Carriers of Catholicism: Agents of a Future Church (My Lecture @ Fairfield University)

I was honored by the invitation to give the 19th annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, presented by the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

It was great to be in a room full of attentive students, faculty, and community members asking insightful questions about the current and unfolding state of Catholicism in the U.S.

Thanks to Fairfield University and Professor Paul Lakeland for the gracious welcome, and to the O’Callaghan family for their ongoing support of public-facing scholarship on Catholicism.

Politics and personal well-being

The inundation of political news can take a toll on our personal well-being, according to a recent study by Kevin B. Smith, Matthew V. Hibbing, and John R. Hibbing.

Thanks to WBIR-Knoxville for the chance to react and reflect on the sociological implications of this study: namely, that present discomfort can be the inspiration and source of positive, long-term change through social movements and civic engagement.

Watch the clip here.

Youtube debut on Religion for Breakfast!

I’m excited to share that the video I cowrote with Andrew Mark Henry of the Youtube channel Religion for Breakfast is now live!

Why are congregations so divided?” looks at the social dynamics behind divisions along race, class, and more in local religious communities. Andrew flew out to interview me and tour around congregations in my current hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. The video’s themes resonate with those I researched and discussed in detail in my book, Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church.

Thanks also to Sacred Writes and the Henry Luce Foundation for sponsoring this collaboration and promoting public scholarship on religion.

Check out the video, share, and join the 87,000+ who subscribe to Religion for Breakfast!

On Technology, Twitter, Responsibility, Social Movements, & Social Change

Thanks to The Human Show podcast for the invitation to discuss sociological perspectives on social change as it interacts with technological change. While movement tactics have evolved since the mobilization of Catholics I wrote about in my first book, Faithful Revolution, the dynamics of people’s pleas for reform reveal enduring patterns.

Listen to the full episode here:

The Human Show, Podcast 64 – 6/30/19

Announcing the release of American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism!

My latest book is out!!

I’m thrilled to share that the volume I coedited with Gary Adler and Brian Starks – born of The American Parish Project (TAPP) – is now available! American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism was just published by Fordham University Press as a part of their Catholic Press in North America Series.

The book features introductory and concluding chapters to frame and orient a sociological approach to parishes. Another chapter I authored provides a historical overview of sociology and parish studies. Additional chapter contributions come from Nancy Ammerman; Gary Adler; Mark Gray; Brett Hoover; Tia Noelle Pratt; Mary Jo Bane; Kathleen Garces-Foley; Courtney Ann Irby; and John Coleman.

Purchase your copy today!

Presentation at the International Sociology of Religion Conference in Barcelona

Tricia C. Bruce, Ph.D., presenting at #ISSRBCN2019

It was a pleasure to join sociologists of religion from around the globe for the 2019 International Sociology of Religion (ISSR) Conference in Barcelona.

I along with colleagues Wojciech Sadlon (Institute for Catholic Church Statistics, Poland), Roberta Ricucci (University of Turin, Italy), and Robert Dixon (Australian Catholic University) organized a session on Catholicism and Global Challenges.

Using research from one of my book manuscripts in progress, I presented a paper entitled “Roman Catholic ‘Church’ 2.0: Religious Property, Adaptive Reuse, and Competing Narratives of Community in a Postsecular World.”

Keynote at the University of Notre Dame

Thanks to the McGrath Institute of the University of Notre Dame for the invitation to offer a keynote address unpacking what we know (and don’t know) about Americans’ views on life and human dignity topics. This was also an opportunity to preview what my team of researchers is learning from 200+ interviews with everyday Americans about their attitudes toward abortion. Stay tuned.

Review of Parish and Place in JSSR

The latest issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion features a review of my third book, Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church. Brett Hoover describes the book as “the work of a sociologist who knows Catholicism; the [] vocabulary (explained for the non-specialist) is consistently accurate…Scholars of U.S. Catholicism and sociologists of religion will find it deeply persuasive.”

Read the full review.

Podcast Appearance on You Have Permission

Thanks to host Dan Koch for the invitation to join his podcast, You have Permission!

Our hour+ conversation was multi-fold, leading with questions about what it means to stay in a religious tradition while still raising critiques and suggestions for change. Things just keep unfolding from there! I enjoyed our banter and the opportunity to engage difficult but important questions.

Check it out on iTunes, Soundcloud, or your favorite podcast platform.

Seattle University Lecture & Discussions

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent visit to Seattle University at the invitation of SU’s Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. My invited lecture, “Scandal, Structure, & Renewal: Sociological Perspectives on Change in the Catholic Church” focused on how institutions shape the lived experience of faith, and the limits of grassroots efforts to enact meaningful structural change.

Joining Professor Lucas Sharma’s research methods class was also a highlight. We talked through the challenges of research design, interviewing, positionality, sampling, work/life balance, and more.

I also met with two different groups of faculty and community members, enjoying great food and conversation about my research, pressing social issues, and the future of Catholicism in the U.S.

Reach out if you’d like me to come to your campus (or visit your class via Skype!)!