A major academic conference to be held on the campus of Wheaton College September 26-28, 2013, "The Worlds of Billy Graham" brings together a number of noted scholars to discuss key aspects of the American evangelist's career. The undoubted lynchpin that held the modern evangelical movement together, Graham’s 60+-year career provides a unique lens through which to examine American religion as well as the larger story of 20th-century American cultural and political history. For over a half century his name and face have been among the most admired, recognizable on the planet, commanding a vast audience that spanned continents with a beguilingly simple message of salvation from sin. Arguably, his vast influence in promoting world evangelism and missions through such efforts as the Lausanne Committee has meant that he may well have been the singular most important figure in world Christianity in the second half of the 20th-century.
Topics to be covered will include Billy Graham's preaching, his role in politics, Graham's relationship to the South, his role in missions, Conference participants include Grant Wacker (Duke Divinity School), Andrew Finstuen (Boise State), Darren Dochuk (Washington University), Curtis Evans (University of Chicago Divinity School), Edith Blumhofer (Wheaton), as well as Graham associates such as Leighton Ford and John Akers. This conference is made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
For further information contact the ISAE at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Institute at 630-752-5437.
Worlds of Billy Graham Conference Schedule
Thursday, September 26th
4 PM: Pre-conference walking tour of Wheaton (contact email@example.com to reserve a place).
7 PM: Opening: Grant Wacker, Duke Divinity School, “Billy Graham and American
Showing of Oiltown U.S.A.: Comments, William Romanowski, Calvin College;
Darren Dochuk, Washington University
Friday, September 27th
8:30 AM: Mike Hamilton, Seattle Pacific University, “From Desire to Decision: The
Evangelistic Preaching of Billy Graham”
Edith Blumhofer, Wheaton College, “Singing to Save: The Signature
Sound of the Graham Crusades”
Elesha Coffman, Dubuque Theological Seminary, "'You Cannot Fool the Electronic Eye': Billy Graham and Media"
10:45: Anne Blue Wills, Davidson College, “‘An Odd Kind of Cross to Bear’:
Being Mrs. Billy Graham”
John Akers, Independent Scholar, “"To Go or Not to Go: Billy Graham and Moscow, 1982”
1:30 PM: Curtis Evans, University of Chicago Divinity School, “A Politics of
Conversion: Billy Graham’s Political and Social
Andrew Finstuen, Boise State University, "Professor Graham: Billy
Graham's Missions to Colleges and Universities"
3:15: Darren Dochuk, Washington University, “‘Mr. Texas’: Billy Graham, Entrepreneurialism, and Race Reform in the Sunbelt’s ‘Golden Buckle’”
Steven Miller, Webster University, “Those Welkin Eyes: Billy Graham,
Marshall Frady and the Enigma of the Modern South”
6:30 PM: "Sneak Peek" of filmmaker Tim Frakes' new documentary on the impact and legacy of Billy Graham's Crusades. BGC Museum Theater
7:30: Community Sing: Tom Bledsoe, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and John
Innes, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Accompanist.
Saturday, September 28
9:00 AM: David King, Memphis Theological Seminary, “Preaching Good News to the Poor: Billy Graham and Evangelical Humanitarianism"
Seth Dowland, Pacific Lutheran University, “Billy Graham and New
10:45: Roundtable: Leighton Ford, Jean Graham Ford, Martin E. Marty, Ken Woodward
Leighton Ford, formerly Associate Evangelist and Vice President of the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is Billy Graham’s brother-in-law and
head of Leighton Ford Ministries; Jean Graham Ford is Billy Graham’s
sister; Martin E. Marty is Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor
Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity
School; Grant Wacker is a Professor of Church History at Duke Divinity school; Ken Woodward was the long-time religion editor of Newsweek magazine.
A Block of rooms has been reserved for registants for the "Worlds of Billy Graham" conference at the Wyndham Lisle Hotel, and the Best Western Naperville Inn, both about 5 miles south of the Wheaton campus in Lisle, IL. Reservations may be made online or by calling 1-630-505-1000 or 1-630-505-0200, respectively. Ask for the special Wheaton College rate when you make your reservation.
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