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 the contemporary United States especially as related to medicine, immigration and sexuality. Her most recent book Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2012. She has published articles about related topics including 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. This was a collaborative project with Courtney Bender (Columbia University), Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College and Harvard University) and David Smilde (Tulane University).
She is currently working on a series of new projects about religion and spirituality in secular settings. The first, an ethnographic exploration of religion and spirituality at the water's edge, focuses on port and industrial maritime contexts. The second looks at airport chaplaincy in the United States in its historical and contemporary contexts. The third, conducted with Laura Olson (Clemson University) and Margaret Clendenen (Brandeis University), asks what we can learn from prayers offered in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and how they have changed over time. She is also working with Michal Pagis on a project about healthcare chaplaincy in the Israeli context and with several colleagues on a project about multi-faith spaces in secular settings.
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 also writes 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.
Her research has been supported by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Louisville Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program, the Spiritual Capital Research Program, the American Academic of Religion, the Association of Muslim Health Professionals, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and other sources.