Religion Expert Talks About ‘Growing Up Catholic’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An expert who studies Catholic children during the 20th century will visit Purdue University on Feb. 8 to discuss how those children live as Catholic adults today.

Robert Orsi, the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University, will present “Growing up Catholic: A Case Study of Catholic Children in Mid-20th Century America” at 7:30 p.m. in the Krannert Auditorium. His talk, which is sponsored by the Aquinas Educational Foundation and the College of Liberal Arts’ Religious Studies Program, is free and open to the public.

Orsi studies American Catholicism and is widely recognized for his work on theory and method for the study of religion. Before coming to Northwestern, he taught at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York from 1981-88, at Indiana University from 1988 to 2001, and at Harvard Divinity School from 2001-07. He was president of the American Academy of Religion in 2002-03.

His books include, “The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950,” “Thank You, Saint Jude: Women’s Devotion to the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes” and “Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them.” Orsi also has edited “Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape.” He is currently at work on “The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies” and on a social and cultural history of 20th-century Catholic childhoods in the United States, which is set to be published by Harvard University Press.

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