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The idea for establishing an institute for the advanced study of religion at the University of Chicago originated in the early 1970s, and it seemed to be a natural fit for the school. After all, the oldest part of the University was the Divinity School. Just such an institute was established in 1979, and in 1998, it was renamed after Professor Martin Marty, who had served as a professor in the Divinity School since 1963. On the site, visitors can learn about their various programs, including public conferences, publications, and faculty research projects. Within the publications area of the site, there are two important initiatives that should not be overlooked. The first is "Sightings", which is a bi-weekly email report on the role of religion in public life. Visitors can view the current edition here, or peruse the archive all the way back to April 30, 1999. Also, there is the Religion & Culture Web Forum, which presents a series of online dialogues with scholars about such topics as the religious identities of Latin American immigrants and intelligent design.
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