The College of Communication and the Arts launches Institute for Communication and Religion.
The College of Communication and the Arts is proud to announce the launch of the Institute for Communication and Religion. The first of its kind in New Jersey and one of the first in the nation, the Institute will provide a nexus for ongoing scholarly exploration of communication topics critically important to religion and society.
The Institute will enhance the University’s and the College’s sustained leadership in fostering open, clear communication between religious institutions and the broader public. The University’s tradition of an ongoing commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialog uniquely positions the Institute to serve as a powerful conveyer for this purpose.
Through generous funding from the Office of the Provost’s Thrust Initiative, the Institute is the University’s 37th center/institute and the College’s first institute since its formation in 2015. The Institute is an interdisciplinary effort between the College of Communication and the Arts, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and the College of Arts and Sciences.
“The University enjoys a long and distinguished history of advancing interreligious dialogue,” said Dean Deirdre Yates, M.F.A. “The formation of an interdisciplinary Institute for Communication and Religion is a simple, yet powerful way to make a positive contribution toward elevating the University, the College, and the external community by improving public discourse on religion in society.”
The Institute will provide opportunities to surrounding communities and the University to discuss age-old questions of values, ethics, tolerance, and social justice in the context of our emerging digital society. Under the leadership of Monsignor Dennis Mahon, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, the Institute will enrich and engage the public by hosting scholarly panels, organizing curriculum development workshops, and conducting outcomes-based research. The Institute’s inaugural event Speaking Truth: Religion in the News Media will be held on November 2.
Monsignor Dennis Mahon, Ph.D., will lead the Institute for Communication and Religion.
“Through various initiatives, our work will focus on exploring how communication and religion are integrally connected,” said Monsignor Mahon. “The Institute will seek to ensure the University’s students and broader community are informed and equipped to communicate about religious topics with responsibility, passion, and excellence.”
Monsignor Mahon brings to the Institute more than 40 years of experience as a communication faculty member and administrator at Seton Hall University, The Catholic University of America, and Catholic Community Services. After receiving his B.A. from Seton Hall University and S.T.B. from The Catholic University of America, he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Newark. He later went on to earn his M.A. from Fairfield University and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.
Curriculum development workshops and a large-scale, interreligious event are also scheduled for the Spring 2018 semester. To learn more about the Institute for Communication and Religion and leadership opportunities, please contact Monsignor Dennis Mahon.