Religion: Telling America What It Believes

Martin Marty: scholar, preacher, energetic popularizer

A joke around the University of Chicago Divinity School: An outsider phones, asking to speak with Church Historian Martin E. Marty. A secretary says, "I'm sorry, but Professor Marty is writing a book." The caller responds, "That's all right. I'll hold."

This week the uncommonly productive subject of that jest can claim authorship of his 39th book in 27 years, the first* of four projected volumes in a work titled Modern American Religion. Judging from the first installment, the series will become a standard account of the nation's variegated religious culture during the current century. The four volumes, the fruition of...

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