Notre Dame political scientist Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., and economist Molly Lipscomb have teamed up to conduct a randomized controlled trial in 250 villages of rural Uganda, where contaminated water is a major cause of health problems and premature death. Funded by a $279,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the study will assess whether religious or political leaders are more effective at promoting health-enhancing behaviors.
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Okuyamba, a locally produced award-winning short documentary about palliative care in Uganda, will be shown in the auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21. The film is directed by Ted Mandell, a faculty member in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT), and Mike Wargo of the Hospice Foundation.
Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, before he was a cardinal and a Vatican bureaucrat, and before he was archbishop of Munich, the German priest and professor Joseph Ratzinger taught theology at the Universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg, served as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council and wrote several widely acclaimed and influential books of theology. Touching on nearly every imaginable theological topic, that career, uninterrupted and even magnified by the theologian’s election to the papacy, will be the subject of a conference, God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI, to be held at the University of Notre Dame March 25–27 (Sunday–Tuesday).
Kathleen Sprows Cummings, associate professor of American Studies, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Charles and Margaret Hall Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. Announcing the appointment, John McGreevy, dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, praised Cummings as “one of the country’s most accomplished scholars of American Catholicism.”
In preserving and developing the intellectual and literary traditions of the Greco-Roman world, in fashioning eastern orthodox Christianity, and in defining the notion of a Christian empire that was a center of intellectual and commercial trade, the Byzantine Empire was one of the great formative cultures in European history. Although its rule ended in 1453 C.E., Byzantium’s influence was far from over, and the University’s Byzantine Studies at Notre Dame initiative continues to explore this influential period in medieval history.
A unique departmental approach to graduate students’ professional development is paying dividends for Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology. Over the past two years, more than 18 students have published a book, article, or book review in a peer-reviewed journal—for a combined total of 26 articles, three books and two book reviews. Nearly half of the publications have appeared in top-ranked journals.
Erin Jelm ’10 can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in Latin American studies. “I’ve always had an interest in cultures,” says the anthropology and marketing alumna, currently working as a marketing specialist at Santiago Adventures, a tour operator in Santiago, Chile.
Phillip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, is one of a series of philosophers, political scientists, and theologians invited to speak to the undergraduate students enrolled in a new course called On Human Dignity. A philosopher and historian of science, Sloan emphasizes that the concept of human dignity, the insistence that a human being is literally invaluable, is not only central to the social teaching of Roman Catholicism, but emerges from a philosophical tradition with ancient and pre-Christian Greek and Roman roots.
The University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will host an international conference, Conceptions of Truth, focused on the nature of truth. The interdisciplinary conference, scheduled for April 12-14 (Thursday-Saturday), will bring 17 leading experts to McKenna Hall to address the subject of “the truth.” The conference will include discussion of ideas presented as well as less formal opportunities for scholarly interaction.
At the University of Notre Dame, a new online publication, Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization is intended both to celebrate and invigorate Catholic life and mission by exploring aspects of its theology, liturgy, teaching, community, and prayer.
Grade school and middle school teachers can get a technological boost thanks to the vision and creativity of several Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS). “Day of the Dead: Experience the Tradition” is an iPad app recently created and available to the public that immerses users in a multimedia cultural experience of interactive videos, photos and articles that teach about Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday increasingly celebrated throughout the United States. With its indigenous roots infused with Catholic practices, the holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember loved ones who have died.
Dianne Pinderhughes, president’s distinguished professor in the departments of Africana studies and political science at the University of Notre Dame, has been named cochair of the new Civic Engagement and Governance Institute launched by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.
A research team based at the Julian Samora Library in the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) is one of three hemispheric teams to have its work featured in the launch of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s (MFAH) digital archive, which was formally released to the public during an international symposium held January 19–20 in Houston.
What role, if any, does forgiveness play in the context of war, in the wake of unspeakable atrocities? Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies, recently returned from Uganda, where he is exploring the practice of forgiveness among survivors of the two-decades-long civil war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan government.
