My current research uses longitudinal, in-depth interview data spanning the adolescence, and early, middle, late-middle, and late adulthood of participants in a community sample of American men and women who were born in the 1920s. Because most research on religion is based on cross-sectional or short-term longitudinal studies, the availability of these extensive longitudinal data available for the same sample of individuals offers an unprecedented opportunity to study the place of religion and spirituality as it unfolds across, and intersects with, 60 years of socio-biographical and cultural change.
My co-author, Paul Wink, and I use in-depth individual case studies and qualitative and statistical analyses to investigate the family and social antecedents, life course trajectories, and the everyday implications of religion and spirituality across the life course. We address critical questions pertaining to the changes in the nature of religiousness and spirituality in twentieth century America, the relevance of life course transitions to religious engagement, and the implications of different types of religious/spiritual engagement for political attitudes, health and well-being, and social and community participation.
2007. In the Course of a Lifetime: Tracing Religious Belief, Practice, and Change (with Paul Wink), University of California Press.
2007. Age, Generation, and Cohort in American Religion and Spirituality. In J. Beckford and N. J. Demerath, eds. The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Sage.
2007. Religiousness and Spirituality in the Adult Years. (with Paul Wink) In D. Wulff, ed. Handbook of the Psychology of Religion. Oxford University Press.
2007. Religiousness, Spiritual Seeking, and Personality: Findings from a Longitudinal Study. (with Paul Wink, Lucia Ciciolla, & Allison Tracy) Journal of Personality 75: 1051-1070.
2005. Spirituality, Narcissism and Psychotherapy: How are they related? (with Paul Wink & Kristen Fay) Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 44: 143-158.
2003a. Religiousness and Spirituality: Trajectories and Vital Involvement in Late Adulthood. (with Paul Wink) In M. Dillon, ed. Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, Cambridge University Press.
2003b. Religiousness, Spirituality, and Psychosocial Functioning in Late Adulthood: Findings from a Longitudinal Study. (with Paul Wink) Psychology and Aging 18: 916-924.
2002. Spiritual Development Across the Adult Life-course: Findings from a Longitudinal Study. Journal of Adult Development 9: 79-94.
2004. American Religion, Generativity, and the Therapeutic Culture. (with Paul Wink). In E. de St. Aubin, D. McAdams, & T. Kim, eds. The Generative Society (pp. 153-174), American Psychological Association Press.
2003. Is Spirituality Detrimental to Generativity? (with Paul Wink & Kristen Fay) Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42: 427-442.
2007. Do Generative Adolescents Become Healthy Older Adults? (with Paul Wink) Pp. 43-55 in S. Post, ed. Altruism and Health. Oxford University Press.
2007. Religion as Moderator of the Sense of Control – Health Connection: Gender Differences. (with Paul Wink & Adrienne Prettyman) Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging 19: 21-41.
2005. Religion as Moderator of the Depression-Health Connection. (with Paul Wink & Britta Larsen) Research on Aging 27: 197-220.
2001. Religious Involvement and Health Outcomes in Late Adulthood: Findings from a Longitudinal Study. (with Paul Wink) In T. Plante & A. Sherman, eds., Faith and Health (pp. 75-106), Guilford.
2007. Decline and Continuity: Catholicism since 1950 in the United States, Ireland, and Quebec. Pp. 239-267 in L. Tentler, ed. The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholicism since 1950 in the United States, Ireland, and Quebec. The Catholic University of America Press.
2005. The Struggle to Preserve Religious Capital: A Sociological Perspective on the Catholic Church in the United States. In J. Bartunek, M. Hinsdale, & J. Keenan, eds. The Catholic Church in the 21st Century, Ward & Sheed.
2004b. Catholics in the Flux of Crisis. In A. Walsh & M. Silk, eds. Religion and Public Life in New England, AltaMira Press.
2002a. College Educators and the Maintenance of Catholic Identity. In A. Cernera & O. Morgan, eds. Examining the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Issues and Perspectives (pp. 39-77), Sacred Heart University Press.
