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Joanne Pierce


Religious Studies Department

On Leave 2020-2021
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame


Fields: liturgical studies, medieval Christianity, ritual studies, ecumenical theology, theology and speculative/science fiction 

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Office Phone: 508-793-3452
Office: Smith 423
PO Box: 82A
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The Conversation

Joanne Pierce is a frequent contributor to The Conversation, an independent news and commentary website. Her most recent contributions appear below.

People visiting a Christ sculpture at the Santa Maria Magdalena Church during the Holy Week in Granada, Spain. Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Churches around the world will be holding services for their three most important days during this Holy Week: Holy Thursday, sometimes called Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Easter commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the fundamental belief of Christianity. It is the earliest and most central of all Christian ho...

Army chaplain Emil Kapaun helps a soldier on the battlefield during the Korean War in 1952. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

At the end of a small cemetery on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross, the Jesuit college where I teach, is the grave of Joseph O’Callahan, former professor of mathematics. O’Callahan is one of the few Catholic militar...

Lent is a period of fasting and reflection for many Chistians. Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In late winter, many Christian denominations observe a 40-day period of fasting and prayer called Lent. This is in preparation for the spring celebration of Easter, a religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The word “Lent” has Germanic roots referring to the “lengthening” of days, or springtime. But fact...