ABOUT

Wendy Cadge is a Professor in the Sociology Department and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Brandeis University. She received her BA from Swarthmore College with majors in religion, sociology and anthropology, and her MA and PhD in sociology from Princeton University.  

She teaches and writes about religion in public institutions in the contemporary United States especially as related to questions of diversity, immigration, sexuality and healthcare. She is currenty working on a series of projects about religion and spirituality in public institutions including deep-sea port and maritime contexts, airports, and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. With Boston-based photographer Randall Armor and architectural historian Alice Friedman, she is collaborating on a project about Hidden Sacred Spaces in Boston which builds on earlier work about sacred spaces in public settings. With $4.5M from The John Templeton Foundation, she is collaborating with George Fitchett at Rush University Medical Center on a four year project, "Transforming Chaplaincy: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes."  She is also working with Michal Pagis and Orly Tal on a project about the development of healthcare chaplaincy in Israel. With colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, she is collaborating on a series of articles about the presence of religion and spirituality in ethics consultations.

Cadge's most recent book Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2012. She has published widely on related topics including medical studies of intercessory prayer, physicians’ experiences of religion and spirituality, hospital chaplains, the prayers people write in hospital prayer books, religion and spirituality in palliative care, and the lived experiences of nurses.  Cadge also co-edited a book Religion on the Edge: Re-Centering and De-centering the Sociology of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2013) that challenges and aims to expand contemporary sociological approaches to the study of religion.

Cadge's first book, Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America (University of Chicago Press, 2005), examined how immigrant Buddhists from Thailand and mostly white convert Buddhists understand and practice Buddhism in the United States. She has also written about religion and immigration, immigrants in small cities, conflicts over homosexuality in mainline Protestant churches, same-sex marriage, and religion in the non-profit sector.

A committed teacher, she won the Michael Walzer ’56 Award for Excellence in Teaching from Brandeis University in 2008 and the Dean of Arts and Sciences Mentoring Award for Outstanding Teaching of Students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2012. In 2013 she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Professional Chaplains.

Wendy Cadge works regularly with the media. She has published op-eds in the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Baltimore Sun, and appeared on CNN’s the Campbell Brown Show.  She blogs for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.