Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Melissa Wilde

2017-18 Planning Committee

Melissa J. Wilde is an award-winning sociologist whose research focuses on religious change.  She has studied the cultural and organizational factors behind Vatican II; the demographic factors that explain why American Protestantism has gone from being majority Mainline to majority conservative; the cultural and competition-related factors that led to the Catholic Church’s increase in marital annulments; and, currently, how race and class intersect with American religious groups to explain early stances on birth control and ultimately their political positions today. A consultant for the New York Times on the most recent Papal election, Wilde lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and three children.