U-M experts available to discuss newly chosen Pope Francis I from Argentina

March 13, 2013

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan has faculty available to comment on Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina selected as the new pope of the Catholic Church. The pontiff is now called Pope Francis. The experts include:

Daniel Ramirez, assistant professor of history and American culture, is an expert on Latin American religious history and culture. “The Papal choice finally recognizes a demographic shift to the global south,” he said. He can be reached at (209) 406-8684 or dramire@umich.edu.

Gabriele Boccaccini, professor of Near Eastern Studies, can discuss Judaism and Christianity. “Theologically, the new Pope is as conservative as his own predecessors, but socially is more engaged in problems of social justice and the fight against poverty,” he said. Boccaccini can be contacted at (734) 741-1556 or gboccaccini@yahoo.com.

Brian Porter-Szücs, professor of history, is an expert in Roman Catholicism. He can be reached at (734) 330-2626 or baporter@umich.edu.

Ronald Inglehart, director of the World Values Surveys and a research professor at the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research, has looked at religion around the world and in the U.S. He can offer some perspective on changes in religiosity in the U.S. compared to other regions of the world. He can be reached at (734) 936-1767 or rfi@umich.edu.