Micro-Mobilization and The South Bend March for Life: Some Preliminary Thoughts

March4life_1While most of us were thinking about the March for Life in Washington DC, or perhaps of the upcoming Marches in the UK and Paris, the St. Joseph’s Right to Life society organized a March for Life right here in South Bend. The South Bend demonstration was conducted from 12pm-1pm on Wednesday, January 22nd in front of the Courthouse at 204 S. Main Street in Downtown South Bend. During the hour long march, I conducted twelve approximately five minute interviews with march participants. Continue reading

Thesis Seven: Practices


“Roundtable on the Sociology of Religion: Twenty-Three Theses on the Status of Religion in American Sociology—A Mellon Working-Group Reflection.”  2013.  Christian Smith, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Nancy Tatom Ammerman, Jose Casanova, Hilary Davidson, Elaine Howard Ecklund, John H. Evans, Philip S. Gorski, Mary Ellen Konieczny, Jason A. Springs, Jenny Trinitapoli, and Meredith Whitnah.  Journal of the American Academy of Religion, PP. 1-36.


The article above should be discussed by sociologists, especially sociologists of religion, and so I highlight one of the 23 theses with that discussion in mind.

Thesis seven states:  “disciplinary preoccupations and trends often include conceptual inadequacies and biases that impede the serious study of religion.” Continue reading

Happy New Year to Linda Kawentel and Mike McCallion: Co-Winners of the 2013 “Convo” Award

Happy 2014!

As was the case last year, the blog has been silent over the break, but with the new semester gearing up, we will begin posting again soon.  Again, similar to last year, I thought that we would start with a brief review of The Catholic Conversation in 2013.  A big thank you to all of our contributors this past year:  Sarah Moran, Mike McCallion, Linda Kawentel, Mike Cieslak, Michael Altenburger, Laura Taylor, Gary Adler, and Carol Ann MacGregor.  I also appreciated the guest remembrances of Fr. Andrew Greeley’s life and legacy by Larry Cunningham, Melissa Wilde, and Mike Hout.  And thank you to all of our readers this past year as well!

By the Numbers:

In 2013, we had 42 posts, 8,707 visitors, and 14,990 page views.  The average time viewers spent on a page was 2 minutes 28 seconds.

I am pleased to announce that the second annual “Convo” award for the most popular contribution to the Catholic Conversation is being shared by two worthy contributors this year–Mike McCallion and Linda Kawental.  The single most-viewed post was Linda Kawental’s “NFP and Divorce Rates:  More Research Needed”  This post received 1,963 pageviews in 2013 and the average viewer spent 4 minutes and 41 seconds viewing it. It’s largest single day viewing was on July 24th, which just happened to be during NFP awareness week.  However, Linda actually wrote this post in 2012.  Plus, since Linda won the “Convo” outright last year (and as I’m not restricted by any official rules for this decidedly unofficial award), I decided it was fitting to also award Mike McCallion a “Convo” for his post entitled “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”  This insightful post linking the work of Durkheim with that of Mark Massa illustrates the importance of liturgy and practice for understanding religion sociologically and received 705 pageviews in 2013.

Congratulations Linda and Mike!

Who will win the prestigious “Convo” in 2014?  We shall find out over the next three hundred and some days.  By the way, let us know how we’ve done and what you’d like to see more of in 2014.

photo by Michael Holden via Flickr