Santa Clara University

<h3>Valley of the Gods:</h3>

Catholic Worlds in the Silicon Valley

Wednesdays, 4-5:00 p.m., April 4-June 6
Daly Science 206
Santa Clara University


The Valley of the Gods series works with local community leaders to explore the diverse religious landscape of Silicon Valley. The 2007 program turns our attention to the vibrant and varied lives of Catholics in the Valley.

The brainchild of Fr. Tennant Wright, S.J., of Santa Clara University Religious Studies Department, the 2007 program was built off this insight into religion: We tend to generalize about religion, thinking of it as an ‘-ism.’ The problem is that there is no Catholicism apart from the Catholics who live, think about and serve their faith in a particular place and time.

Each week Catholic Worlds of the Valley features a leader from one of the Valley’s many Catholic worlds--ethnic churches, Diocesan offices, schools, prison ministry, lay organizations, gay and lesbian communities, etc. To develop this roster of “worlds,” Fr. Wright worked from an address book that reflects his 40+ years of teaching and ministering in the Valley.

“Silicon Valley has one of the most diverse religiously landscapes in the world,” according to Prof. Philip Boo Riley, Local Religion Project director “One of the great things about the roster Fr. Wright assembled is the way it illustrates the diversity within that diversity.”


Instead of lectures, each week Fr. Wright will engage leaders from different organization in conversation about “the experiences, questions, passions” that shape their engagement with one of the worlds making up the Valley’s multifaceted Catholic faith community.

Students from Fr. Wright’s new course, “Catholic Worlds of the Valley,” will attend the ten public sessions. Afterwards, the students will meet as a seminar with participants to discuss the sketch of local catholicismS they will be developing throughout the quarter.

The Local Religion Project documents the communities and organizations it studies with multimedia “portraits.” For this program, undergraduate research assistants will weave together videotaped segments from each of the ten conversations, on-site interviews with community members, and research on topics presented in the series to create a composite documentary, Catholic Worlds of the Valley, which will be distributed in Fall 2007.


Sessions are open to the public, free of charge.



For further information, please contact the Local Religion Project office 408-553-9961 or send an e-mail to

This series is sponsored by Local Religion Project and Religious Studies Department, with financial assistance from SCU’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.