Catholic Studies at Hofstra University

Julie Byrne

Dr. Julie Byrne
Associate Professor of Religion and
Hartman Chair of Catholic Studies

Catholic Studies at Hofstra is for everyone. In classes, programs and events, we explore how religion works, specifically Catholicism — in the past and present, in institutions and systems, and in the everyday life of individuals, families, communities, and global citizenry.

Catholic Studies is a relatively new field that takes different forms at different institutions. At Hofstra, it involves the academic study of Catholicism, using comparative, cultural, historical, and theoretical approaches to understand Catholicism across different times and contexts. Catholics make up a full half of the global Christian population, which means that one out of every six people in the world is Catholic. In the United States, the percentage is higher, with over one in five Americans identifying as Catholic. For this reason, Catholicism can provide an ongoing and important "case study" that illumines general liberal arts inquiry into religion and culture in a global context.

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