Kenneth Onyema Amadi is a Ph.D. candidate in theology majoring in Liturgical Studies. With previous degrees in philosophy (B.Phil., 2009) and theology (B.S.T., 2014) from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, and following priestly ordination in 2015, Father Amadi came to Notre Dame in 2017 earning a Master of Theological Studies degree (M.T.S., 2019) with concentration in Systematics. Ken’s areas of interest include liturgical and sacramental theology, ethnography and ritual studies, sociology and anthropology of Christianity in Africa, and the theology and science of gratitude. His dissertation explores the religious imagination of contemporary African Christians through the ethnographic study of thanksgiving rituals in the Nigerian Catholic culture.

Inspired by Notre Dame’s vision of Catholic education, Ken is currently working on Church Life Africa initiative whose goal is to close education and human development gaps in Africa by investing in the training and deployment of lay Africans as theologians, catechists, and service leaders for the global church and society. He is co-convener of the Church Life Africa Summer Conference in Nigeria. Also actively engaged in the local South Bend community, Fr Amadi serves as parochial vicar at St Joseph Church, Mishawaka where he also directs children’s religious education and adult faith formation.

A Sorin Fellow at the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, and a graduate student affiliate at the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, Ken joined the Kellogg Institute as a doctoral student affiliate in 2021.

Current Research

My research interest include liturgical and sacramental theology, sociology of religion and ritual development. How does the sociological impact of religion affect ritual development and how these rituals reflect wider social experiences in Nigeria.