Father Sullivan named new director of Erasmus Institute

by Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Robert E. Sullivan, associate professor of history and senior associate director of the University of Notre Dame’s Erasmus Institute, has been named director of the Institute, according to Nathan O. Hatch, the University’s provost. The appointment becomes effective August 1.p. “As director of the Erasmus Institute, Father Sullivan will bring not only his wide-ranging knowledge of the role of religion in modernity, but also long experience with the administration of academic programs,” Hatch said. “His years as senior associate director of the Institute will insure that its essential mission continues to thrive and expand its reach throughout the world.”p. Father Sullivan, who has served as senior associate director of the Institute since 1998, holds a doctoral degree in history from Harvard. A specialist in the cultural history of modern Christianity, he joined the Notre Dame faculty in in 1997. Before coming to Notre Dame, he was a professor of church history at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., where he also served as dean of the faculty of theology from 1990-97. He was a visiting professor of history at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. from 1990-92.p. Father Sullivan has written numerous articles and reviews and is the author of “John Toland and the Deist Controversy: A Study in Adaptations.” He also has edited two books, “Higher Learning and Catholic Traditions” and “Catholic Boston: Studies in Religion and Community: 1870-1970.” He is at work on a book entitled “Make Sure John Learns Greek: Classical Education, a Modern Elite, and Their Reasons.”p. Father Sullivan will succeed James Turner, John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C. Professor of Humanities, professor of history and founding director of the Erasmus Institute. Turner will spend the 2003-4 academic year on research leave working on a book on philology,language theories, and conceptions of knowledge in the period from 1750-1900. He will return to the institute as an advisor and senior scholar, helping to develop its international relationships, especially with universities in the nations of the former Soviet Union.p. Established in 1997 and named in honor of the 16th-century Catholic scholar and reformer, the Erasmus Institute seeks to reinvigorate the role of Catholic intellectual tradition in contemporary scholarship. Primarily concerned with Catholic intellectual life, the institute also supports research deriving from the intellectual traditions of other Christian churches, Judaism, and Islam. The Institute sponsors residential fellowships, summer seminars, and conferences in the United States and abroad.p.

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