1999. Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power. Cambridge University Press.
1999c. The Catholic Church and Possible “Organizational-Selves”: The Implications for Institutional Change. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 38: 386-397.
1998. Rome and American Catholics. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 558 (July): 122-134.
1996c. The Persistence of Religious Identity among College Catholics. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 35: 165-170. (Research note)
In press. The Church and Culture Wars. In R. Chapman, ed. Encyclopedia of Culture Wars. M.E. Sharpe.
2007. Religiousness, Spiritual Seeking, and Authoritarianism. (with Paul Wink & Adrienne Prettyman) Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 2007: 46: 321-335.
2007. Abortion as a Social Problem. (with Diana Dumais) In G. Ritzer, ed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell.
2006. Values and Religion in Rural America, (with Sarah Savage). Research Brief, The Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire.
2005. Sexuality and Religion: Negotiating Identity Differences. In M. Jacobs & N. Hanrahan, eds. Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Culture (pp. 220-233), Blackwell.
2004a. The Abortion Debate: Good for the Church and Good for American Society. In Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, ed. American Catholics, American Culture: Tradition and Resistance (pp. 71-75), Rowman & Littlefield.
1996a. Cultural Differences in the Abortion Discourse of the Catholic Church: Evidence from Four Countries. Sociology of Religion 57: 25-36.
1996b. Universal Values and Interpretive Strategies: 'Wayward' Catholics Model the Future. Futures Research Quarterly 12: 71-83.
1995a. Institutional Legitimation and Abortion: Monitoring the Catholic Church's Discourse. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 34: 141-151.
1995b. Religion and Culture in Tension: The Abortion Discourses of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention. Religion and American Culture. A Journal of Interpretation 5: 159-180.
1995c. The American Abortion Debate: Culture War or Normal Discourse? In Virginia Review of Sociology Vol. 2. (JAI Press). Also published in James Nolan, ed. 1996. The American Culture Wars. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996.
1993b. Argumentative Complexity of Abortion Discourse. Public Opinion Quarterly 57: 305-314.
1993. Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland. University Press of Kentucky
Forthcoming. Social Theory for a Changing World. Blackwell.
Forthcoming. A Sociological Approach to Questions of Religious Diversity. In Chad Meister, The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity. Oxford University Press.
Forthcoming. The Sociology of Religion. In Bryan Turner, ed. The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory, 3rd ed. Blackwell.
2007. The Sociology of Religion. Pp. 3864-3869 in G. Ritzer, ed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell.
2007 (January). Expectations Defied: Church in a Time of Social Change. Review essay. Contemporary Sociology.
2006. Dictionary Entries on P. Berger; T. Luckmann; E. Troeltsch; J. Wach; Denomination; Secularization; Sacred and Profane; Civic religion; Cult; New Religious Movements; Life course. In Bryan Turner, ed. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
2003. Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, editor. Cambridge University Press.
2003. The Sociology of Religion in Late Modernity. In M. Dillon, ed. Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Cambridge University Press.
2001. Pierre Bourdieu, Religion, and Cultural Production. Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies 1: 411-429.
1999b. The Authority of the Holy Revisited: Habermas, Religion, and Emancipatory Possibilities. Sociological Theory 17: 290-306.
2002b. Catholicism, Politics and Culture in the Republic of Ireland. In T. Jelen & C. Wilcox, eds. Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective (pp. 47-67), Cambridge University Press.
1997. Divorce and Cultural Rationality. In M. Peillon and E. Slater, eds. Encounters with Modern Ireland (pp. 127-133), Institute of Public Administration.
1993. Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland. University Press of Kentucky.
1990. Perceptions of the Causes of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Economic and Social Review 21:299-310.
1984. Youth Culture in Ireland. Economic and Social Review 15:153-172.
1984. Recent Changes in Irish Fertility. (with Jerry Sexton) Quarterly Economic Commentary, May: 21-40.