David Gibson to Head Center on Religion and Culture

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Photo by Leo Sorel

David Gibson, an award-winning journalist and co-author of Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery (St. Martin’s Press, 2015), has been named the new director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture (CRC). Gibson will start on July 1, and succeeds James P. McCartin, Ph.D., a historian of American Catholicism who will return to full-time teaching after leading the center for six years.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, praised Gibson’s appointment,  “We would be hard-pressed to find someone more uniquely suited than David Gibson as CRC’s next director,” he said.

“He brings to the post a wealth of experience writing about the modern church and the complexities of contemporary religious life in the United States and abroad, experience which will inform our discussions about our past and future.”

Gibson is well-versed in issues of faith, having begun his career in journalism in Rome at Vatican Radio, which, like Fordham, is connected to the Society of Jesus.. During his time there, Gibson covered many of Pope John Paul II’s travels, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. He detailed the latter in The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World (HarperCollins, 2007).

Upon returning to the United States in 1990, Gibson wrote for media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He also wrote for Catholic publications, including America magazine and Commonweal, and has been honored several times as the nation’s top religion reporter.

Gibson has co-written and co-produced several documentaries for CNN and the History Channel including Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery, a CNN series based on his book. He is also a frequent television and radio commentator on religion news.

Originally from Plainfield, New Jersey, Gibson graduated from Furman University with a degree in European history. He now resides in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Founded in 2004 by Peter and Margaret Steinfels, the CRC confronts the questions arising at the intersection of religious traditions and contemporary culture. Drawing on New York’s leading role in intellectual and literary life, the visual and performing arts, politics, media, diplomacy, and humanitarian activities, CRC programs aim to promote intellectual enrichment and affirm Fordham’s leadership role as a shaping force in the public discourse.

“The center is a crucial part of Fordham’s engagement with the intellectual, religious, and spiritual life of New York and beyond, and we look forward to David’s enthusiasm and insights in carrying that mission forward through thought-provoking conversations,” said Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., vice president for mission integration and planning.

—Veronika Kero

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