The Marty Center sponsors a variety of research projects and conferences both independently and in concert with other institutions. Projects range from lecture series or conferences a few days in length to major interdisciplinary endeavors running for several years.

Through these activities, the Center provides a place for Divinity School faculty to pursue collaborative research involving colleagues from many other universities and countries. Because graduate students are often active participants, these projects also provide one of the many ways in which the Center promotes the development of scholars from the role of student to that of contributing peer and professional academic.

The Enhancing Life Project

The Enhancing Life Project explores an essential aspiration of human beings that moves persons and communities into the future.  Given the profound expansion of human power through technology as well as advances in genetics, ecology, and other fields, the vulnerability and endangerment as well as the enhancement of life are dominant   themes in the global age. The Enhancing Life Project aims to explore this rich but widely unexamined dimension of human aspiration and social life, and increase knowledge so that life might be enriched. The project is run in collaboration with Ruhr-University Bochum / Germany, and supported with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. 

                                            Directed by Divinity faculty member William Schweiker, Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics 



The Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative

The Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation, represents a key component of the University of Chicago’s goal to forge a new paradigm of transdisciplinary engagement in research and teaching that seeks to transform the way Islam is studied, taught, and understood in the academic and global world. The program invites distinguished international scholars for residencies housed in departments across the University. Each visitor  brings to the community a unique area of expertise, which they share with the campus by teaching classes, giving a public lecture, and organizing a conference or symposium on their topic of study.  



The Program on Medicine & Religion

Promoting scholarship and discourse regarding medicine and religion

The Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago is a leading forum for scholarship and discourse at the intersection of medicine and religion. Despite ample evidence that religion often animates clinicians’ practices and that patients’ health behaviors and experiences of illness are often mediated by faith, the relationship between medicine and religion is rarely studied. The Program on Medicine and Religion aims to fill this gap by conducting rigorous empirical, historical, theological, ethical, and legal scholarship to enrich our understanding of the meaning of illness and the myriad ways that religion and medicine each respond to the human predicaments of illness, injury, disability, suffering, and death, often in complementary and mutually reinforcing ways. 




With a commitment to free and open inquiry, UChicago scholars take an interdisciplinary approach to research that spans arts to engineering, medicine to education. Their work transforms the way we understand the world, advancing fields of study, and often creating new ones. Generating new knowledge for the benefit of present and future generations, UChicago research has had an impact around the globe, leading to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling.

Visit Research at UChicago for research news as well as a comprehensive list of the 140 some centers, initiatives, and institutes at The University of Chicago.




The Public Religion Project was charged with bringing to light the forces of faith within a pluralistic society. It sought to accomplish that mission in a variety of ways, including conferences, a database service, and publications. The assets, energies, and resources of the Project have now been infused into the larger and continuing agenda of the Martin Marty Center, which incorporates the mission of the Project. The email column Sightings was an invention of the Public Religion Project and continues as a free, biweekly publication from the Marty Center.


The focus of this project is on the creative inquiry into and the conceptual interrelationship among theology, ethics, and culture. Particular attention is given to the subtle dynamics present in our age, among them the relevance of theological reflection for cultural analysis in public life, the rapid advances in technology, the movement of the economic order toward a single, global economy, and the pressing demands for dialogue between the world's religions. The REC site will be organized to provide information for people interested in the complex connections between theological or religious ethics and cultural analysis and to provide bibliographic and professional information on persons currently working in this growing field.