Visiting Scholars at the Boisi Center

Each year the Boisi Center provides an intellectual home for visiting scholars working on significant projects related to religion and public life. Visiting scholars participate in the intellectual life of the Center, which includes numerous public events, and may have an opportunity to present their own research as well.

Application Information

Visiting Scholars

Massimiliano Proietti headshot

Massimiliano Proietti (October 2021 - February 2022)

Massimiliano Proietti is a PhD candidate at the Foundation for Religious Studies of Bologna, where he is currently carrying out research on the implementation of the liturgical reform after Vatican II, focusing especially on the activity of the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia (1964-1969). Before Bologna, Massimiliano completed a Master’s degree (2018) in Religious Studies at the University of Rome La Sapienza, discussing a dissertation about Origins and Meanings of the Roman Stational Liturgy (IV-VI c.), in which he studied the evolution of liturgical practice in the plural religious context of Rome in the late Antiquity. Prior to that, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree (2015) in History of Christianity at the University of Rome with a dissertation on The Homilies of Paul VI during Vatican II. Since 2020 he has been appointed “Subject Expert” in the field of History of Christianity and Churches at the University of Rome La Sapienza.


Rachelle Reinhart headshot

Rachelle Reinhart, PhD (AY 2020-2022)

Rachelle holds a doctorate in sociology from Boston University, where she currently teaches courses in religion, community, and social theory. Her recent research explores how young adult Catholics find a sense of meaning and belonging across three Catholic churches in downtown Boston: St. Cecilia’s, a parish church operated by the Archdiocese of Boston; The Paulist Center, a service church operated by a religious order of evangelical missionaries; and St. Clement’s, a Eucharistic shrine operated by a liturgical order of devout priests and brothers. From this research, she finds that each institutional setting adapts its own modes of interaction to communicate the resonant message via aspirational calls to action. Through these mechanisms, ritual memory is transfor med into directed actions that bring the faithful into feelings of moral obligation and commitment to their shared interpretation of community. Rachelle also serves as Catholic Chaplain at Brandeis University, where she helps students navigate the often deeply private commitments and dilemmas that come with religious faith and emerging adulthood. She received her MA in Comparative History from Brandeis University and BA in Philosophy with highest honors from Smith College.


Thomas Santa Maria headshot

Thomas Santa Maria (AY 2020-2022)

Tom Santa Maria is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University specializing in the religious and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, especially Italy. In particular, he focuses on Early Modern Catholicism and the ministries, thoughts, and activities of the early Society of Jesus in the decades following the Council of Trent. His dissertation presents the history of Catholicism’s relationship to the senses as deeply ambivalent. Should the senses be trusted as tools that move the mind to God and profit the soul leading to eternal life, or guarded as the gates of sin that incite the body to lust and damn the soul leading to eternal death?

Before Yale, Tom completed a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at Boston College. Prior to that he attended the College of the Holy Cross where I completed the honors course in history, classics, and Catholic Studies.