Peter Steinfels, co-director of the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture, is also a university professor at Fordham and religion columnist for The New York Times.
Mr. Steinfels and his wife, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, became the founding co-directors of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture in 2004. The Center explores questions that arise when religious faith intersects with contemporary culture and fosters dialogue on the challenges posed to the culture. Mr. Steinfels served as editor of Commonweal, an independent biweekly journal of political, religious and literary opinion before landing at The New York Times in 1988. A two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, he created and continues to pen his biweekly column “Beliefs,” dealing with religion and ethics. In 1997 he left his full-time position as senior religion correspondent to write A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America (Simon and Schuster, 2003).He is also the author of The Neoconservatives (Simon and Schuster, 1979), and he edited Death Inside Out with Robert M.Veatch, (Harper and Row, 1975).
In addition, he has contributed chapters to 17 other books and written articles and reviews for The New Republic, Esquire, Harper’s, Dissent, Le Nouvel Observateur, The Nation, Partisan Review and many other distinguished journals. In 1970s, while an associate for the humanities at the Hasting Center of the Institute of Society, Ethics and Life Sciences, he and Margaret O’Brien Steinfels edited the Hasting Center Report, the leading journal of bioethics in what was then a new field.He also has served as a consultant for Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, a program seen on more than 200 PBS television stations. His other areas of interest include education,modern French history, healthcare and ethics.
No stranger to higher education, Mr. Steinfels has been a visiting professor of history at Georgetown University, of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and of religious studies at the University of Dayton. While teaching at Georgetown, he co-directed a threeyear research project on American Catholics in the Public Square, funded by the Pew Charitable Trust.
Mr. Steinfels earned his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and his Ph.D. in European history from Columbia University. In addition, he holds seven honorary doctorates.He was the recipient of the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame for his service to the church and society in 2003.
He and his wife have two children and two grandchildren, all of whom live in New York City.