Research Locations and Project Fellows

vatican_logoSan Francisco


Jeffrey M. Burns, director of the Academy of American Franciscan History and the archivist for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, teaches at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California, and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Significant works include Disturbing the Peace: A History of the Christian Family Movement, 1949-1974 (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999); with Joseph White and Ellen Skerrett, Keeping Faith: European and Asian Catholic Immigrants (Wipf & Stock, 2006); and Catholic San Francisco: A Sesquicentennial History (2003).


`s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands


Marjet Derks is assistant professor of cultural and religious history at Radboud University, Nijmegen (the Netherlands). She works in the field of radical religious movements, intellectual Catholic women and the history of women religious. She is co-director of the research program Re-Mastering the Past, for which scholars in the field of history, art history and literature concentrate on processes of memorialization and self(-historization) as reflections of attempts to master the past. Her key publications include "The Gospel of the Old: Media, Gender, and the Invisible Conservative Dutch Catholic," in: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions- und Kulturgeschichte, 104 (2010) 101-135. With Annelies van Heijst & Marit Monterio, Ex Caritate. Kloosterleven, apostolaast en nieuwe spirit van actieve vrouwelijke religieuzen in Nederland in de 19e en 20e eeuw (Hilversum: Verloren 2010, 1195 pp) (Convent life, apostolate and new spirit of women religious in the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century). "Modesty and Excellence. Gender and Sports Culture in Dutch Catholic Schooling, 1900-40," in: Gender & History 20 (2008) nr. 1, 8-26.

Santiago de Chile


Luz María Díaz de Valdés (co-author) earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Currently she is doing a PhD in global history at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts). Her doctoral dissertation is about the emergence of a leftist clergy in Chile during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and particularly it analyzes the Chilean movement called “Cristianos por el Socialismo." She was a guest scholar of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame in spring 2012.

Ferrara, Italy


Massimo Faggioli is assistant professor in the Department of Theology at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota). His most recent books: Breve storia dei movimenti cattolici, Carocci (Roma 2008; Spanish translation, Madrid: PPC, 2011; English translation forthcoming by Palgrave Macmillan); Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning (Mahwah NJ/New York: Paulist 2012; Italian translation forthcoming).

Luanda, Angola


Madalina Florescu holds a doctorate in social anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She is currently a research fellow at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Porto, where she is researching the colonial and post-colonial developments of the Luso-African religion that came into being between Luanda and its cultural hinterland during the Atlantic trade. She has written on the ethnography of cross-cultural encounters and on religion and history in Angola.

Westminster, England


Alana Harris is the Darby Fellow in History at Lincoln College, University of Oxford, where she teaches 19th- and 20th-century British and European history. Her research interests include intellectual and cultural history, gender and migration, as well as popular religion, ritual and material culture. Recent publications include the jointly authored Redefining Christian Britain: Post-1945 Perspectives (SCM Press, 2006) and her history of English Catholic gendered identities and devotional life will be published by MUP under the title Faith in the Family: Vatican II and English Catholic Spirituality (2013). She is also preparing for publication of a co-authored/edited volume Rescripting Religion in the City: Migration, Modernity and Religious Identity in the Modern Metropolis (Ashgate, 2013) and is the co-founder/editor of the new Routledge series "Religion, Travel and Tourism."

Santa Fe


Kathleen Holscher is assistant professor of religious studies and American studies, and chair of Catholic studies, at the University of New Mexico. Her academic interests include American Catholic history and various intersections of religion and culture. Her article “Contesting the Veil in America: Catholic Habits and the Controversy over Religious Clothing in the United States” appeared in the winter 2012 edition of The Journal of Church and State. A book, Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico, was published in August 2012 by Oxford University Press.

Cuernavaca, Mexico


Jennifer Scheper Hughes is associate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Riverside. She engages in the historical and cultural study of religion in Latin America and among U.S. Latinos including popular practice and devotion; religion, affect and emotion; and religious materiality. Her book, Biography of a Mexican Crucifix: Lived Religion and Local Faith (Oxford, 2010), is a history of popular devotion to images of the suffering Christ in Mexico. She has published book chapters and articles on Bartolomé de las Casas, liberation theology in Latin America, and novel popular devotions in Mexico (including so-called “narco-saints”). Her new book project examines the impact of mass death by epidemic disease on religious life and practice in Mexico.

Adelaide, Australia


Josephine Laffin is senior lecturer in theology at Australian Catholic University in Adelaide. Her publications include a biography of Matthew Beovich, archbishop of Adelaide from 1939 to 1971 (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2008). She is a member of the management team of Catholic Theological College and secretary of the Australian Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue. Her research interests include spirituality and Christian art history. She edited What does it mean to be a Saint? Reflections on Mary MacKillop,Saints and Holiness in the Catholic Tradition (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2010) and contributed “A Saint for All Australians?” to Peter Clarke and Tony Claydon, ed. Studies in Church History, vol. 47, Saints and Sanctity (Ecclesiastical History Society, 2011), pp. 403-414.



Andrew S. Moore is professor of history at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of The South’s Tolerable Alien: Roman Catholics in Alabama and Georgia, 1945-1970 (Louisiana State University Press, 2007). He is currently finishing a book-length biography of former president Jimmy Carter.

Trichur (Thrissur), Kerala, India


Paul Pulikkan holds MA in theology, MA in religious studies, PhD in theology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and Msc in psychology from the University of Madras. He teaches church history and ecclesiology at the Institute of Theology and Marymatha Major Seminary in Thrissur, Kerala, India. He holds the Chair for Christian Studies and Research, University of Calicut. He is a research guide at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam and the chief editor of the Eastern Journal of Dialogue and Culture. At present, he is the national secretary of the Catholic Council of India. His important works include Indian Church at Vatican I: A Historico Theological Study of the Indian Participation in the Second Vatican Council, (Trichur: Marymatha publications, 2001); The Church and Culture in India, Inculturation: Theory and Praxis (edited with P.Collins) Delhi: ISPCK, 2010, besides several articles.

Québec, Canada


Gilles Routhier is ordinary professor and vice-dean at the Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses at the l’Université Laval (Québec, Canada). His main research is concerned with the Second Vatican Council: its history, reception, and hermeneutic. His recent publications include Vatican II: Herméneutique et réception (Montréal, Fides) and Vatican II au Canada: Expériences canadiennes/Canadian Experiences (University of Ottawa Press). Links to more information here and here.




John C. Seitz is an assistant professor in the Theology Department at Fordham University. He also holds an appointment as the Associate Director for Lincoln Center of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham. His research concerns American religious history. His recent book, No Closure: Catholic Practice and Boston’s Parish Shutdowns (Harvard, 2011), explores recent resistance to Catholic parish closures in light of 20th-century religious history.


Santiago de Chile


Sol Serrano Pérez (co-author), is a professor of history at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She earned her M.A. at Yale University and PhD at the Universidad Católica de Chile. Her interests are the political, cultural and religious history of Chile and Latin America in the 19th Century. Her most recent book is Qué hacer con Dios en la Republica. Politica y secularización en Chile 1845-1885 (Fondo de Cultura Económica, Santiago de Chile, 2008, 3era edición 2009).




Leslie Woodcock Tentler is ordinary professor of history at the Catholic University of America. Her most recent book is Catholics and Contraception: An American History (Cornell, 2004); she is also the editor of The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholicism Since 1950 in the United States, Ireland, and Quebec (The Catholic University of America Press, 2007).


Brandon Vaidyanathan is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation examines the relationship between capitalism and Catholicism in cities such as Dubai and Bangalore. His research has been published in journals such as Social ForcesJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion; and Work, Employment, and Society.



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