Current Projects


Religion in Multi-Ethnic Contexts: A Multi-Disciplinary Case Study of Global Seafaring. This project explores the religious and spiritual needs of multinational seafarers working onboard cargo ships that call in the United Kingdom and / or the United States. We explore the history and present work of port chaplaincy in the U.S. and U.K. and the theological implications of that work on seafarers and chaplains themselves. Archival research as well as interviews and ethnographic observation on board ships and in ports are key components of this research. This project is conducted in collaboration with Helen Sampson, Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Graeme Smith. Cadge is leading the U.S. component of the research with key assistance from Jason Zuidema.

God on the Fly? The Work of Airport Chaplains. This project explores chapels and chaplaincy at the twenty largest airports in the United States. It considers the history of airport chaplaincy in the States asking how and why it was started, how it spread, and what kinds of religious and spiritual spaces and support are offered to travelers today. Particular attention is paid to how airport chaplains have negotiated and advocated for their work, created and re-created chapel spaces, and thought and acted around religious diversity.

Prayers in the Senate and House of Representatives: A Pilot Study. "Formal prayers - for unity, strength and understanding - are offered as a first order of business on the Congressional floor each morning. Dating to 1789, these prayers are offered by the Senate chaplain as well as the chaplain in the House of Representatives, visiting religious leaders, and significant public figures from across the United States and around the globe. This pilot study begins to explore those prayers with an eye towards further research. It is conducted with Laura Olson (Clemson University) and Margaret Clendenen (Brandeis University) with support from a Jack Shand Research Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reliigon.

Hidden Sacred Spaces in Boston. In addition to the historic churches that dot the Boston skyline, sacred spaces are hidden around the edges, just out of view. These chapels, meditation and prayer rooms invite passers-by to pause, sit for a moment, and reflect – to cool down on a hot day or warm up on a cold one. While a few of these spaces have been mentioned in the Boston Globe, we begin to look at them here as a group and consider what they offer – literally and symbolically – to Bostonians and visitors in our daily lives. This project focuses on spaces designed or explicitly marked for spiritual and religious purposes in places with more secular functions in the greater Boston area. Some are stand-alone while others are a part of larger buildings. Some were designed by well-known architects while others were created informally by people desiring a small retreat. We begin to share images of these spaces here with brief descriptions of their histories and current usage. Each offers a glimpse of the city, historically and in the present, from a sacred edge that might cultivate new ways of seeing. We pursue this project in memory of the late Karla Johnson, AIA, Principal, Johnson Roberts Associates who designed the Interfaith Center at Tufts University and taught, through her buildings and her life, the importance of pause.