Soliciting Nominations for Sociology of Religion Book Award (3/1/17 deadline)

From the American Sociological Association Section on Religion:

The ASA Sociology of Religion Section solicits nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Book Award. The award honors a book that makes an outstanding contribution to the sociology of religion. Books published in the previous two years (copyright date of 2015 or 2016) are eligible for the 2017 award. Nominated authors must be members of the ASA Religion Section in order for their book to be considered. Please have publishers send copies of books nominated for the award to each of the four committee members no later than March 1st, 2017 to be considered for the award. Books may be nominated for the award by authors, publishers, or others.

Book Award Committee
Please send nominated books to each committee member at the addresses below.

Tricia Bruce (chair)
Division of Social Sciences
Maryville College
502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN 37804-5907

Mark Mulder
Department of Sociology and Social Work
Calvin College
3201 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Rachel Rinaldo
Department of Sociology
University of Colorado Boulder
UCB 327, Ketchum 266
Boulder, CO 80309

Buster Smith
Catawba College
Sociology Department
2300 W Innes Street
Salisbury, NC 28144


New Chapter about Preserving Catholic Churches in Changing Urban Settings

Spiritualizing the City:  Agency and Resilience of the Urban and Urbanesque Habitat (Edited by Victoria Hegner, Peter Jan Margry) is now out with Routledge Press!

The chapter I authored – “Preserving Catholic Space and Place in ‘The Rome of the West'” – details the strategies that the Archdiocese of St. Louis used to preserve its beautiful downtown churches in the wake of declining Catholic populations. Specifically, formerly territorial parishes became “personal parishes” dedicated to serving special purposes/populations of Catholics.

Find more about the book here.

Read a press release about my contribution to the book here.

Panel on Asian American Catholics at the American Academy of Religion

It was a pleasure to participate in today’s conversation about Asian American Catholics, stemming from the report I co-authored with Drs. Stephen Cherry and Jerry Park.

At a special panel of the American Academy of Religion – sponsored by the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Group – we presenting findings from our 2014-2015 study. Three expert panelists – Professors Tia Pratt, Jeremy Cruz, and Joe Cheah – then offered insightful commentary on the report and its implications for how we understand Asian American Catholics.

Daily Theology Review of Polarization in the US Catholic Church

“The current historical moment that our nation finds itself in is not an accident. American exceptionalism, nationalism, the sinfulness of manifest destiny are all hauntingly present. Is there only room left for despair in the anxiety building up to today’s election? How can we take and put into effect the message of Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church in light of our nation’s politics?”

Thanks to Meg Stapleton Smith for her thoughtful and thought-provoking Daily Theology review of my co-edited volume, Polarization in the US Catholic Church. Read it in its entirety here.

Vox Nova Book Review: Here Comes Everybody!

Thanks to jeanninemariedymphna for posting a thoughtful review of my co-edited volume, Polarization in the US Catholic Church, on Vox Nova. This excerpt comments on my own chapter contribution:

“The second part of the volume, “Naming the Wounds,” includes four essays that seek to examine the roots of this polarization – whether real of perceived. In ¨Polarized Preferences, Polarized Pews,” Tricia C. Bruce examines the rise of “personal” or ideological parishes. In the past, parishes were determined by geographical boundaries; one was expected to attend the parish in his or her area. Today, however, many parishes represent “elective affinities”; they are formed by people who have come together due to a common liturgical preference, like the traditional Latin Mass, or an ideological stance, like liberation theology.

For Bruce, this is not necessarily a negative thing; she suggests that these parishes provide a home for Catholics who might otherwise be marginalized and add to the “rich mosaic” of the Church. At the same time, she does raise the point – which Michael Peppard echoes at the end of the volume – that by binding like-minded Catholics together, such parishes foster the same kind of divisions that Internet news “echo chambers” do: instead of forcing us to encounter those who are different, they allow us to isolate ourselves among the like-minded.”

Read the review in its entirety here.