Headshot of William Martin

William Martin

Nonresident Fellow in Religion and Public Policy | Director, Drug Policy Program


William Martin, Ph.D., is a nonresident fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. He also directs the institute’s Drug Policy Program. His areas of research and writing focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political implications of religion, particularly fundamentalist religions and the importance of the separation of religion and government, or “church and state”; and 2) ways to reduce the harms associated with both drug abuse and drug policy. His articles, most of which deal with aspects of religion, have appeared in such publications as Texas Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His book “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story” is regarded as the authoritative biography of Billy Graham. Another of his books, “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America” (Broadway Books 1996; updated 2005), was the companion volume to a six-hour documentary PBS miniseries of the same name. He is a frequent guest on national and local news and discussion programs. During his 55 years at Rice, Martin has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.

Contact at wcm@rice.edu or 713-348-3481.