Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan

Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and HEC Montreal respectively, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame.

He is also a Non-resident Research Fellow of the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University and a Faculty Affiliate at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

Dr. Vaidyanathan's research examines the cultural dimensions of religious, commercial, medical, and scientific institutions, and has been published in journals such as Business and Society, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Social Forces, Social Problems, Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and Work, Employment, and Society. 

His ongoing research examines the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being in religious communities in the US and among scientists in India, Italy, the UK, and the US.

Selected Publications


Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2019. Mercenaries and Missionaries: Capitalism and Catholicism in the Global South (Cornell University Press, 2019)

Ecklund, Elaine Howard, David R. Johnson, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Kirstin Matthews, Steven Lewis, Robert Thomson, and Di Di. 2019. Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019)


Kirstin R. W. Matthews, Erin Yang, Steven W. Lewis, Brandon R. Vaidyanathan & Monica Gorman.  International scientific collaborative activities and barriers to them in eight societies, Accountability in Research (2020)

Salazar, Esmeralda Sánchez, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Elaine Howard Ecklund, Adriana Garcia. 2019. "Challenging Evolution in Public Schools: Race, Religion, and Attitudes towardTeaching Creationism.Socius (forthcoming). https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023119870376

Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2018. “How minority religion can shape corporate capitalism: An emergentist account and empirical illustration.” Business and Societyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0007650318775104

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Simranjit Khalsa, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2018. “Naturally ambivalent: Religion’s role in shaping environmental action.” Sociology of Religion 79(4): 472-494.

Johnson, David R., Brandon Vaidyanathan, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2018. “Structural Strain in Science: Organizational Context, Career Stage, Discipline, and Role Composition.” Sociological Inquiry 88(1):5-31.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, and Hilary Davidson Green. 2018. “Generosity and Social Generativity.” In Social Generativity: A Relational Paradigm for Social Change, Mauro Magatti (ed.), Routledge.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2018. “The Politics of the Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.” Pp. 180-205 in: Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event. Edited by Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Timothy Matovina, and Robert Orsi. Cambridge University Press.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Simranjit Khalsa, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2016. “Gossip as social control?: Informal sanctions on ethical violations in scientific workplaces.” Social Problems 63(4):554-572.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, David Johnson, Pamela Prickett, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2016. “Rejecting the Conflict Narrative: American Jewish and Muslim Views on Science and Religion.” Social Compass 63(4):478-496.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Michael Strand, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, Meghan Davis, Amanda Varela, and Thomas Buschman. 2016. “Causality in Contemporary American Sociology: An Empirical Assessment and Critique.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior 46(1):3-26.

Offutt, Steven, LiErin Probasco, and Brandon Vaidyanathan. 2016. “Religion, Poverty and Development.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 55(2):207-215.