A conference at the University of Notre Dame February 5 to 8 will bring together Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and Buddhists for four days to tell the stories of particularly admirable men and women from their respective faiths and traditions.
Molly Kinder ‘01, who majored in political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kinder, a native of Buffalo, New York, is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.
According to University of Notre Dame theologian and historian Timothy Matovina, “bold proclamations about Latino voters determining presidential elections have become a regular feature of political commentary.” Matovina, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the author of a recent history titled Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church. “In fact,” he says, “the electoral significance of Latinos is growing steadily, but not as exponentially as such commentaries suggest.”
By now, most people are aware of the environmental effects of air or water pollution; University of Notre Dame philosopher and scientist Kristin Shrader-Frechette has devoted herself to bringing to light a less known concern, the inequitable distribution of pollution’s human toll. “Polluters ‘target’ poor and minority communities to locate noxious facilities because they know that residents often are unable to defend themselves,” she says. For her efforts, Shrader-Frechette was recently awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.
Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. A new book by Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.
The Medieval Institute, located on the seventh floor of the Hesburgh Library, is a scholarly and academic unit of the University that promotes research and teaching on the cultures, languages, and religions of the medieval period (from roughly the fifth through 15th centuries). Its faculty come from more than a dozen different departments in the College of Arts and Letters
There are as many Mormons in America as there are Jews, yet there has been far less research into the Mormon community. A new survey released January 12 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society” is a “huge leap forward for what we know about Mormons,” according to David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political scientist who researches religion and politics, and who himself is a Mormon.
The University of Notre Dame’s annual ScreenPeace Film Festival will kick off with a powerful film about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. On the Bridge, directed by College of Arts and Letters faculty member Olivier Morel, explores the impact of PTSD on former soldiers as they adapt to life outside of combat.
On the morning of September 1, 2004, University of Notre Dame political scientist Debra Javeline found herself, like many people around the world, glued to the television, watching in horror as the Beslan school hostage crisis—widely known as “Russia’s 9/11”—unfolded. Dozens of militants from a Chechen separatist group had converged on a school in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. For three days, the terrorists held hostage more than 1,200 children, teachers, and parents.
Indiana lawmakers and residents can expect heated debate as the Indiana House voted 8-5 this morning to send the “Right to Work” bill to the full House. Indiana Republicans back the bill because of its potential to attract business to the Hoosier state with lower labor costs, which some believe ultimately will increase workers’ wages. University of Notre Dame labor economist Marty Wolfson disputes that argument.
Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for two of his latest books: What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.
From Cairo to Kabul to New York City, the events shaping our world are informed by the deeply held religious beliefs of contemporary history’s major protagonists. So why is the dynamic role of religion in world affairs still such a hard academic sell in political science and international relations programs around the country? “I think if the field were to be proportioned according to what you see in headlines, religion would deserve a much larger place in the study of international relations,” says Daniel Philpott, who is associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame and on the faculty of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.
The Ambrosiana Collection, housed in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was created through an agreement between His Eminence Giovanni Battista Montini, then the cardinal–archbishop of Milan (later Pope Paul VI) and President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. The collection includes microfilms and photographic copies of nearly all of the drawings in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy’s historic library founded in 1609.
Molly Lipscomb, assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and Laura Schechter and Jean-François Houde, economists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, hope to increase the accessibility of sanitation technology in poor neighborhoods in Dakar, Senegal. Their two-year research project is supported by a more than $1 million grant to Innovations for Poverty Action from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on December 12, 2011 agreeably apposite to recent activities of Notre Dame’s scholars and administrators.
A new, unprecedented national survey of African American Catholics by University of Notre Dame researchers reveals several significant insights into individual religious engagement and identifies several notable demographic trends facing the church. Notre Dame social scientists Darren W. Davis and Donald B. Pope-Davis, who co-authored the report, set out to test the validity of anecdotal accounts that African American Catholics were becoming increasingly disengaged from their religion.