Michael Rotolo

Michael Rotolo

Areas of Study

Religion, Culture, Cognition, Morality, Theory


Michael Rotolo is a second year graduate student and University Presidential Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Notre Dame, where he is also an affiliate in the Center for the Study of Religion and Society. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he received his M.Div at Princeton Theological Seminary (2016) and B.A. in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013). He is currently a Research Assistant for the Intergenerational Religious Transmission Project (IRTP) and Global Religion Research Initiative (GRRI).

Using IRTP data, Michael’s master’s thesis analyzes 235 interviews with parents from around the country on the ideas they have about religion’s purpose in life. Through metaphorical analysis, he examines how these implicit ideas compare across different life experiences, and which aspects of personal experience seem to influence people’s understandings most. Michael also works extensively with data from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and is currently using all four waves of quantitative data to examine the efficacy of our concepts and measures of “religiousness” across early stages of the life course.