Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, Director of the Notre Dame Center for Social Research, Principal Investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion, and Principal Investigator of the Science of Generosity Initiative. 

Smith’s scholarly interests focus on American religion, sociological theory, cultural sociology, adolescents and emerging adults, generosity, the philosophy of social science, and personalism.

Thematic Interests

Sociology of religion; theories of personhood and human development; social theory; cultural sociology; adolescence

Current Research

Critical realist personalism, human development, and personal and social ethics; the social-scientific study of human generosity; the religious and spiritual lives of American emerging adults; religion and science.

Research Sub-Discipline


To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure and Evil (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
Building Catholic Higher Education: Unofficial Reflections From and On the University of Notre Dame with John C. Cavadini (Cascade, 2014)
The Sacred Project of American Sociology (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Coeditor, Latin American Religion in Motion with Joshua Prokopy (Routledge, 1999)
The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1991)

Journal Articles

"Revolutionary Evangelicals in Nicaragua: Political Opportunity, Class Interests, and Religious Identity," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 36, 3 (1997)
"The Spirit and Democracy," Sociology of Religion 55, 2 (1994)

Book Chapters

"On Social Solidarity," in Vincent Jeffries ed., The Palgrave Handbook of Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity (Palgrave-Macmillan,  2014)

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