The Martin Marty Center

The Martin Marty Center accelerates the creation and communication of knowledge about religion. It brings together scholars with shared research interests to allow focused and sustained conversations about their work, speeding their progress. It also creates a place for people with divergent research programs to gather, so their varied perspectives can generate new insights.

The Marty Center dissertation seminar underscores the value of diverse points of view by inviting external “public interlocutors” from the fields of business, law, medicine, and the arts to engage in dialogue with advanced doctoral students about their work. These visitors bring intellectual accomplishments far afield from those reflected in students’ dissertations and challenge them. The give-and-take forces young scholars to talk more clearly about their work and consider how it speaks to broader interests, while opening up new conversations.

With such activities, the Martin Marty Center serves as an incubator for new insights into religion and new types of public conversations about it.

The campaign offers the opportunity for the Divinity School to enhance the Martin Marty Center’s success by addressing three critical areas: one-year fellowships for students in the dissertation seminar, travel funds to bring senior scholars to campus as fellows, and an endowment to support conferences, workshops, and administration. The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact also provides a particularly timely moment to expand the work of the Marty Center by creating a dynamic and rich program in religion and media. Together these components will move the Martin Marty Center more directly into the public sphere—a resource for intelligent communication about religion.