ACLS congratulates Anthea Butler F’18, recipient of the 2022 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.

Butler is the first Black woman ever to receive the award and accepted the prize on Friday, November 18, 2022, at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.

“Dr. Butler has contributed prolifically and powerfully to public digital and media conversations about religion in U.S. politics,” stated AAR’s Committee for the Public Understanding. “Social media has become increasingly important to the public understanding of religion…Engaging [on] social media requires a set of communications skills that have not traditionally been valued in the academy, and exposure on social media subjects poses risks and pressures that many academics may wish to avoid. Dr. Butler (@AntheaButler) has successfully used Twitter to share her various scholarly projects, her op-ed writing, and to draw on her knowledge, charisma, and character to reach new audiences. Her contributions to the public understanding of religion cannot be fully appreciated apart from her willingness to navigate the social media landscape to engage the public, journalists, and scholars.”

Butler is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves as the president of the American Society of Church History, also an ACLS member society. In 2018 she received a Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs Fellowship for her research project “Blessed and Highly Favored: Prosperity Gospel as a Nigerian Political and Social Network.” She is the author of White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America and Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World and has contributed to Religion Dispatches, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Religion News Service.