University Profiles

James P McCartin

James P. McCartin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Department of History


Professor McCartin's research focuses on the shifting character of religious belief and practice.

My goal as a teacher and scholar is to encourage good habits by posing surprising and engaging questions. What can an amusement park teach us about changing understandings of human freedom and responsibility? How did the Catholic Church modernize the Western world? Is it possible to trace the history of emotion? Are popular portrayals of the 1960s accurate? How have medical science and communication technologies shaped contemporary views of justice, equality and rights? Asking such questions opens up new paths of intellectual discovery. And even better, working through such questions enhances the capacity to contemplate the unfamiliar and understand people and events from multiple, complex perspectives.

At its best, historical study stimulates deep reflection, illuminates unimagined possibilities and enhances empathy with people profoundly different from ourselves. By posing stimulating questions about the past, I hope to encourage students to contemplate the world around them and ask surprising and engaging questions about the history through which they are living.


  • PhD, University of Notre Dame, 2003
  • MA, University of Notre Dame, 2000
  • AB, College of the Holy Cross, 1996

Academic Distinctions

  • Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University, 2006-2007
  • Seton Hall University Summer Research Grant, 2006
  • Alfred J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere, American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., 2004
  • Summer Research Grant, Lilly Endowment Program for the Study of Religion in American Life, The Louisville Institute, Louisville, KY, 2004

Office Phone
(973) 275-2773


Office Location
Room 346
Fahy Hall


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