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International Marian Research Institute

The purpose of the Marian Forum is to provide a yearly occasion for the University of Dayton community, the global Marianist community and the International Marian Research Institute to reflect more deeply about Mary and the wide range of topics related to Mariology. Some of the Forum's past topics have included:Mary in regards to healing physically and spiritually; immigration; Mary and the arts; and more. The Forum alternates between offering formal academic presentations and more interactive or spiritual activities, such as liturgies for the Feast of the Annunciation, campus pilgrimages and panel discussions.

The Marian Forum is presented by the International Marian Research Institute, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Marian Library and University Libraries; and Campus Ministry.

2024 Marian Forum

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024; University of Dayton


12:30 p.m.: Mass at Chapel of the Immaculate Conception; Mardi Gras Parade begins immediately after Mass at the chapel

2-4 p.m.: Mardi Gras Food and Celebration at Adele Hall, McGuinness Room

3:45-4:45 p.m.: Karen Park and Katherine Dugan lecture at the Gathering Place, Roesch library

Karen Park and Katherine Dugan are co-editors of the new volume American Patroness: Marian Shrines and the Making of US Catholicism (Fordham, 2024). The twelve essays in this collection use historical, ethnographic and comparative methods to explore how Catholics have used Marian devotion to make an imprint on the physical and religious landscape of the United States. The United States is home to hundreds of shrines to the Virgin Mary, from large suburban complexes to tiny urban backyard lots. Park and Dugan argue that one way to think about shrines to Mary is as places where lively and complex conversations take place; conversations about faith and identity, power and gender, hope and fear. In this lecture, they will discuss the metaphor of “conversation” as a way to understand shrines to Mary across the U.S., using examples from the book.

About the speakers
Karen Park

Karen Park is a professor of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and her master’s and doctoral degrees in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her research interests include American Catholic history, sacred space and Marian devotions and shrines. She is a frequent contributor to the religious news website Religion Dispatches and other online and print publications on religion and culture in the United States.

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Katherine Dugan

Katherine Dugan is an associate professor of religious studies at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where she studies contemporary U.S. Catholics and teaches courses in American religion. She is the author of Millennial Missionaries: How a Group of Young Adult Catholics is Trying to Make Catholicism Cool.

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