Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology, Program Director CJRJ
- M.A., University of Notre Dame, 2005
- PhD, University of Notre Dame, 2010
Brenneman, Robert and Brian Miller. 2020. Building Faith: A Sociology of Religious Architecture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brenneman, Robert. 2012. Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brenneman, Robert. 2018. “La desigualdad asegurada: una etnografía de la seguridad privada en Guatemala.” Estudios Centroamericanos 73:25-44.
Brenneman, Robert and Brian Miller. 2016. “When Bricks Matter: Four Arguments for the Sociological Study of Religious Buildings.” Sociology of Religion 77:82-101.
Brenneman, Robert. 2015. “¡Solo pajas! Volver a un Sitio de Campo Desordenado.” In SENDAS. 2:39-54. Instituto de Investigaciones del Hecho Religioso, Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala City.
Brenneman, Robert. 2014. “Wrestling the Devil: Conversion and Exit from the Central American Gangs.” Latin American Research Review. Vol. 49, Special Issue.
Brenneman, Robert. 2009. “Embodied Forgiveness: John H. Yoder and the (Body) Politics of Footwashing,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review. 83:7-28.
Brenneman, Robert. 2021. “Gifts, Weapons, and Values: The Language of Spirituality in 21st Century Central America.” In Situating Spirituality: Context Practice and Power. Ed. By Brian Steensland, Jaime Kucinskas, and Anna Sun. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brenneman, Robert. 2018. “Victimas y victimarios: Los retos de estudiar la pandilla en Centroamérica.” Pp. 293-315 in Rostros de la violencia en Centroamerica: abordajes y experiencias desde la investigación social. ed. by Daniel Nuñez. Guatemala: FLACSO – Mercy Corps.
Brenneman, Robert. 2016. “Violence, Religion, and Institutional Legitimacy in Northern Central America.” Pp. 371-394 in Religious Responses to Violence in Latin America: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present. Ed. Alexander Wilde. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press.
Brenneman, Robert. 2015. “Violencia, Religión y Legitimidad Institucional al Norte de Centroamérica.” Pp. 381-404 in Las Iglesias ante La Violencia en América Latina: Los derechos humanos en el pasado y el presente. Ed. Alexander Wilde. Mexico City, MX: FLACSO-Mexico.
Brenneman, Robert and Adriana García. 2014. “Latin American Youth Gangs.” In Oxford Handbook of Criminology and Criminal Justice. (Oxford Handbooks Online) Ed. Michael Tonry. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brenneman, Robert. 2011. “Evangelical Movements” in Encyclopedia of Global Religion. eds. Wade Clark Roof and Mark Juergensmeyer. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Fulbright Teaching/Research Award for nine-month teaching and research fellowship in Guatemala City (2016-2017).
Jack Shand Research Grant from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion for research on the sociology of religious buildings in Guatemala (2017-18).
Due to my research on Central American gangs, I have received frequent requests to provide expert testimony on cases regarding asylum due to involvement with or persecution by the Central American gangs. To date I have provided country profiles and/or expert testimony by phone and in written affidavits in approximately 13 cases. Only in very rare cases have I been able to provide support for a claim regarding religious identity or involvement. You can read more about this on my website.
CJRJ 100 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (Fall)
CJRJ 200 Sociology of Crime and Deviance (Spring)
GLST 251 Cultural Perspectives: Youth and Resilience in Guatemala (May-Guatemala City)
PJCS 220 Inside/Out (May-Elkhart County Jail)
PJCS 201 Violence/Nonviolence
PJCS 210 Transforming Conflict and Violence
SOC 200 Introduction to Sociology
Prepared thirteen expert affidavits and/or country conditions reports in ten separate cases involving defendants seeking asylum from Central American gangs. Provided oral testimony in one case.
“The Impact of Technology on Social Isolation” presentation at St. Susanna’s Parish Peace and Justice Lecture Series. Dedham, MA, March 24, 2020.
Featured expert consulted and cited at length in Ukrainian national magazine Novoye Vremya feature story on MS-13 gangs activity.
“Violence and Human Flourishing in Central America” presentation at St. Susanna’s Parish Peace and Justice Lecture Series. Dedham, MA, February 5, 2019.
Country Expert Contributor (Guatemala) for “Varieties of Democracy” (V-Dem), global database for assessing the quality of democracy across time and space 2017-2018.
Featured speaker at Central American Peace and Justice Network (REDPAZ) at its annual gathering on April 20, 2017 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Expert guest on Con Criterio call-in talk show discussing “Police and Gang Violence” on 100.1 Radio Infinita, Guatemala City, 2017.
Brenneman, Robert. “Civics Lessons from Guatemala.” Web blog post on AULA Blog. American University, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. May 26, 2015.
“Five Myths about the ‘Surge’ of Central American Immigrant Minors.” Web blog post. OUPblog. Oxford University Press. August 3, 2014. Republished in entirety at HNNblog and USAPP (London School of Economics) and partially republished in Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish.
Brenneman, Robert. “Struggling with the Legacy of Ríos Montt.” Guest scholar on Interfaith Voices National Public Radio syndicated show aired March 26.
Brenneman, Robert. “La Mara de Cristo: Iglesias y pandillas en Centroamérica.” In El Faro Académico, January 21, 2014.
“Vom Töten zum Beten.” In Welt-sichten, German magazine for global development and ecumenical cooperation. November 11, 2013, pp. 19-21.
Guest speaker on “Temas y debates” morning talk show program of Radio Infinita, Guatemala, July 15, 2013.
Press conference in Guatemala City resulting in four articles on national daily newspapers in Guatemala, July 16, 2013.
Television interview on Este o Este weekly television talk show broadcast on Canal Antigua (Guatemala), July 24, 2013
Book Launch with guest panel at Sophos bookstore, Guatemala City, July 20, 2013.
Interviewed for feature spread “O con Dios o con la Mara” in Contra Poder, Guatemalan semi-weekly magazine of politics and culture, July 12, 2013.
“Talking about Gun Rights, Laws and Culture after a Tragedy.” Invited Guest on Vermont Edition, Vermont Public Radio daily talk show, July 30, 2012.
“Gun Violence and Its Sources.” Special Guest on The Mark Johnson Show, WDEV call-in radio show, Waterbury, VT, July 31, 2012.
“Excess Deaths among Amish and Conservative Mennonite Communities during the 1918 Flu Pandemic”
I am currently supervising the research of two Goshen College undergraduates who are using Mennonite Historical Society archives of the weekly newspaper The Budget to gauge the lethal impact of the 1918 flu pandemic among Anabaptist communities in the US.
“Pricing Safety: Private Security in Postwar Guatemala”
In 2016 I used a Fulbright Fellowship to begin collecting data on Guatemala’s private security industry using interviews, ethnography, and publicly available economic data. To date I have published one article and have transcribed and begun analysis on 25 interviews that will lay the groundwork for a book-length manuscript.