Welcome to a New Year of Sightings
As the Divinity School and the Marty Center begin a new academic year, Sightings welcomes new voices and new partnerships.
By Emily D. Crews|September 28, 2023
Dear Sightings Readers,
We write to welcome you to a new academic year at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, and to a new year of Sightings. For almost twenty-five years, Sightings has published essays that comment on the presence of religion in public life. This year we build on that longstanding tradition as we welcome new voices and new partnerships.
2023-2024 begins the tenure of the Divinity School’s newly appointed Dean, James T. Robinson, and the Marty Center’s new Executive Director, Emily D. Crews. We also welcome Curtis J. Evans, Associate Professor of American Religions and the History of Christianity, as Marty Center Faculty Co-Director. He joins our current Faculty Co-Director, Alireza Doostdar, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Anthropology of Religions.
This year we are delighted to feature a series titled “Smart Sightings,” a new partnership between the Marty Center and the University of Chicago Smart Museum of Art. In this series, authors will use the theories and methods of Religious Studies to reflect on objects on display in the Smart’s current exhibition, Calling on the Past: Selections from the Permanent Collection. Our “Smart Sightings” contributors are Emily D. Crews, Kris Culp, Matthew Harris, Karin Krause, Lauren Pond, Aneesah Veatch, and Erin Galgay Walsh.
We also welcome this year’s four contributing columnists: David Barr, Visiting Assistant Professor at Berry College; Russell Johnson, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies; Richard Rosengarten, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature; and William Schultz, Assistant Professor of Religions in America. We offer our thanks to William Schweiker, Professor of Religious Ethics, and Curtis Evans for serving as a columnists for 2022-2023. You can read Prof. Schweiker’s columns here and Prof. Evans’s column's here.
Sightings is a crucial part of the mission of the Marty Center and the Divinity School. As we embark on a new chapter, we thank you for your committed readership. We also invite you to contribute your own pieces, should the spirit (or the news!) move you. Please see our guidelines for more information or reach out to the Sightings editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your submissions.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to be in conversation with you and wish you a wonderful start to the new academic year.
Emily D. Crews, Executive Director of the Marty Center
Curtis Evans and Alireza Doostdar, Marty Center Faculty Co-Directors
Russell Johnson, Sightings Editor
Featured photograph by Charissa Johnson