Centers for Catholic Studies and the Public Voice of Religion

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Erin Brigham, Ph.D.


This article explores debates about the public role of religion in a secular context. Drawing on the work of critical theorist, Jürgen Habermas, this article claims that the United States requires a viable public sphere in which religious and secular voices can learn from each other. Highlighting the work of the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at the University of San Francisco, this article argues that university centers and institutes for Catholic Studies potentially create such spaces to discover the public signifi cance of religion.

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Author Biography

Erin Brigham, Ph.D., University of San Francisco

Erin Brigham is Faculty Coordinator of Research at the Lane Center, and also adjunct faculty in the Theology and Religious Studies Department, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.