee.Nancy Grisham Anderson is an associate professor of English at Auburn University, Montgomery. She is the author of The Writer's Audience: A Reader for Composition and the editor of They Call Me Kay: A Courtship in Letters and Reading Faulkner: Introductions to the First Thirteen Essays. She was a longtime friend of Richard Marius.
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Table of Contents

[What is a preacher?] 1
[Who is man?] 5
[Christmas Eve] 9
What do we do with Jesus? 19
The God beyond God 29
[Hope and tribulation] 33
[Light] 37
[Lourdes] 41
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] 45
Finding God in strange places 51
Saul and the witch 65
King Saul and the witch of En-dor 69
[The marriage at Cana] 81
[Beauty] 85
Remarks on Rosh Hashanah 91
[Faith and doubt] 95
[Lazarus] 99
[Jesus and Paul] 103
Cross words 107
A meditation on creation and time 111
[Chartres Cathedral] 117
The wrestling match 123
[Psalm 139] 129
App Ruleville : reminiscence, reflection 133
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