Greeley to Present First Rossi Lecture
The Department of Sociology proudly presents the first annual Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture. "The Great American Prayer Scandal: Why Americans Pray" will be presented by Father Andrew Greeley, priest, novelist, syndicated columnist, and sociologist at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, on Thursday, October 18 at 4:00 pm, Fine Arts Center Lobby. A public reception will follow.
One of the most influential Catholic thinkers and writers of our time, Greeley has built an international assemblage of devout fans over a career that spans five decades. He is the author of over 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of nonfiction and his writing has been translated into 12 languages. A professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and a research associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, this “Renaissance priest” is a respected scholar whose current research focuses on the sociology of religion. Using both statistical surveys and an insider's knowledge, his recent books include The Truth About Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe (2006), a study of conservative Protestants; The Catholic Revolution: New Wine in Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council (2004); and Priests: A Calling in Crisis (2002), a penetrating analysis of priestly sexual abuse. His most recent novel The Priest and the Senator, has been called "...an explosive novel about the corrosive political culture tearing apart America."
The Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi lecture series was established this year, following the death of Peter last fall, to honor this distinguished couple, whom many consider to be among the most lustrous in sociological history. Both greatly elevated the department’s profile and gave it an ascending momentum that continues today. Both were Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecturers and received Conti Research Fellowships. Both were named Distinguished Professors—Pete became the Stuart A. Rice Professor and Alice, the Harriet Martineau Professor of Sociology. Nationally, both were elected president of the American Sociological Association, and both received the Association’s highest award for distinguished scholarship. The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management now presents the Peter H. Rossi Award for exemplary contributions in program evaluation. Alice was honored in 2006 at the 40th anniversary meeting of the National Organization for Women; she is one of only two surviving founders of NOW.
This endowed lecture series will alternate the honorees, focusing on Pete one year, Alice the next. The lecturers will be prominent academic and public figures drawn from across the country—and indeed the world. Each will be renowned for pursuing one or more of the honoree’s interests. During a typical two-day visit, the Rossi lecturer will give a public all-campus lecture, as well as a department seminar on work in progress for faculty and graduate students, visit an undergraduate class, and be available for informal meetings and social gatherings.
Contributions to the Rossi Lecture Fund are welcome. For more information, contact James Mallet, director of development, or simply mail your check to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Draper Hall, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Be sure to specify Rossi Lecture Series.
September 17, 2007
View the video of the program's introductions and Andrew Greeley's presentation.