Bethany Moreton

Position title: Kingdon Fellow (2014-2015)

History and Women's Studies, University of Georgia

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White-Collar Saints: Opus Dei and the Theology of Work

How have believers brought specific spiritual practices to bear on the demands of modern jobs and family labor? What kinds of spiritual discipline have been effective for those coping with the high-tech, “high-touch” stretch-out in offices, hospitals, schools, and cyberspace? Grounded in a transnational historical narrative of the organization’s evolution, this project seeks to understand how the influential lay Catholic institution Opus Dei has developed techniques for professionals and service workers specifically; how practitioners understand these spiritual tools; and how they relate to Opus Dei’s theology of work.

Bethany Moreton is an Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the University of Georgia and a series editor for Columbia University Press’s Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism. Since receiving her doctorate in history at Yale University in 2006, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge and at the Harvard Divinity School. Her first book, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Harvard University Press, 2009) won the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in U.S. history and the John Hope Franklin Award for the best book in American Studies. She is a founding member of the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas and a founding faculty member of Freedom University, which offers college coursework without charge to qualified Georgia high school graduates regardless of immigration status.