Jacob Olupona wins Martin E. Marty Award!

© Princeton Theological Seminary
© Princeton Theological Seminary

Jacob Olupona, Professor of African Religious Traditions of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, has won the 2018 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.

For those attending this year’s AAR, Prof. Olupona will receive his award at the annual Marty Forum on Sunday from 3:30 – 5:00pm in Convention Center-Four Seasons 1, on the Lower Level (session A18-304 in the program book or app). His interlocutor will be John Campbell, former US Ambassador to Nigeria. As chair of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion, Erik Owens will be presiding at the session and presenting the award. Please join us!

In announcing the award, Alice Hunt, Executive Director of the American Academy of Religion, noted that “the award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the public understanding of religion by individuals whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks, not just to scholars, but more broadly to the public as well.”

Olupona is the author of five books and editor of six others. His research ranges across African spirituality and ritual practices. In detailing religious pluralism in Africa and African diasporic communities in the Americas, his focus includes the less-studied missionaries from Africa who have come to the United States to establish churches. In addition to his seminal scholarship that enhances understanding of the diversity and complexity of African religions, the Marty Award recognizes Olupona’s work for peace and understanding in Nigerian civic, academic, religious and political spheres.

The award recipient is selected by the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion. Founded in 1909, the AAR is the world’s largest association of religion scholars with some 8,000 members in North America and abroad. Its mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.

Professor Olupona served as the founding president of the AASR (1995–2000) and was elected as president for a second term (2000–2005). We are delighted to see him honoured in this way and offer our sincere congratulations!