John C. Seitz
Lincoln Center 403H
Ph.D. - Harvard University
M.T.S. - Harvard University
B.A. - University of Colorado
American Religious History, American Catholic Studies, Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
Seitz’s particular work springs from an interest in the ways the study of religion, and in particular the study of Catholics, enhances our ability to understand the American past and present. He pursues this interest both historically and anthropologically.
In 2011 Seitz published No Closure: Catholic Practice and Boston’s Parish Shutdowns
(Harvard Univ. Press). The book seeks to explain the anxieties and upheaval around a recent wave of church closings in Boston. The closings threw Catholics into uneasy reengagement with the meanings of sacrifice and sacred presence as these have changed since the 1960s. The shutdowns, which are not limited to the Boston Archdiocese, also provoked reflection on the meanings of home, community, and belonging in post-war America.
His current projects include research on the lived history of Vatican II in the Archdiocese of Boston, a theoretical inquiry into fieldwork methods in the study of religion, and a study of U.S. Catholics and “battle fatigue” during and after the Second World War.
Prof. Seitz grew up and attended college in Boulder, Colorado. It was within C.U.’s cozy and stimulating religious studies department that he first embarked on the study of religion. After some time living in the mountains, he went on to earn an M.T.S. at Harvard Divinity School and then a Ph.D. in 2008 from Harvard’s University’s Committee on the Study of Religion.
This training has encouraged him to seek to understand religions with specific attention to religious practice, broadly-construed. This means he is interested in enriching what we can say about religions by directing attention to sources that illuminate the interplay, in actual lives, of text and ritual, design and place, rule and improvisation, public and private, mind and body.
He carries out this work in Fordham’s theology department, in his role as Associate Director for Lincoln Center of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies
, and as co-editor of a series with Fordham University Press entitled Catholic Practice in North America
“Keep Research Weird: Psychoanalytic Techniques and Fieldwork in the Study of Religion” (Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
Book Review, Tricia C. Bruce, Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful is Changing the Church
by Tricia C. Bruce (Oxford University Press, 2011) in American Catholic Studies
Book Review, John Portmann, Catholic Culture in the U.S.A.: In and Out of Church
(New York: Continuum, 2010) in Theological Studies
Book Review, Marie Keenan, Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, Power, and Organizational Culture
(Oxford University Press, 2011) for “National Catholic Reporter” (forthcoming).
THEO 3375-L01: American Religious Texts, MR 10:00-11:15 (Linconl Center)
THEO 3375-L02: American Religious Texts, MR 2:30-3:45 (Lincoln Center)
THEO 3993-L01: Wartime Religion in US History, MR 4:00-5:15
Faculty Fellowship Fall 2013