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Bell (Catherine) papers
MSS.2013.06.16  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical History
  • Organizational History
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University Library
    Title: Catherine Bell papers
    creator: Bell, Catherine M., 1953-
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2013.06.16
    Identifier/Call Number: 93
    Physical Description: 4.17 linear feet (10 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2008 (bulk 1996-2008)
    Date (bulk): 1996-2008
    Abstract: The Catherine Bell papers, 1965-2008 (bulk 1996-2008), document Bell's research process as she began writing Believing and the Practice of Religion, left unfinished at the time of her death in 2008. With this book, Bell sought to spur a discussion about belief, a phenomenon that few religious scholars had addressed but that Bell held was central to the study of religion. The collection includes her unfinished manuscript and related research materials. The manuscript consists of chapter outlines, drafts of an introduction, notes, a preface, a table of contents, her thesis, and articles and presentations about belief authored by Bell. This collection is arranged into one series: Believing and the Practice of Religion, 1965-2008.
    Physical Location: This collection is located in Santa Clara University Library's Archives & Special Collections.
    Language of Material: English, some research materials in French.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Access Restrictions

    There are no restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.

    Preferred Citation

    Catherine Bell papers, MSS.2013.06.16, Santa Clara University Library Archives & Special Collections.

    Processing Information

    Guide created by Shannon Hartman in 2014 and encoded by Shannon Hartman in 2015. Additional description added by Daniela Baez in 2019. Reviewed by Andrea Hoff.

    Biographical History

    Catherine Bell (1953-2008) was a religious studies professor at Santa Clara University and an expert on ritual and Chinese religions. She completed a B.A. at Manhattanville College in 1975 and earned her M.A. (1976) and Ph.D (1983) in History of Religion from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She taught in Japan and completed post-doctoral work in Taiwan before joining the religious studies department at Santa Clara University in 1985. Bell was named the Bernard Hanley Professor of Religious Studies in 1998 and served as the chair of the department from 2000 until 2005. She retired from teaching in 2007 due to complications from multiple sclerosis. She passed away on May 23, 2008 at age 55. Bell is survived by her husband, Steven Gelber.
    Bell contributed to the fields of critical theory, history of Chinese religions, liturgical theology, ritual studies, and Scripture. Her published works include Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (1992) and Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions (1997). She served as editor and contributor to Teaching Ritual (2007). An accomplished scholar and teacher, Bell was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the American Academy of Religion Book Award in the History of Religions, the Brutocao Award for Excellence in Curriculum Innovation, and the Godfrey Diekmann Award. In 2005, she was named Alumna of the Year by the University of Chicago Divinity School. Bell received fellowships and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2007, Bell received a NEH fellowship to pursue the study of belief. The resulting manuscript, Believing and the Practice of Religion, was left unfinished at the time of her death.
    Bibliography
    Crowley, Paul. "The Department Mourns the Death of Professor Catherine Bell." Perspectives Spring (2008): 1-2. Web. Nov 10, 2014.
    Hogue, David. "Catching the Dog's Own Tail: An Essay in Honor of Catherine Bell." Religious Studies Review 36.3 (2010): 175-181. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. Web. Nov 10, 2014.

    Organizational History

    Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California's oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
    Bibliography
    Santa Clara University. "About SCU – History." www.scu.edu/about/history.cfm (Accessed Nov. 23, 2010)
    McKevitt, Gerald, S.J. The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851-1977. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into one series: Believing and the Practice of Religion, 1965-2008.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Catherine Bell papers, 1965-2008 (bulk 1996-2008), document Bell's research process as she began writing Believing and the Practice of Religion, left unfinished at the time of her death in 2008. With this book, Bell sought to spur a discussion about belief, a phenomenon that few religious scholars had addressed but that Bell held was central to the study of religion. The collection includes the unfinished manuscript and related research materials. The manuscript consists of chapter outlines, drafts of an introduction, notes, a preface, a table of contents, her thesis, and articles and presentations about belief authored by Bell.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Religious thought
    Faith
    Religious education -- Study and teaching
    Santa Clara College (Calif.)
    University of Santa Clara (Calif.)
    Santa Clara University (Calif.)