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Professor Leo Lefebure

Dr Lefebure joins us from Georgetown University in association with the School of Religion. During the Fellowship Dr Lefebure will examine the influence of religious and racial prejudice in the nineteenth century and the development of positive attitudes towards religious pluralism by significant Irish American Catholic leaders who emerged from societies dominated by these historic prejudices.

This research investigates the ambiguous, many-sided roles of Christian theology in Irish and American societies. It will draw upon recent interdisciplinary study of theology of migration to explore the transformation of Irish American Catholic attitudes and actions toward religious and racial diversity in the nineteenth century. Drawing upon history, sociology, theology, and migration studies, Dr Lefebure will study how Irish American Catholics related to white Protestants, American Indians, and African Americans, and how some leaders pioneered an acceptance of religious pluralism that would be a harbinger of later transformations.

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