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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

Too many liberals in the liberal arts?

May 21, 2018

Sightings on Mondays is conceived of as being politically nonpartisan, so it is rare to feature the words “Republican” and “Democrat” as we do this week.

Jimmy Carter (and hope) in the news

May 15, 2018

A casual observer of the news scene in recent years may get the impression that Mr. Carter has been quietly receding from it. One scan of headlines on my computer, however, quickened counter-impressions.

Prayer rattles Speaker Ryan, but House chaplain gets to stay in politics

May 7, 2018

Yes, padre was in politics, embodied that day in the House and being exercised continually by conscientious legislators, those who voted for them, and those who are affected by their actions. In a republic, such as ours, being “in” politics is inescapable.

Apologies to Native people

April 30, 2018

…most of us here in the U.S. do not track many kinds of Canadian stories, though the plight of the Indigenous there or anywhere demands and deserves regular attention.

Our Latino neighbors

April 23, 2018

We seem to have settled for separate “churches” based on peoplehood, and take this for granted.

The pope, his critics and theirs

April 17, 2018

The Church has always included many kinds of interests and factions, and a prime task for historians and social chroniclers is to assess their power and intentions.

In moving to embrace change, Mormons remind others what true commitment looks like

April 9, 2018

In the pressroom we used to say: “Mormons are like everyone else—only different.” Now it might be more in place to observe: “Mormons are different than everyone else—only, more and more, similar.”

Parades, peeps and paradoxes

April 2, 2018

Easter parades survive in classic Hollywood films, on the avenues near cathedrals (which paraders pass but rarely frequent), in peeps, and in song. Seldom is there a trace of connection to the religious event which prompts Easter celebrations.

Networks and public religion

March 26, 2018

If and insofar as networks are a fad or “meme” to be promoted in awe, count me out as a peddler. But I could not get over how often historians of evangelical, Catholic, mainline, and “none” company referred creatively to what they observed about networks and what these conveyed to those of us who must be alert to what goes on in the world of public religion.

The power of children protesting, from the civil rights movement to the gun violence walkouts

March 19, 2018

When young people awaken to a cause, many ordinarily passive and apathetic people get roused.

Catholicism down in Ireland, but some see hope

March 12, 2018

Readers of Sightings may be aware that we don’t favor reporting only on “declinism,” as in “decline and fall” stories. But it would be no favor to readers, or to reality itself, were we to close our eyes to stories like Maynooth’s.

The three Hebrew words that describe our times

March 5, 2018

In the faint light that interrupts the darkness of our chaos we not only look to the young, but also daily read reports of the spreading of light among the caring and often cared-for aged among us.

Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other?

February 12, 2018

Most sentient humans, as individuals and in groups, find sundry ways of being, thinking, and acting. In my faith tradition we speak of the human creature as being simul iustus et peccator, “at the same time righteous and a sinner.”

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

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.’

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.

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