Melissa Wilde

[image of Prof. Wilde]
Contact Information
Office Address: 
292 McNeil Building
Email Address:

Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2002.
M.A., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1998.
B.A., Sociology, New York University, with honors, 1996.

Research and Teaching Interests: 

Sociology of Religion
Social Movements

Selected Publications: 

Wilde, Melissa J., Kristin Geraty, Shelley Nelson and Emily Bowman.  2010.  “Religious Economy or Organizational Field? Predicting Bishops’ Votes at the Second Vatican Council.” American Sociological Review. 75(4): 586-606.

Wilde, Melissa J. 2007. Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.

Wilde, Melissa J. 2007. “Who Wanted What and Why at the Second Vatican Council: Toward a General Theory of Religious Change.” Sociologica: Italian Journal of Sociology.  Bologna: Il Mulino.

Wilde, Melissa J. 2004. “How Culture Mattered at Vatican II: Collegiality Trumps Authority in the Council’s Social Movement Organizations.” American Sociological Review. 69(4):576-602.

Hout, Michael and Melissa J. Wilde. 2004. “The Denominational Society of the USA: A Reappraisal” in Patterns and Processes of Religious Change in Modern Industrial Societies: Europe and the United States. Edited by Alasdair Crockett and Richard O’Leary. Edwin Mellon Press.

Hout, Michael, Andrew M. Greeley and Melissa J. Wilde. 2001. “The Demographic Imperative In Religious Change.” American Journal of Sociology.  107(2): 468-500.
Wilde, Melissa J. 2001.

“From Excommunication to Nullification: Testing and Extending Supply-Side Theories of Religious Marketing With the Case of Catholic Marital Annulments,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40(2): 235-249.

Work in Progress: 

My current book project, Birth of the Culture Wars: How Race Divided American Religion, seeks to understand why the American religious field first began to diverge on issues of sex and gender by examining 31 of the largest denominations’ stances on contraception, circa 1931. 

Recent Courses: 
  • Soci100: Introduction to Sociology
  • Soci239: Religion and Society
  • Soci370: Research Methods in Sociology
  • Soci559: Graduate Sociology of Religion
  • Soci604: Graduate Research Methods