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Author Martin Marty (The Martin Marty Center: Sightings)

Martin E. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.

Canada’s First Nations schools sought to civilize children from indigenous people with their mission to “kill the Indian in the child” – a story so common to many cultures that one can grow numb. […] Read More

“True evangelical hope,” a headline in the current (May 23) Christian Century, drew and held my attention this week. It signaled an interview by Elizabeth Palmer with President Jimmy Carter. They got right to the point of “evangelical” issues and concerns, and the appearance of Carter in the magazine inspired some backtracking and forward-looking on […] Read More

“The ultimate [baby] boomer game today,” writes Timothy Egan, “is competitive longevity.” He was commenting in an op-ed on notable editor/writer Michael Kinsley’s self-documented struggle with Parkinson’s disease. A religious clue to the game showed up in a Washington Post article by Julie Zauzmer: “A Possible Benefit of Going to Church: A 33 Percent Chance […] Read More

When in the 1980s, Scott Appleby and I were first chartered to deal with one particular public expression of religion, the complex of militant fundamentalisms, we were confronted with a global scene for which we were not prepared. We soon found out also that very few others were equipped to monitor and highlight these and […] Read More

No writer about religion has reason to complain that too little has been happening in “the world of religion.” Daily as we do our “sighting,” we find scores of items in international and domestic affairs that deal explicitly with “religion,” by any and almost every definition of that term. The Martys begin each day consuming […] Read More

Pope Francis enjoys universal acclaim. Almost. While the pontiff is building bridges to Communists in Cuba, nuns who had been under suspicion, Muslims, Jews, Protestants and even people outside the faith, two dissenting groups stand out: Catholics on the left, in whose eyes he is not moving fast enough with respect to church laws, policies […] Read More

“Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation” is the subtitle of the book, “America’s Pastor,” an acclaimed sort-of-biography by acclaim-worthy Duke University historian Grant Wacker. Wacker discussed recently his book at the Cushwa Center of the University of Notre Dame with a crowded hall full of historians of American Christianity who have been invited […] Read More

“Open your Bibles to the book of the Prophet Amos…” That sounds like a command from a Bible class of old. Instead, it’s a response to a column by a favorite of ours, William Galston, from the Feb. 24 Wall Street Journal. Quoting Amos may seem arcane and irrelevant, but it is clear and relevant, as […] Read More

“Sightings” usually sights religious news and trends with a metaphorical “naked eye.” No one needs a telescope or a microscope to spot most of our topics. Snappy headlines, prime-time signals and messages gone viral call attention to them. For a change, we’ll focus on an almost-always-overlooked population and its people of faith: the Romani. I […] Read More

Put “God” in a headline and we can’t help sighting it. Neil Steinberg, columnist in the Chicago Sun-Times did so: “‘Who’s God but us?’ Sister tells it like it is.” My wife, Harriet, the monitor of syntax and scorner of clichés, who reads the papers over coffee across the table from this “Sighter” might well have questioned […] Read More