James M. Patterson is research fellow at the CRCD, and an associate professor of politics at Ave Maria University.

Patterson’s academic interests include research on race, religion, and American politics using historical institutional methods. An author of numerous academic and popular articles, he recently published his first book, Religion and the Public Square: Sheen, King, Falwell (University of Pennsylvania Press 2019). His writing can be found in such publications as American Political Thought, Perspectives in Political Science, Journal of Church and State, Anamnesis, Public Discourse, First Things, and Law & Liberty.

Patterson has previously held research positions at the Duke University Program for American Values and Institutions and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Prior to his role at Ave Maria University, Patterson taught at Hampden-Sydney College, Gettysburg College, University of Virginia, and Duke University.

Patterson received his B.A. in Political Science and Media Studies at the University of Houston. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Politics from the University of Virginia.

Our Vision

The Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy envisions democratic societies which affirm the essential role of religious convictions, peoples, and institutions in cultivating free and flourishing communities.

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To achieve our vision, the CRCD supports the creation and promotion of high quality scholarship at the intersection of religion, culture, and democracy. Our publications, programming, and resources affirm the importance of religion as a public good for strengthening social bonds and reinforcing foundational freedoms.