During the past year, faculty from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of History received multiple awards and fellowships in recognition of their research. The honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, two invitations to the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Haskins Medal—the highest award granted by the Medieval Academy of America.
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Vittorio G. Hösle, Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope Francis. “We were very gratified to learn of Professor Hösle’s appointment to this truly distinguished body,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “On behalf of the University, I congratulate Professor Hösle for this well-deserved and important recognition, and thank him for helping Notre Dame fulfill its mission of serving the Church through scholarship.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, Mike Amezcua heard stories about how his great-grandparents emigrated from Michoacán, Mexico to find work in Chicago during the 1920s. Such stories influenced Amezcua’s academic path, inspiring him to focus on how Mexicans helped shaped Chicago’s mid-20th century history. His journey will bring him to South Bend in fall 2014 as an assistant professor of history and faculty fellow in the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Latino Studies.
The “Age of Martyrs” is the term of art for the earliest years of Christian history, but as Pope Francis remarked in a homily last April 15, “the age of martyrs is not yet over; even today we can say, in truth, that the Church has more martyrs now than during the first centuries.” More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined. The lives of these remarkable men and women and the effects of their witness in the Church and the world are the subjects of the University of Notre Dame’s Saturdays with the Saints program, a series of morning talks offered on football home game days throughout the fall.
“Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth,” an initiative that brings Catholic parishes and schools together with Catholic families to strengthen and deepen their faith, is now active in some 60 dioceses in the United States and Canada. According to those who conceived, organized and now direct this new and growing movement in youth ministry, social science research conducted by Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society, has been instrumental in the development of the program.
The University of Notre Dame’s Office of Campus Ministry has launched a new smartphone application accessible to all Apple and Android devices. The free app, which is available from the Apple Store and Android Market by searching “Notre Dame Daily Faith,” includes a calendar of campus liturgies, meetings of prayer groups, performances of sacred music, retreats, lectures and seminars.
Works by five professors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters were honored with 2013 Catholic Press Association (CPA) Book Awards, and a sixth faculty member received CPA recognition for an essay he wrote for America magazine.
Massive catastrophes, the globally televised images of human suffering they generate, and the innate compassion of ordinary people invariably combine to unleash impressive feats of giving, but a new University of Notre Dame study suggests that generosity, at least among American Catholics, may be more complicated than that.
Ken Garcia, a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a co-winner of the College Theology Society’s 2013 best book award for his work, Academic Freedom and the Telos of the Catholic University.
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.
Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, received the Johannes Quasten Medal of Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies from Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies on May 2. Father Daley is the 26th theologian to receive the Quasten Medal since the award was established in 1985.
Yury P. Avvakumov, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, was recently selected as one of six Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology for his work on the relationship between the Latin West and Byzantine East during the 12th century. Established in 1993, the Luce Fellows Program has awarded just 136 fellowships in its 20-year existence.
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.
Millions of Americans watched live nightly news coverage of the papal conclave in Vatican City, and if you happened to be watching NBC, you were likely being told the news by a Notre Dame alumna. Anne Thompson ’79 is NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent and has covered stories from the Gulf oil spill to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Given her Catholic background and previous reporting on the Church, Thompson was assigned to cover the conclave, much to her excitement.
When senior economics major and peace studies major Melissa Maggart began looking for a summer internship last year, she sought to combine her academic interests with her personal desire to help alleviate poverty. Her search brought her to a new program at the University of Notre Dame—the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO).
Sister Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., professor of theology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, recently received two prestigious honors: the Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award and the Veritas Award.
An innovative partnership between the University of Notre Dame, the nation’s preeminent Catholic university, and Catholic Charities USA, one of this country’s most influential social service networks, was announced recently. The formation of the collaboration, called the Alliance, was driven by the two institutions’ common belief that helping those in need is a core element of the Catholic faith. A key component of the Alliance is Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), the first domestic poverty lab in the United States.
“I took a University Seminar in sociology and I really liked it—it fit my personality,” says Sam Lee, a Notre Dame senior from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. “Sociology shapes your lens and perspective and how you see people in a larger context and the social forces that shape people. It’s applicable to a lot of things.”
Over Fall Break 2012, 10 undergraduate students from the University of Notre Dame traveled to Israel as part of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by the Department of Theology. Several of the travelers, led by Professor Todd Walatka, are Theology majors and minors. Two students from the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, accompanied the group in order to film the experiences of these Notre Dame pilgrims.
Over the past several years, the number of Catholics in Europe has plummeted to the point that it is no longer the most Catholic region in the world, and the election of a non-European pope would reflect that change, according to Naunihal Singh, a University of Notre Dame political scientist specializing in African politics.
Choice magazine has included two books by faculty members in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters on its list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012. John Sitter, the Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature in the Department of English, was selected for his Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry, while Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and executive director of the Institute for Latino Studies, was honored for Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church, which also won the College Theology Society’s Best Book Award in 2012, as well as the 2013 Paul J. Foik, C.S.C. Award from the Texas Catholic Historical Society.
University of Notre Dame History Professor Thomas F.X. Noble has been chosen as president-elect of the American Society of Church History (ASCH) for 2013 and will become its president the following year.
University of Notre Dame theologians are reacting to the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he intends to resign from the papal post at the end of this month.
“The day of studying the New Testament text alone is over—as well it should be,” says John Fitzgerald, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology. “As important as the New Testament text is, it comes to life only when it is placed within a community and a society of other people.” In this video, Fitzgerald discusses his research on early Christian society, including issues such as unemployment and domestic violence.
Timothy Matovina, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, has won the 2012 College Theology Society Best Book Award for his work Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church (Princeton University Press, 2012). Matovina, who specializes in Latino theology and religion, particularly Latino Catholicism, is also executive director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, housed in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
Catholics are less generous than other American Christians, according to a study recently published by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI). “Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States,” by Brian Starks, director of CSPRI, and Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, compares the religious giving of Catholics with that of other religious communities in America and concludes that Catholics, on average, give less than other Christians.
Sacred music has the power to enrich and inspire entire communities. And with the support of a Lilly Endowment grant of $1.9 million, Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) is now poised to help congregations across the region renew worship practices and enliven musical expression to engage people more deeply, across the generations.
A unique event in November 2012 brought together ND students, faculty, and other members of the campus community who love the Italian language, the poet Dante, and his immortal poem, the Divine Comedy.
Sacred music is foundational to many of the world’s artistic traditions, and this is especially so when it comes to Western music. It is also an artistic—and academic—area that continues to grow and develop. To celebrate and promote this diverse and vibrant art form, the University of Notre Dame is launching a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program with majors in organ and choral conducting, beginning in fall 2013.
“Festschrift,” German for “festival-writing,” is a word academics use to describe a collection of writings celebrating the work of a prominent scholar on some memorable occasion. It is certainly a word well understood by the Bavarian theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and he seemed pleased to receive a festschrift from the University of Notre Dame, which John Cavadini, director of the Institute for Church Life, presented him December 7 in Rome.