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Dean R. Hoge (May 27, 1937 – September 13, 2008) was an American sociologist, who spent decades studying American Catholics, especially empirical surveys on the priesthood.


Hoge spend his childhood at New Knoxville, Ohio[1] and later graduated from the Ohio State University School of Architecture (B.S., summa cum laude, 1960).[1] After studies in 1961 at the University of Bonn, Germany[2] he received his bachelor's degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1964 and a master's degree in 1967 and a doctorate in 1970, both in sociology from Harvard University.[3]

He served as an instructor and assistant professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, Department of Christianity and Society in New Jersey[3] before joining Catholic University's faculty in 1974.[3][4] He served as director of the university's Life Cycle Institute from 1999 to 2004.[3][4]

In his 34-year career, he wrote 25 books about religious life in America.[4] His research primarily focused on Catholicism. His first major work was Understanding Church Growth and Decline 1950-1978, co-edited with David Roozen. In 1987 he published The Future of Catholic Leadership: Responses to the Priest Shortage, and in 2001 he co-authored Young Adult Catholics: Religion in the Culture of Choice. He co-authored American Catholics: Gender, Generation, and Commitment (2001), authored The First Five Years of the Priesthood (2002), and co-authored Evolving Visions of the Priesthood (2003) and International Priests in America (2006).

Two major Protestant research studies resulted in co-authored books, Vanishing Boundaries: The Religion of Mainline Protestant Baby Boomers (1994) and Pastors in Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry (2005). A cross-denominational study, including Catholics, looked into factors in church giving and led to the book Money Matters: Personal Giving in American Churches (1996).[2]

In 1979/80, he served as president of the Religious Research Association[3] and from October 2007 until his death he served as president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR).[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Holley, Joe Dean Hoge; Wrote Key Studies on Religion, Washington Post, 2008-09-19, p. B09, retrieved 2008-09-26
  2. ^ a b 2005 President's Distinguished Service Award, retrieved 2008-09-28
  3. ^ a b c d e Academic CV and list of publications, retrieved 2008-09-26
  4. ^ a b c Obituary (National Catholic Reporter) Archived 2009-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2008-09-26
  5. ^ Presidents of SSSR, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, retrieved 2008-09-21