2020 Annual Meeting

Your AAR staff continues to work toward holding the Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 21-24, 2020. We are aware of the uncertainty and contradictory projections related to the COVID-19 pandemic and with health and safety as a priority, we will continue monitoring the guidance of governments and health experts as we plan and make decisions. Should any changes need to be made related to the 2020 Annual Meeting, we will promptly notify you.

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Registration:

All remaining regional meetings for 2020 have been canceled

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.
  • Using the link below, nominations are accepted from any AAR member, including Program Unit chairs, CPUR members, AAR regional meeting leaders, and 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 at the Marty Forum, a 90-minute session held on the Sunday afternoon of 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