About the Center on Religion and Culture

Located at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, the Center on Religion and Culture confronts the questions arising at the intersection of religious traditions and contemporary culture. Drawing on New York’s leading role in intellectual and literary life, the visual and performing arts, politics, media, diplomacy and humanitarian activities, CRC programs aim to promote intellectual enrichment and affirm Fordham’s leadership role as a shaping force in the public discourse.

CRC explores the complex relationship between religion and contemporary life in a manner that advances beyond the caricatures and misapprehensions that often form public perceptions and color media coverage about faith issues. CRC programs directly engage members of the public from the Greater New York area who seek a deeper understanding of religion’s place in society.


Fordham Announces New Director for the Center on Religion and Culture

David Gibson, an award-winning journalist and author with extensive experience covering religion and the Catholic Church in the United States and internationally, has been named the next director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture. Gibson starts on July 1, and succeeds James P. McCartin, Ph.D., a historian of American Catholicism who returns to full-time teaching after leading the center for six years.

“We would be hard pressed to find someone more uniquely suited than David Gibson as CRC’s next director,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “He brings to the post a wealth of experience writing about the modern church and the complexities of contemporary religious life in the United States and abroad, experience which will inform our discussions about our past and future.”

“The center is a crucial part of Fordham’s engagement with the intellectual, religious, and spiritual life of New York and beyond, and we look forward to David’s enthusiasm and insights in carrying that mission forward through thought provoking conversations,” added Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., vice president for mission integration and planning.

The center’s longtime program manager, Patricia Bellucci, will continue her invaluable service there.

Located at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, the Center on Religion and Culture (CRC) confronts the questions arising at the intersection of religious traditions and contemporary culture. Drawing on New York’s leading role in intellectual and literary life, the visual and performing arts, politics, media, diplomacy and humanitarian activities, CRC programs aim to promote intellectual enrichment and affirm Fordham’s leadership role as a shaping force in the public discourse.

The Fordham appointment in a sense brings Gibson full circle: he began his career in journalism working in Rome at Vatican Radio, which is also operated by the Jesuits. During his years there, Gibson covered the Vatican and many of Pope John Paul II’s travels around the world before returning to the United States in 1990. He worked for newspapers in the New York area, wrote for various magazines and national media, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and for Catholic publications like America magazine and Commonweal. He has been honored several times as the nation’s top religion reporter.

Gibson covered the election of Pope Benedict XVI and wrote a widely praised biography, The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World. As a national reporter for Religion News Service since 2011, he covered the conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013 as well as the two synods that Francis convened.

In addition to writing several books on the Catholic Church, Gibson also co-authored a book on biblical archaeology, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery, that is the basis of a CNN series of the same name. He co-wrote and co-produced several other documentaries for CNN and the History Channel and he is a frequent television and radio commentator on religion news.

A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, Gibson graduated from Furman University with a degree in European history. He lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn.