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Religious studies professor honored as co-editor of ‘American Catholic Studies’

By Dave Larsen

University of Dayton theologian Nicholas Rademacher was honored by the American Catholic Historical Association for his role as co-editor of the journal, American Catholic Studies.

Rademacher, professor in the UD Department of Religious Studies, received the Robert F. Trisco and Nelson H. Minnich Prize along with his co-editor, Thomas Rzeznik, associate professor in the Seton Hall University Department of History.

The prize, which was awarded for the first time this year, recognizes outstanding editing of a work in Catholic Church history.

“Dr. Nick Rademacher is very deserving of this great honor because it recognizes his important work in interdisciplinary U.S. Catholic history,” said Jana Bennett, professor and chair of the UD Department of Religious Studies. “We are especially proud of his achievement given that our department's signature doctoral program in theology is focused on the U.S. Catholic experience.”

Rademacher and Rzeznik were presented with the award in January at the association’s 104th annual meeting in San Francisco, held in conjunction with the American Historical Association.

Rzeznik has served as the journal’s co-editor since 2013; Rademacher has been co-editor since 2018.

“It is an honor to receive this award alongside Dr. Rzeznik on behalf of American Catholic Studies,” Rademacher said. “It is a team effort that includes the dedication of many people, including associate editors Drs. Katie Holscher and Brett Grainger, and our managing editor, Jeanette Redmond, and her predecessor, Leigh Anne McCabe.”

American Catholic Studies is the only scholarly publication devoted exclusively to an interdisciplinary approach to U.S. Catholicism. Through Rademacher and Rzeznik’s efforts, the journal has earned a reputation as an important venue for articles, forums and reviews, according to the award citation.

The citation praised Rademacher and Rzeznik for the “generous support” they provide to contributors, especially to first-time authors and those early in their careers.

“Our work at the journal helps to make available an essential resource for scholars and students who are exploring American Catholicism,” Rademacher said. “The journal not only provides articles, book reviews and cover essays that inform their research, it is, in turn, an important forum for their own publications.”

In recent years, Rademacher and Rzeznik introduced several innovative features to the pages of American Catholic Studies. They publish roundtables and forums that seek to draw scholarly attention to topics relevant to the culture at-large. Examples include Writing Catholic History After the Sex Abuse Crisis; Race, Masculinity and the Making of American Catholicism; Catholic Sex Abuse and the Study of Religion; and Studying Masculinities Catholic Style.

These were some of the most widely read and frequently cited features in the journal, according to the citation, which called them “an important means of cultivating scholarly conversation and elevating emerging voices.”

American Catholic Studies is recognized as the oldest continuously published Catholic scholarly journal in the U.S. The American Catholic Historical Society founded the journal in 1887. Rademacher serves as the society’s vice president.

Rademacher holds a doctoral degree in theology and religious studies from the Catholic University of America. His research and teaching are in the fields of American Catholic studies, Catholic social thought and practice, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He has long been involved in mission and identity work in Catholic higher education, community-based learning and interfaith collaboration.

In addition to serving as co-editor of American Catholic Studies, Rademacher wrote Paul Hanly Furfey: Priest, Scientist, Social Reformer, published in 2017 by Fordham University Press. With Sandra Yocum, University of Dayton Professor of Faith and Culture, he is co-editor of Recovering Their Stories: U.S. Catholic Women in the Twentieth Century, forthcoming in 2024 from Fordham University Press.

For more information, visit the UD Department of Religious Studies website.

Photo: University of Dayton theologian Nicholas Rademacher (left), along with his co-editor, Thomas Rzeznik (middle), associate professor in the Seton Hall University Department of History.

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