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.
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.”