Professor Selected as Panelist for High-Profile Religion Web Site

February 19th, 2009 by 

Image by John Buckingham

Mathew Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies and director of the College Honors Program at the College of the Holy Cross, has been selected as the newest panelist for “On Faith,” a Web site on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and The Washington Post.

As a panelist, Schmalz will respond regularly to questions posed by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn, both of whom moderate the site. His writing will be featured alongside other panelists, including Arun Gandhi, grandson of India’s legendary leader Mohandas ”Mahatma” Gandhi; Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of Night; as well as preeminent religion scholars from across the country. Prior to this appointment, Schmalz had written for “On Faith” on occasion as a guest contributor.  Other guest writers include the Dalai Lama, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, and television journalist Barbara Walters.

Schmalz is an expert in Catholicism in the non-Western world, new religious movements, and religions and politics of India and Pakistan. He is a prolific writer, and his essays, articles, and op-eds have appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and anthologies, including The Best American Spiritual Writing 2008.

A member of the faculty since 1998, Schmalz earned his A.B. from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D from The Divinity School at the University of Chicago. He received a Watson Fellowship for independent research in Pakistan and India, and was also awarded a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for his dissertation research on Catholicism in rural northern India.

Schmalz is the second member of the Holy Cross community invited to participate in the “On Faith” Web site. Student Ani Nalbandian ’09 was selected in 2007 as one of six students to be a regular contributor to the college blog, “Faithbook.”

By Alicia Lincoln ’09

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