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Ouachita to host church history scholar David Bebbington on Oct. 7 for Birkett Williams Lecture


David Bebbington

ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University will host David W. Bebbington, visiting professor at Baylor University, for a lecture on Monday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Ouachita’s McBeth Recital Hall in Mabee Fine Arts Center. The lecture is free and open to the public and is part of Ouachita’s Birkett Williams Endowed Lecture Series. Following the talk, there will be a brief time for questions from the audience.


The theme of the lecture will focus on evangelicalism and its relevancy to the modern Christian. Bebbington, emeritus professor of history at Stirling College in Scotland, is a world-renowned scholar on evangelicalism who has taught and lectured all over the world. He also has authored more than 20 books, most pertaining to the topic of evangelicalism. Some of his most notable works include “Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s,” “The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody” and “Baptists Through the Centuries: A History of a Global People.”


His latest upcoming work will be published in November and is a collaboration with two other scholars, Mark A. Noll and George M. Marsden, who are known for their work in evangelical history. The title of the project, “Evangelicals: Who They Have Been, Are Now, and Could Be,” will serve as Bebbington’s title for the lecture.


“Evangelicalism is a much debated and sometimes maligned religious expression, especially in the United States,” said Terry Carter, associate dean of Ouachita’s Pruet School of Christian Studies and W.O. Vaught Professor of Christian Ministries. “This theological position warrants some time and consideration. This is our opportunity to become more informed concerning one of the most influential theological developments in religious history.


“Since many in our community use the term ‘evangelicalism’ to define themselves or others, maybe it’s time we took a few moments to consider what the idea truly represents from a historic, contemporary and future perspective,” Carter said.


In addition to teaching at the University of Stirling, Bebbington has taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham; Regent College, Vancouver; Notre Dame University, Indiana; and University of Pretoria, South Africa. Bebbington also was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2016, and he is part of the Royal Historical Society.


The Pruet School of Christian Studies will serve as host for this Birkett Williams lecture. Ouachita’s Birkett Williams Endowed Lecture Series was established in 1977 thanks to a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lecture series as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing renowned scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.


For more information, contact Mary Farley at farleym@obu.edu or 870-245-5599.