The Centerpiece of Our Academy: Religion at the United States Air Force Academy

Team Members/Contributors

Mary Ellen Konieczny University of Notre Dame Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

The principal objective of this project is to advance scholarly and practical knowledge of religion and the military through the historical, ethnographic, and quantitative study of the practice of religion at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The project will culminate in a book and a number of articles that investigate tensions between the First Amendment disestablishment and free exercise of religion at the Academy. On the level of academic scholarship, this work will potentially reveal in microcosm more general local-level social processes involving the relationship of religion and citizenship in American democracy. Pastoral learning from this study will strive to inform how congregations minister to military families, as well as how congregations contribute to American democracy and negotiate tensions between religious belonging and citizenship. I am requesting funds for the collection and analysis of data for two interrelated segments of research that contribute significantly to the overall project: (1) a limited exploratory period of field research at the Academy and surrounding congregations attended by Cadets and (2) focus groups with pastors and military chaplains in the Midwest.