Wendy Cadge, a sociologist from Brandeis University, is interested in religion, medicine, immigration, and sexuality in the contemporary United States. Her first book, Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America (University of Chicago Press, 2005), examines how immigrant Buddhists from Thailand and mostly white convert Buddhists in the United States understand and practice Buddhism in their daily lives. She has published articles about same-sex marriage, conflicts over homosexuality in mainline Protestant churches, religion and the nonprofit sector, religion and immigration, immigrants’ religious organizations, and other issues.
As a Radcliffe fellow, Cadge will work on a book, “Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine,” about the formal and informal presence of religion and spirituality in hospitals. The book draws from historical and policy documents as well as more than a hundred interviews with hospital chaplains, nurses, and physicians in large academic medical centers. This book complements articles Cadge has published about the prayers people write in hospital prayer books (in Poetics), the ways pediatricians and pediatric oncologists understand religion (in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology), and the fraction of hospitals nationally that have chaplains (in the Southern Medical Journal).
Cadge earned a BA from Swarthmore College and a PhD in sociology from Princeton University. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University from 2004 to 2006 and has held tenure-track positions at Bowdoin College and Brandeis University.