Peter Cajka

Peter Cajka

Teaching Professor Director of Undergraduate Studies

1034 Flanner Hall

Research Interests

  • Religion in the Americas and the American Catholic Church
  • Human Rights and Civil Rights
  • Intellectual History and the Social History of Ideas

Peter Cajka is a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a faculty affiliate at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. His research and teaching explores twentieth century protest movements, both national and global, religious and secular. Cajka earned a PhD in American Religious History from Boston College in 2017. His book, tentatively titled, Follow Your Conscience: The American Catholic Church, War, Sex, and the Spirit of the Sixties, is currently under contract with the University of Chicago Press. This book explores how American Catholics invoked conscience rights in the Church and in disputes with the modern state. It shows that a profound attention to individual conscience is at the center of the modern American Catholic imagination. Cajka's current research project investigates the important role played by psychologists in forming concepts of twentieth century American Catholic sexuality. Cajka's research has been supported with a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship, as well as grants from Catholic University of America, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College. His work has appeared in American Catholic Studies, US Catholic Historian and Ohio History. He writes for numerous scholarly blogs, including Religion in American History, Teaching United States History, Righting America, and the Syndicate Network.  He teaches numerous classes at Notre Dame, including "The Vietnam War and American Catholics," "The Ideas That Made America," "Witnessing the Sixties," and "Civil Rights in America." 

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