University of Notre Dame
Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute Hesburgh Center/Kellogg Institute

Mary Ellen¬†KoniecznyMary Ellen Konieczny

Associate Professor of Sociology and Henkels Family Collegiate Chair
(PhD, University of Chicago, 2005) 
815 Flanner Hall
(574) 631-2781

Geographic focus: US, sub-Saharan Africa

Thematic interests: Religion and conflict, the family, and public politics, especially how culture and social processes in local contexts intersect with discourse and politics in the public sphere.

Current research: “Our Lady of Kibeho: Exploring Marian Devotion in East Africa” examines the relationship between the appearance of Marian apparitions and the Rwandan genocide as a way to gain insight into religion’s role in conflict. Another book project, “Service before Self: Organization, Cultural Conflict, and Religion at the US Air Force Academy,” is an organizational culture case study exploring polarization in US religion.

Selected publications:

Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal (edited with Charles Camosy and Tricia Bruce, Liturgical Press, 2016)

“Individualized Marriage and Family Disruption Ministries: How Culture Matters,” Sociology of Religion (forthcoming)

“Religion, Secular Humanism, and Atheism: Multi-Institutional Politics and the USAFA Cadet Freethinkers Group,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (with Megan Rogers, forthcoming)

“‘Hidden in Plain Sight:’ The Significance of Religion and Spirituality in Secular Organizations” (with Wendy Cadge), Sociology of Religion 75, 4 (2014)

The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics (Oxford University Press, 2013)

“Twenty-Three Theses on the Status of Religion in American Sociology: A Mellon Working-Group Reflection” (with Christian Smith et al.), Journal of the American Academy of Religion 81, 4 (2013)

“Theory as a Tool in the Social Scientific Study of Religion and Martin Riesebrodt’s The Promise of Salvation” (with Loren D. Lybarger and Kelly H. Chong), Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 51, 3 (2012)




Ford Program

Varieties of Democracy

Latin American/North America Church Concerns

Notre Dame Award

Kellogg Faculty Fellows

Visiting Fellows Program

Faculty Research

Working Groups

Undergraduate Student Programs

Graduate Student Programs

International Development Studies Minor

Latin American Studies Minor

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