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New book explores how Catholic parishes contribute to polarization


church votives

Same-sex marriage, abortion and other cultural conflicts centered on the family have intensified in recent years, particularly among American Catholics. These same conflicts also are widely believed to form the basis for much of the moral polarization in public politics among Americans in general.

A new book by Mary Ellen Konieczny, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, examines how religion and family life are intertwined and how local parishes shape that intersection. Read More

Exploring Capitalism and Catholicism in India and Dubai

Author: Mary Hendriksen

What is the role of religion in rapidly developing societies? It is a hotly contested question among social scientists and theologians alike, with the prevailing view holding that global capitalism either makes religion irrelevant or produces a backlash of fundamentalism. Brandon Vaidyanathan, a graduate student in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, is discovering a different reality as he focuses on the world of skilled professionals in multinational corporations in two rapidly globalizing cities—Bangalore, India, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Read More

Renowned sociologist Robert Bellah to visit Notre Dame


Robert Bellah

Sociologist Robert Bellah will visit the University of Notre Dame on March 19 (Tuesday). The Elliott Professor of Sociology emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, Bellah will present a lecture titled “The Modern Project in Light of Human Evolution” at 4:30 p.m. in the Notre Dame Conference Center at McKenna Hall, to be followed by a public reception in the atrium at 6 p.m. On March 20 (Wednesday), the University will host a public discussion and breakfast with Bellah at 9 a.m. also in McKenna Hall.

“Bob Bellah is an international celebrity,” says Lionel M. Jensen, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and concurrent professor in the Department of History.

“He is a living exemplar of the sociology of religion as a discipline, one whose current work is in dialogue with the earlier founders of the discipline — (Emile) Durkheim and (Max) Weber.” Read More

Robert Bellah coming to Notre Dame

Author: Heather Price

Robert N. Bellah, distinguished professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley and National Humanities Medal awardee, will be spending three days with faculty and student scholars to discuss his current research project. On Tuesday, March 19th, he will be publically speaking on his latest research regarding religion and human evolution.  Read More

Undergraduate Fellows Program -- Call for Applications for 2013-2014

Author: Heather Price

We are excited to announce the open call for applications to our second year of the Undergraduate Fellows Program. Our Center officially invites applications for our year-long Undergraduate Religion Research Fellows Program for the 2013-2014 academic year. This Fellows program encourages student involvement and participation in the Center through becoming a part of the intellectual community and individual scholarship – encouraging undergraduates to explore the possibility of becoming academic scholars of religion in a variety of disciplines and fields for their future careers. Read More