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

Erick Berrelleza, S.J. photo

Erick Berrelleza, S.J. (AY 2019-2021)

The Religious Lives of Latino Immigrants: Geographies and Shifting Landscapes in the New South

Erick Berrelleza is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Boston University. While at the Boisi Center, Erick will be writing on his dissertation research, which is an ethnographic project attempting to explore the lived religious experiences of immigrants from Latin America in the United States. Drawing on in-depth interviews, observation and participation in the field, Berrelleza's project will examine how beliefs are expressed in everyday embodied practices and how those practices shape and are shaped by the experience of migration and the physical places in which they take place. 

Berrelleza's study will go beyond previous research on individual lived religion by considering the rapidly growing group of Latin American immigrants in the United States. The most comprehensive study of individual lived religion narratives conducted to date privileges the stories of people who are “well educated and relatively well off.” Thus, many stories of Latinos are absent from the literature. Because of Berrelleza's interest in individual religious practices in relation to places of arrival, this will be a comparative study with a rural site and an urban site in North Carolina. Engaging a comparative project provides the opportunity to investigate how places of arrival with both shared and unique structural conditions enable and constrain religious practices for a marginalized population.

The Boisi Center is excited to welcome Erick Berrelleza during the next academic year, 2019-2020. Berrelleza presented previous research at a luncheon colloquium in the fall of 2018 on Gentrification in an Urban Church.


Ines W. Jindra photo

Ines W. Jindra (AY 2019-2020)

Ines W. Jindra is currently an associate professor of social work in the department of sociology and social work at Gordon College, and a visiting scholar at the Boisi Center for the academic year of 2019-2020. Prior to coming to Gordon College and the Boisi Center, she has taught at Spring Arbor University in Michigan and was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame.

She is interested in narrative biographical research, in homelessness, poverty, and urban issues, as well as in religious conversion and the role of faith-based social welfare organizations, and is the author of A New Model of Religious Conversion (Brill, 2014) and other articles on religious conversion, biographical sociology, and nonprofits.

While at the Boisi Center, she will be working on a book project on religion, religious conversion and biographical trajectories of residents of three homeless shelters, using narrative biographical interviews. The goal is to understand how residents use the “religious tools” provided by some of the shelters and how they connect these to their own faith journeys and biographical trajectories.