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Martin E. Marty

"Marty" is one of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture today. Author of more than 50 books, he is also a speaker, columnist, pastor, and teacher, having been a professor of religious history for 35 years at the University of Chicago.

All Stories by Martin E. Marty

N.T. Wright, David Bentley Hart and the latest tussle over biblical translation

By Martin E. Marty — January 29, 2018
In Christian orbits, debates over which translation one is allowed to favor have led to schisms and vicious conflicts.

On his visit to Chile, Pope Francis does something uncharacteristic … He shows that he is ‘fallible.’

By Martin E. Marty — January 22, 2018
This week count me in among the company of those who believe the Pope made a major mistake in dealing with one issue of priestly (including pontifical) administration: namely, a sexual abuse case.

The good, the bad and the Moody

By Martin E. Marty — January 15, 2018
Because of the way religious communities are fractured and often distant from, if not openly at war with, each other, the Martys are not expected to know much about or to be at home as we were at Moody Church.

Is higher education purely secular, or is there room for the religious?

By Martin E. Marty — January 8, 2018
(RNS) — While it would be weird to argue that twenty percent or two percent or 0.002% of writers proves that “religion” is winning a new place in the higher academy, the presence of such might occasion some quieting of complaints that the academy is 100% anti-religious on one hand, or, implausibly, cheering along the pious on the other.

Charities feel Christmas fear

By Martin E. Marty — December 18, 2017
It is easy to see why anything that Congress does to dull or dim the lustre of what goes into collection plates, envelopes, and credit card accountings jolts those who must collect and who get to put to work these donations.

What’s in the hearts of millennials? You may be surprised.

By Martin E. Marty — December 11, 2017
Who would look to under-attended, off-the-beaten-path small churches or other religious gathering places for signs and signals about the larger issues in our culture?

Why religious studies are needed

By Martin E. Marty — December 4, 2017
(RNS) — Most in the public simply scorned all 'cultists,' and life went on. But some experts came out of the shadows and showed that they had light to shine, light which sometimes might prevent alarming and disruptive incidents from taking place.

Did the Anabaptist reformers ‘win’?

By Martin E. Marty — November 27, 2017
If the book is now to be closed [on commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation], has anything truly significant been overlooked? The answer is yes.

Novelist-as-theologian Marilynne Robinson is changing the way we think about Calvinism

By Martin E. Marty — November 20, 2017
Here is an open-faced confession of interest in Robinson’s fiction, along with an overt plug that readers of “Sightings” pay attention—or more attention—to Robinson.

Let’s talk about … Calvin, for a change

By Martin E. Marty — November 13, 2017
Both wings of the Protestant Reformation produced heirs with complex histories, and mixed expressions, including participation in and execution of murderous conflicts such as the Thirty Years’ War.

Luther goes global

By Martin E. Marty — November 6, 2017
Some church figures—pastors, choir directors, tour leaders, etc.—confess that they are just about “all Luthered out” for a while. Yet, while it lasted, the Luther topic provided access to other subjects that are often overlooked in a secular-pluralist world wherein faith, and versions of faiths, have to compete for attention.

In his ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ Luther called upon believers to repent. What does that mean?

By Martin E. Marty — October 30, 2017
Reformation season is a time for much accusing of ancestors, from Columbus to Thomas Jefferson, now remembered as slavers, or, to be relevant, Luther, for his call for violence against rebelling peasants or his utterly, utterly repugnant anti-Judaic latter-day outlook and writings. We historians study such features of the lives of ancestors, to learn and gain the resolve to promote a “change of heart.”

Religion is alive and well in America. Don’t believe it? Ask a professor.

By Martin E. Marty — October 16, 2017
... how wide is the panorama of religious versus non-religious (or quasi-religious) options in America. Counsel: learn about some of these by checking in to the company of experts on religion, including those on college and university faculties. You may be bewildered, but you’ll never be bored. And you’ll find that not all of those professors are out to “kill religion.”

Souls and the guns of America

By Martin E. Marty — October 10, 2017
Let me be ecumenical, interracial, and multi-classy by noting that “everybody” who prosecutes the culture wars wields symbols of awareness of their losses.

Freud and other ‘god-killers’ are here to stay

By Martin E. Marty — October 4, 2017
Many people of faith, including theologians, pick and choose elements in some of these rivals, considering that they cannot be ignored, but can be argued with across the spectrum of alternatives.
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