Media Contact:Stu Vincent
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Date: Oct 19, 2006
DR. JULIE BYRNE INSTALLED AS MSGR. THOMAS J. HARTMAN CHAIR FOR CATHOLIC STUDIESHofstra University, Hempstead, NY - Julie Byrne, Ph.D., was installed as the Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman Chair for Catholic Studies on October 18 at the Hofstra University Club/David S. Mack Hall. Following the installation, Dr. Byrne addressed the relatively new field of Catholic studies as it has developed in the United States over the last 25 years.
The endowed chair was funded through money raised at a 2004 testimonial gala in honor of Msgr. Hartman, better known to Long Islanders as "Father Tom," one-half of "The God Squad."
Dr. Byrne is author of the critically acclaimed O God of Players: The Story of the Immaculata Mighty Macs (Columbia University Press, 2003), which examines how religion, class, gender and athletic identities intersected in the basketball program at Immaculata College, an all-female Catholic college outside Philadelphia. O God of Players identified Dr. Byrne as a scholar at the forefront of a movement to view religious traditions "from the bottom up." Through heavy reliance on ethnographic studies and archival data, this approach is presenting a new portrait of Catholicism in America based on what the people in the pews are saying and doing.
Dr. Byrne's interest in the study of religion began during her collegiate years at Duke University, where she earned her BA with concentrations in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Religion (1990). Continuing at Duke, she earned an M.A. in Religion in 1996, and the Ph.D. in 2001, where she focused primarily on American religion with special concentrations in Catholicism, African American Religion, cultural studies and critical theory. After completing the Ph.D. Dr. Byrne taught for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas from 2000-2004. She returned to Duke University in 2004 where she taught courses on American religion, Catholicism, African American religion and gender and religion.
Dr. Byrne has been a recipient of the Charlotte Newcombe dissertation award, was selected to be a participant in the Lilly Young Scholars in American Religion seminar, and was a winner of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion research award.
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