Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Martin E. Marty  

Pen Name: Martin Marty


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1928 in West Point, Nebraska

-- Website --
-- Martin E. Marty on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Marty lives in Riverside, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Marty is an American Lutheran religious scholar who has written extensively on 19th century and 20th century American religion. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956, and served as a Lutheran pastor from 1952 to 1962 in the suburbs of Chicago. From 1963 to 1998 he taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School, held an endowed chair, and now holds emeritus status as a Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor.He has been a columnist for ''The Christian Century'' magazine since 1956. He has authored over 5,000 articles and been conferred with 75 honorary doctorates. He is the author and editor of more than 50 books. His published works include ''Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America'', for which he won the National Book Award, the encyclopedic five-volume ''Fundamentalism Project'', co-edited with historian R. Scott Appleby, and the biography, ''Martin Luther''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Righteous empire: The Protestant experience in America (Harper torchbooks ; TB 1931)
ISBN: 0061319317

Harper & Row. 1977

Best historical analysis of American Protestants.

Martin Luther: A Life (Penguin Lives)
ISBN: 0143114301

Penguin Books. 2008

Called ?The most influential interpreter of American religion? by Bill Moyers, renowned historian and Lutheran pastor Martin Marty portrays the religious reformer Martin Luther as a man of conscience and courage who risked death to ignite the historic reformation of the Church. Luther?s arguments, including his ?95 theses,? changed the destiny of Christendom, the shape of Christianity, and gave rise to new freedoms in church and state. Marty explores the records left by Luther of his inner struggles and his conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire to find a man engaged in a lifelong passionate search for not only the grace of God, but also for the assurance that it was directed toward each individual.

When Faiths Collide
ISBN: 1405112239

Wiley-Blackwell. 2004

In the face of the growing threat from collisions of faithworld-wide, this manifesto is a call to embrace religiouspluralism.

  • Martin E. Marty is a renowned commentator on religious matters,the author of over 50 books, winner of the National Book Award, andthe recipient of 74 honorary doctorates
  • Demonstrates that citizens, religions and identities cansurvive in radically pluralist settings
  • Accessibly written, it tackles people’s fears ofreligious pluralism
  • Argues that those involved in collisions of faith need to riskhospitality towards one another, as opposed to the conventionalplea for tolerance
  • Pays particular attention to the conflicts that affect or occurwithin those nations whose politics can be called republican, open,democratic, liberal, or free – particularly the UK, the US,and Western Europe.

Intersections: Faith: Confidence and Doubt in Daily Life (Intersections (Augsburg))
ISBN: B000RN86I8

Augsburg Fortress Publishers. 1999

Explore personal faith in life-cycle experiences -- moods and situations, joy and discouragement, confidence and doubt.

The Mystery of the Child (Religion, Marriage, and Family (RMF))
ISBN: 0802817661

Eerdmans. 2007

Much of today's writing on children treats the child of any age as a problem or a set of problems to be solved, effectively reducing the child to a complex of biological and chemical factors, explainable in scientific terms, or regarding children as objects of adult control. In contrast, Martin Marty here presents the child as a mystery who invokes wonder and elicits creative responses that affect the care provided him or her.

Drawing on literature as new as contemporary poetry and as old as the Bible, The Mystery of the Child encourages the thoughtful enjoyment of children instead of the imposition of adult will and control. Indeed, Marty treats the impulse to control as a problem and highlights qualities associated with children -- responsiveness, receptivity, openness to wonder -- that can become sources of renewal for adults.

The Mystery of the Child represents a new tack for Martin Marty -- universally respected as a historian, theologian, and interpreter of religion and culture -- but displays the same incisive, erudite quality marking the fifty-plus books and thousands of articles that he has previously written. Marty's broad, thoughtful perspective will inspire readers to think afresh about what it means to be a child -- and to be a caregiver.

This book is sure to claim a wide readership -- parents, grandparents, schoolteachers, theologians, historians -- engaging anyone wanting to explore more fully the profound realm of the child.

The Christian World: A Global History (Modern Library Chronicles)
ISBN: 0679643494

Modern Library. 2008

In this cogent volume, renowned Christian historian Martin Marty delivers a brief yet sweeping account of Christianity and how it spread from a few believers two thousand years ago to become the world’s largest religion.

Comprising nearly one third of the world’s population–more than two billion followers–Christianity is distinctive among major faiths in that it derives both its character and its authority from the divinity of its central figure, Jesus Christ. Examining this facet of Christianity from historical and sociological viewpoints, Marty lays bare the roots of this faith, in turn chronicling its success throughout the world.

Writing with great style, and providing impeccable interpretations of historical, canonical, and liturgical documents, Marty gives readers of all faiths and levels of familiarity with Christian practices and history a highly useful and supremely accessible primer. He depicts the life of Christ and his teachings and explains how the apostles set out to spread the Gospel. With a special emphasis on global Christianity, he shows how the religion emerged from its ancestral homelands in Africa, the Levant, and Asia Minor, was imported to Europe, and then spread from there to the rest of the world, most often via trade and conquest. While giving a broad overview, Marty also focuses on specific issues, such as how Christianity struggles with the polar tensions inherent to many of the faith’s denominations, and how it attempts to reconcile some of its stances on armed conflict, justice, and dominion with the teachings of Christ.

The Christian World is a chronicle of one of the great belief systems and its many followers. It’s a magnificent story of emperors and kings, war and geography, theology and politics, saints and sinners, and the earthly battle to save souls. Above all, it’s a remarkable testament to the teachings of Christ and how his message spreads around the globe to touch human experience everywhere.


National Book Award for ''Righteous Empire''

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)