2015 Cornelia Marschall Smith Award Recipient Dr. David Jeffrey Will Lecture on Connection between Theology and the Arts

David Jeffrey
David Jeffrey, photo courtesy of Baylor University
March 14, 2016

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 14, 2016) – David L. Jeffrey, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University and recipient of the 2015 Cornelia Marschall Smith Award, will lecture at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, in Marrs McLean Science Room 101.

Jeffrey’s lecture will address the connection between theology and the arts. Numerous honors theses and graduate career paths have emerged from his courses taught on this subject, and he recently finished a book on the topic.

“My focus in this lecture will be on three artists of the last century who, however counter-culturally, refused to succumb to the cynicism, irrationalism and even nihilism so often engaged by their contemporaries,” Jeffrey said. He plans to delve deep into the lives of Georges Rouault, Marc Chagall and Arcabas, all of whom “seemed to be swimming upstream against the broadly religious traditions they inhabited.”

“I have the good fortune to work alongside David and to see the way in which he sets an example for us all across a range of activities: his productivity as a scholar, his challenging and inspiring teaching, his mentoring of junior faculty and his administrative work,” said Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s Honors College. “He is certainly deserving of this prestigious award.”

Jeffrey’s teachings focus on medieval literature, the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, art and biblical theology, literature and philosophy and aesthetics.

Before teaching at Baylor, Jeffery was a guest professor at Peking University in Beijing and an honorary professor at the University of International Business and Economics, also in Beijing, as well as Professor Emeritus of the University of Ottawa. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1996, selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2003 Conference on Christianity and Literature and was invited to present the 2004 Andrew Laing Lecture at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Award is given to faculty nominated on the basis of contributing “a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor, including teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness, research which is recognized as outstanding by the national and/or international as well as local community of scholars and service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor,” according to the award nomination form.

This event is free and open to the public. Marrs McLean Science is located at 1214 S. Fourth St.

For more information, contact Dean Hibbs.

by Bethany Harper, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?