Martin E. Marty

National Humanities Medal


Through his scholarly works on religion and American society, Martin E. Marty has examined our religious roots and the role religion plays in our present world. A professor, writer, and editor, Marty has had a long career dedicated to writing, speaking, and teaching about the subject of religion. Although he is most prominent in the field of religious history, the topics of his writings range from Christian perspectives on health to the natures of friendship and grieving.

Marty is currently the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and editor of the magazine Christian Century. He is the author of fifty books including, most recently, The One and the Many: America's Struggle for the Common Good; The Search for a Usable Future (1969); Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (1970), which won a National Book Award; Pilgrims in Their Own Land: Five Hundred Years of Religion in America, which won the Christopher Award (1984); and A Cry of Absence: Reflections for the Winter of the Heart (1981). He recently completed Under God, Indivisible, volume three of his Modern American Religion.

Marty was ordained a Lutheran minister in 1952 and served in that capacity for a decade before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1963. He was associate dean of the Divinity School from 1970 to 1975.

By Maggie Riechers

About the National Humanities Medal

The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens' engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.