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Evelyn Bush

Associate Professor of Sociology (at Rose Hill)
Email: [email protected]

Office: Dealy Hall 402D
Phone: 718-817-3873
Fax: 718-817-3846


Evelyn Bush is a sociologist whose research has focused on various forms of confrontation and collaboration between religious organizations and large-scale secular institutions, and on religion and well-being. Her early research focused on how the rules, norms and assumptions of secular political bureaucracies, particularly the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State, shape religious actors’ strategies for asserting influence in the field of human rights. Later, her focus shifted to the terrain of professional sports, and the role that religious ministries play in either ameliorating or exacerbating the potentially dehumanizing effects of hyper-rationalization on athletes within the National Football League. Through this latter project, she expanded her research into the field of medical sociology, where she has published on religion’s impact on physical and behavioral health among retired NFL athletes. She is currently designing a project that brings together her interests in religion, health, and human rights, through an analysis of conscientious objection to vaccine mandates for employment in New York City. Throughout her career, Dr. Bush has written on the measurement challenges inherent in the use of quantitative data to study religion.


BS, Xavier
MA, William and Mary
PhD, Cornell

Research Interests

Religion, health, social movements, culture and institutions


Professor Bush is currently on sabbatical (Fall 2022), engaged in a collaborative project with researchers from the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, analyzing data on retired NFL athlete health well-being. Her focus is on how religiosity influences social networks and mental health after retirement from the professional sports.

Dr. Bush’s previous research has focused on religion and international institutions. Most recently, she was a core collaborator on the "Religious NGOs at the United Nations" project, which was a 3-year multi-methods study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and housed at the University of Kent – Canterbury. This collaborative effort culminated in a book, titled Religion, NGOs and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power, which was edited by the project P.I., Jeremy Carrette, and published by Bloomsbury Press (2017).

Selected Publications (Articles)

2021. “Positive Effects of Religion and Social Ties on the Health of Former NFL Athletes.” Journal of Religion and Health. Second author with Tim Cupery, Robert W. Turner, Amanda Sonnega, Teri Rosales, Kalpana Vissa, Keith E. Whitfield, James S. Jackson, and David Weir. doi: 10.1007/s10943-021-01338-y

2020. “The Price of Playing Trough Pain: The Link Between Physical and Behavioral Health in Former NFL Athletes.” American Journal of Men’s Health, 14(6): First author, with Tim Cupery, Robert W. Turner, Amanda Sonnega, David Weir, Keith Whitfield and James Jackson.

2017. “Exploring Religion through Survey Research: The Problem of Categories,” Ch. 2 in Religion, NGOs and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power, edited by Jeremy Carrette. London: Bloomsbury Press.

2017. “Representation, Accountability and Influence at the UN: Results from the Survey of Religious NGOs.” Ch.3 in Religion, NGOs and the United Nations: Visible and Invisible Actors in Power, edited by Jeremy Carrette. London: Bloomsbury Press.

2017. “What is a Religious NGO? Conceptual and Classificatory Challenges in Research on Transnational Religion” Ch. 8 in Faithful Measures: The Art and Science of Measuring of Religion, Roger Finke and Chris Bader, eds., New York: NYU Press.

2014. "Gender, Security and Religious Freedom in Post-Conflict Societies," in Post-Conflict Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Chip Gagnon and Keith Brown, eds. Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution. New York: Taylor and Francis.

2011. "Religious Freedom and Transnational Religion: An Economic Approach." Pp. 149-166 in Religious Actors in the Public Sphere, edited by Jeff Haynes and Anja Henning. Routledge Series on Religion and Politics. London and New York: Routledge.

2010. “Explaining religious market failure: a gendered critique of the religious economies model.” Sociological Theory 28(3):304-325.

2010. “Saintly mission or sins of commission? Review of God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, by Rodney Stark." Contexts 9(3):72-73.

2008. “Discipline and resistance in diplomacy: religion and the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.” Pp. 165-190 in Discipline and Punishment in Global Politics: Illusions of Control, edited by Janie Leatherman. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2007. “Measuring religion in global civil society.” Social Forces 85(4):1645-1665.

Courses Taught

Controversies in Religion and International Relations

Introduction to Sociology

Medicine, Science, and Social Movements

Modern American Social Movements

Religion and Social Change

Religion and Social Movements

Sociological Theory