James P. McCartin, Ph.D., author of the widely praised history Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics (Harvard University Press, 2010), has been named a co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, the University announced on Sept. 2.
McCartin comes to Fordham from Seton Hall University, where he has been associate professor of history and associate director of the Center for Catholic Studies. The recipient of numerous research fellowships and the author of many articles, encyclopedia articles and reviews, he has specialized in questions of Catholicism, public life and American culture. He will be a visiting professor at Fordham.
Founded in 2004 by Peter Steinfels and Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture has drawn capacity audiences to a steady stream of public forums and conferences on a wide range of topics focused on religious faith and contemporary culture. These have included the role of religion in American politics, issues of war and morality, religion and science, medieval and contemporary art, memoir-writing and fiction, human rights, faith-based activism, bioethics, young adults and the church, and 9/11 and its aftermath. The center also organizes press briefings, seminars and discussion groups.
“That Fordham has attracted a scholar and author of Dr. McCartin’s stature to be the co-director of the Center on Religion and Culture speaks volumes about the leadership and reputation of Peter and Peggy Steinfels,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “We are very pleased to welcome Jim McCartin to the Fordham family, and confident that he will build upon their great work.”
The Steinfelses will continue their work in collaboration with McCartin through the 2011-2012 school year.
A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, McCartin earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Notre Dame, where he worked with R. Scott Appleby and John McGreevy. His research grants include a visiting fellowship at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University; the Alfred J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere from the American Historical Association; and a Lilly Endowment Grant in the Program for the Study of Religion in American Life at the Louisville Institute.
Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics was the subject of a review symposium in the Winter 2010 issue of American Catholic Studies. His current research projects include a book project on American Catholicism and sexuality since 1800 and an article on American Catholicism and the ethics of dying in the 1970s. He lives in Jersey City, N.J., with his wife and three children.
Complete information on the center and its activities, as well as transcripts from its public events, is available here.