Each year, the American Academy of Religion presents the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion to an individual whose work has helped advance the public understanding of religion. The more than two dozen recipients of the Marty Award include many of guiding lights in the study of religion.
The winner of the 2022 Marty Award is Anthea Butler, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The American Academy of Religion celebrates Professor Butler’s distinguished record of scholarship on race, gender, and religion in American religious history as well as her innovative and multidimensional efforts to engage diverse publics and the media.
Dr. Butler is the first Black woman to receive the Marty Award. The Committee for the Public Understanding noted the bravery and clarity of purpose required for the kind of public voice she has achieved. The committee also praised her candor and leadership: Dr. Butler’s confident and outspoken online persona is an inspiration and guide star for scholars who wish to contribute to the public understanding of religion while staying true to themselves.