2019 Annual Meeting, Nov 23-26

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be in San Diego, CA, November 23-26. Register Now!

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Rocky Mountains-Great Plains
Deadline: November 4, 2019

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: November 15, 2019

Undergraduate Deadline: December 15, 2019

Deadline: December 16, 2019

Upper Midwest
Deadline: December 31, 2019

Deadline: January 10, 2020

Eastern International
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Open Registration:




Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award

Marty bowtieThe Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, established in 1996, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the public understanding of religion. The award goes to individuals whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks, not just to scholars, but more broadly to the public as well. Relevant contributions may involve work with any of a number of specific “publics,” including (but not limited to) educational institutions, foundations, governmental agencies, media (i.e. print, audio and video), museums, business, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, policy and research institutes, think-tanks, etc.; and can be through any medium (e.g., books, films, TV, public speaking, advisory, etc.). Nominees need not be AAR members or academics, but should be individuals whose contribution to the public good is based on scholarship in religious studies or theology. Nominations and self-nominations are welcomed.

Information about the Nomination and Selection Process

  • The Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion (CPUR), which serves as jury for the Marty Award, typically selects the winner 12-18 months in advance of its presentation at the Annual Meeting in order to increase the likelihood of securing commitments for attendance from awardees. Nominations received by the January 25th deadline will be considered at the spring CPUR meeting. Nominations are active for three meetings of the CPUR, ensuring that they receive consideration for two award cycles.
  • Nominations are accepted via this form from any AAR member, including Program Unit chairs, CPUR members, AAR regional meeting leaders, AAR Board members. Nominations are compiled by AAR staff and discussed by the CPUR in its capacity as the award jury. A vote of the committee determines the winner.
  • The Marty Award is not simply a "lifetime achievement award" for public scholars in the late stages of their careers; it is a recognition of exceptional work that fits the criteria above, at any stage in that person's career.

The Marty Award is presented to the winner by the CPUR chair each at the Marty Forum, a 90-minute session held on Sunday afternoon at the AAR Annual Meeting. Following the award presentation, the winner sits for an extended interview with a distinguished interlocutor to discuss her or his life and work.

Nominations Form

Current and Previous Winners