Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan

Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America. He spent his childhood between the Arabian Gulf and India. 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.

His research examines the cultural dimensions of religious, commercial, medical, and scientific institutions, with a special focus on South Asian contexts and peoples. His research 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 first book, Mercenaries and Missionaries: Capitalism and Catholicism in the Global South (Cornell University Press, 2019), examines the role of religion in the lives of corporate professionals in India and the Arabian Gulf. He is also co-author of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019), which examines the role of religion in the lives of scientists in eight countries: USA, UK, India, Italy, France, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

His ongoing research examines aesthetics and well-being in scientific careers in India, Italy, the UK, and the US; and mental health issues in religious communities.


Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2018. “How minority religion can shape corporate capitalism: An emergentist account and empirical illustration.” Business and Society (forthcoming).

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

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 (forthcoming).

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.