José Casanova

Professor of Sociology and Theology

Georgetown University

José Casanova is one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor in the Departments of Sociology and Theology at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization. During 2017 he is the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North at the U.S. Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center, where he is writing a book manuscript on Early Modern Globalization through a Jesuit Prism. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World(University of Chicago Press, 1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.

Casanova’s most recent research has focused primarily on two areas: globalization and religion, and the dynamics of transnational religion, migration, and increasing ethno-religious and cultural diversity. His books in this area include Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective, co-edited with Jocelyne Cesari (Oxford University Press, June 2017), Beyond Secularization: Religious and Secular Dynamics in Our Global Age (Spirit and Letter, 2017, in Ukrainian), and Jesuits and Globalization: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Challenges (Georgetown University Press, 2016), co-authored by the Berkley Center’s Thomas Banchoff. He has also published several articles on the subject, including “Public Religions Revisited” in Religion: Beyond the Concept (Fordham University Press, 2008), and “Nativism and the Politics of Gender in Catholicism and Islam” in Gendering Religion and Politics: Untangling Modernities (Palgrave, 2009). 

Presently he is co-directing with Peter Phan a three-year interdisciplinary research project on Asian Pacific Catholicism and Globalization. Casanova holds a B.A. in philosophy from the Seminario Metropolitano, M.A. from the University of Innsbruck in theology, and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the New School for Social Research.