Philip Byers
Postdoctoral Research Associate
405 Geddes Hall

Philip Byers joins the Cushwa Center as a postdoctoral research associate for the 2020–21 academic year. His scholarship and teaching interests include 20th century U.S. religion and political culture, with special focus on philanthropy and humanitarianism. He earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Notre Dame in May 2020. His dissertation, “How Firm the Foundation: The Lilly Endowment and American Christianity, 1937–1989,” analyzes the most concentrated and sustained external source of financial provision for postwar Christian communities. Joining perennial debates regarding the role of private money in society, the dissertation demonstrates the centrality of funding to postwar American religion and reveals core assumptions that underlie much contemporary philanthropic practice. 

Byers has received research support from numerous sources, including the Hagley Museum and Library, the Economic History Society (U.K.), the Business History Conference, and Notre Dames Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and he has served as a graduate student affiliate of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. His work has appeared in the journal Religions and the forthcoming Indiana University Press volume Hoosier Philanthropy. During graduate school, he taught “Religion and Politics in Modern America” for the Notre Dame history department and served for two years as co-convener for the Colloquium on Religion and History (CORAH).

Luca Codignola
Senior Fellow
Rome Global Gateway (Rome, Italy)

Luca Codignola joined the Cushwa Center in 2016. A historian of the early modern era, Codignola is former professor of Early North American History at Università di Genova (Italy), where he served on the faculty for 25 years. His career also includes four years as head of the Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe of Italy's National Research Council and recent affiliations with University of Toronto, Université Laval, and Saint Mary's University (Halifax).

The author of 10 books and editor of more than a dozen volumes, Codignola’s recent publications include Little Do We Know: History and Historians of the North Atlantic, 1492–2010 (2011); and Blurred Nationalities across the North Atlantic: Traders, Priests, and Their Kin Travelling between North America and the Italian Peninsula, 1763–1846 (2019).

Rev. Stephen M. Koeth, C.S.C.
Postdoctoral Fellow
405 Geddes Hall

Rev. Stephen M. Koeth, C.S.C., joined the Cushwa Center in July 2020 after earning his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in May 2020. Father Koeth’s scholarship and teaching focus on 20th-century religious, political, and urban history. His dissertation, “The Suburban Church: Catholic Parishes and Politics in Metropolitan New York, 1945–1985,” which received the American Catholic Historical Association’s 2019 John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, examines the effects of postwar suburbanization on American Catholicism. Examining the creation and expansion of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in suburban Long Island, the dissertation argues that suburbia revolutionized the sacred space of the parish, the relationship between clergy and laity, conceptions of Catholic education, and Catholic participation in American politics.

Father Koeth previously earned a B.A. in history (’99) and a Master of Divinity (’06) from Notre Dame, and an M.A. in history from The Catholic University of America (’12). His research has been supported by grants from the Cushwa Center, The Catholic University of America, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Sacred Heart Institute of the Archdiocese of New York and the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. Father Koeth’s scholarship has been published in the Journal of Church and State, U.S. Catholic Historian, and American Catholic Studies and his commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday.

Read our summer 2020 interview with Father Koeth here.

Rose Luminiello
Research Associate
Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen

The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism cosponsored a postdoctoral research fellowship​ during the 2019–20 academic year​​​ at the University of Aberdeen’s Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies​ ​(RIISS). Rose Luminiello is conducting research for the project, “Irish Religious Women in the Anglophone World, 1840–1950.” Luminiello holds a Ph​.​D​.​ History from the University of Aberdeen and an M​.​Sc​.​ in Modern British and Irish History from the University of Edinburgh. Her dissertation, “Confronting Modernity: Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, and the Catholic Church in Ireland and Prussian Poland 1878–1914,” examines how Pope Leo XIII’s neo-Thomistic restoration of natural law reasoning in his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum was influenced by his experiences in Ireland and Prussia during the 1880s. It then examines these influences within the content of Rerum Novarum itself. The final chapter demonstrates how the wide distribution of the encyclical enabled its use outside of its intended scope by lower class Catholics in Ulster and Poznania to justify economic and political protest and resistance.