2020 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Undergraduate Deadline: December 15, 2019

Upper Midwest
Deadline: December 31, 2019

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: January 3, 2020

Deadline: January 6, 2020

Deadline: January 10, 2020

New England-Maritimes
Deadline: January 19, 2020

Eastern International
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Open Registration:



Martin E. Marty Public Understanding of Religion Award - Current and Past Winners

2018   Jacob Olupona, Harvard University
professor of African religious traditions and of African and African American studies, whose work has fostered understanding of religious pluralism in Nigerian civic, academic, religious and political spheres
2017   Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Indiana University Bloomington
professor of religious studies and affiliate professor of law, her public scholarship and work as an expert witness have impacted courtrooms, prisons, military units, and government offices
2016   J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
professor of the practice of religion and public life whose teaching and research focus on ethics and foreign policy and the role of religion in world politics and in American society
2015   Ziba Mir-Hosseini, University of London
scholar-activist and pioneer in the field of Islamic feminism, her work bridges the divide between the academic study of Islam and public understandings of Islam, Muslims, and religious feminisms
2014   Charles Taylor, McGill University (emeritus)
professor of political science and philosophy known for his intellectual work and public discourse in the areas of political philosophy, religion, modernity, and secularism
2013   Wendell Berry
novelist, poet, essayist, academic, and public intellectual; a powerful voice in promoting values that extol land, critique the culture of late capitalism, and support human rights
2012   Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School
professor of divinity, pioneer of feminist biblical interpretation and theology, co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion
2011   Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University
professor of American Jewish History, chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History, and leading public commentator on American Jewish religion and life
2010   Elaine Pagels, Princeton University
historian of religion who has made the academic study of Gnosticism and early Christian history accessible to millions through her best-selling works and public commentaries
2009   James H. Cone, Union Theological Seminary
professor of systematic theology, creator of black liberation theology in the United States, and frequent public commentator on black theology and the African American experience
2008   Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago Divinity School
professor of the history of religions and scholar of Hinduism and mythology: an author, editor, translator, lecturer and commentator
2007   Robert N. Bellah, University of California at Berkeley (emeritus)
sociologist of religion and educator whose influential essays and books have for decades helped shape the academic and public discourse on religion and morality in American society
2006   Andrew M. Greeley, University of Arizona
professor of sociology and frequent public commentator on Catholicism and religion in America
2005   John L. Esposito, Georgetown University
professor of Islamic studies and founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, whose publications and public commentary have enhanced the understanding of Islam
2004    Huston Smith, Syracuse University
professor of religion whose published work has introduced millions to the study of world religions
2003    Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University
professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion: his many publications have stimulated public discussion about religion, most recently on the public role of American Protestantism
2002    Diana Eck, Harvard University
professor of comparative religion and Indian studies and director of The Pluralism Project, which documents the growing presence of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Zoroastrian communities in the U.S.
2001    David Knipe, University of Wisconsin at Madison
professor of languages and cultures of Asia and public television producer and public radio commentator on religion
2000    Eileen V. Barker, London School of Economics
sociologist of religion and founder of INFORM, an organization using scholarly research as a basis for informing news media, government officials, and the public about new religious movements
1999    Cornel West, Harvard University
philosopher of religion, writing on issues that particularly confront African Americans
1998    Harvey Cox, Harvard University
sociologist of religion who writes on social and political issues that confront Christianity
1997    Walter Capps (deceased)
psychologist of religion and member of Congress
1996    Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago (emeritus)
historian and frequent public commentator on American religion