Leonard Norman Primiano, PhD
Professor, Religious Studies
Co-Director, Honors Program
Recipient, Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching Recipient
The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award (2014)
Leonard Norman Primiano, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and Co-Director of the Honors Program. A renowned folklorist and religious studies scholar, he teaches courses in the history of Christianity, vernacular religion, religious folklife, sectarian religion and contemporary American religion.
Primiano’s research areas include American religion; vernacular, folk, and popular religion; American folklore and folklife studies; religious material culture (including Roman Catholic “holy cards”); and religion and the media, including Catholicism and television.
A recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award in 2014, Primiano also was elected a Fellow of the American Folklore Society after serving a three-year term on the Society’s Executive Board. He also serves as co-chair of the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife chapter of the society.
Primiano served as the developer and curator of Cabrini’s Religious Folk, Popular, Liturgical Arts Collection. Curations include the exhibition of his personal collection of Italian ex-voto paintings, “Graces Received: Painted and Metal Ex-Votos from Italy:” “The Religious Mind: The Art of Science, Religion, and Healing” with Ben Danner ’13. In 2006, he coordinated the acquisition of The Don Yoder Collection of Religious Folk Art.
Primiano earned a dual doctorate in religious studies and folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master of theological studies from Harvard University and received a master’s in folklore and folklife and a bachelor’s in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania.