May 15, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 17

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    Connecting religion and public life

    Project seeks to relate religion to art, education, media, law A new endeavor to better relate religion to American public life -- the Public Religion Project -- has been announced by the Divinity School and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    The project will connect religious leaders and scholars to those who influence public life -- artists, educators, the media, lawmakers and business leaders.

    "We hope to join together a whole range of people who represent aspects of daily life where religion can or does have an influence," said Martin Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Divinity School, who will direct the project. "We see almost limitless possibilities."

    Marty is considered one of the country's foremost experts on American religion and has also taught on "public religion" topics for over three decades at Chicago.

    He was chosen by the Pew Trusts to lead this new venture in part because of his direction of the successful Fundamentalism Project, which focused on militant fundamentalisms in world religions.

    The new program will be hosted by the University and funded by the Philadelphia-based set of trusts. Marty has planned a three-year program, but expects the project to extend well beyond that time.

    The Public Religion Project offices are located in downtown Chicago, at 919 N. Michigan Ave.