The American Parish Project

“… conception of “the parish,” by disseminating these insights to religious leaders, and by nurturing an inter-generational network of scholars. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Brian Starks Kennesaw State University Contact Me
Tricia C. Bruce Maryville College Contact Me
Gary Adler Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC Contact Me

About this award

Despite its centrality to Catholicism and prominence in American life, the Catholic parish remains understudied by contemporary social scientists due to conceptual confusion, lack of sustained research attention, and the absence of a core network of scholars. The American Parish Project (TAPP) aims to coalesce a shared conceptual understanding of “parish,” guiding a new generation of methodologically rigorous and pastorally relevant research. Support from the Louisville Institute will (1) enable the participation of five early-career scholars in a ground-breaking seminar on the sociology of the parish; (2) fund a post-seminar summary “Report of Parish Life” to be disseminated to all U.S. dioceses and seminaries; and (3) sponsor receptions for “parish scholars” at three annual meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. The project will contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America through its focused attention on Catholic congregational life, its fostering of new networks among scholars, and its intentional connections to the pragmatic decision-making of church leaders today.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
  Why Should Social Scientists Care about Catholic Parishes Today? 2018 Journal Article James C. Cavendish
American Catholic Studies, Volume 129, Number 1, Spring 2018, pp. 4-12
  The Parish as the “Missing Middle” Unit of Analysis in Catholic Studies 2018 Journal Article Gary Adler
American Catholic Studies, Volume 129, Number 1, Spring 2018, pp. 21-26
  Studying Catholic Parishes: Moving beyond the Parochial 2018 Journal Article Mary Ellen Konieczny
American Catholic Studies, Volume 129, Number 1, Spring 2018, pp. 13-20
  Studying Parishes in Studies of American Catholicism Introduction 2018 Journal Article Tricia C. Bruce
American Catholic Studies, Volume 129, Number 1, Spring 2018, pp. 1-3