Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for two of his latest books: What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.
Ideas and ambitions abound. What many undergraduates lack is the know-how to tackle—on their own and for the first time—an extended research project that culminates in a senior thesis.
"When anyone does independent research, much of it is a solitary experience
No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That's the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame's Department of Sociology.
"Religious support and opposition to the Iraq War cut across American faith traditions, dividing the pews and denominations internally," says Morrissey, whose research focuses on the public debate before the war started.