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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies News

Looking Back: Department News From the Past

Harrelson Hall, home of the Department between 1961 and 1981. The building was demolished in 2016.

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1966/67: Robert S. Bryan (Ph.D., Virginia) is appointed Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Department in Fall 1966. He oversees its transition from a service department to a first-rate undergraduate department by hiring scholars with doctorates from top graduate programs to teach rigorous courses in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Bryan continues as Head until his retirement in 1989. With the support of a grant from the Danforth Foundation, W. Lawrence Highfill (Ph.D., Duke), Associate Professor of Religious Studies, spends the 1966/67 academic year at the Harvard University Center for Studies in World Religions.

1976/77: Mary Ann Tolbert (Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago) and James VanderKam (Ph.D., Harvard) are appointed as Assistant Professors of Religious Studies. Tolbert completes her Ph.D. in 1977; she resigns in 1981 to accept a position at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. In 1977 VanderKam publishes a very influential book based on his dissertation, Textual and Historical Studies in Biblical Jubilees (Scholars Press, Harvard Semitic Monographs 14); he is promoted to Associate Professor in 1981 and to Professor in 1986; he resigns in 1991 to accept a position at the University of Notre Dame.

1986/87: Over 3,400 students enroll in the Department’s courses during the academic year and 58 students are registered for the major in Philosophy, including eleven in the concentration in Religious Studies. Tom Regan (Ph.D., Virginia), Professor of Philosophy, publishes Bloomsbury’s Prophet: G. E. Moore and the Development of His Moral Philosophy (Temple University Press, 1987).

1996/97: Timothy Hinton (Ph.D., MIT) is appointed as Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He is promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and to Professor in 2013. Cynthia L. Miller (Ph.D., Chicago), Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, publishes The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: A Linguistic Analysis (Scholars Press, Harvard Semitic Monographs 55, 1996) and Robert Bruce Mullin (Ph.D., Yale), Associate Professor of Religious Studies, publishes Miracles and the Modern Religious Imagination (Yale University Press, 1996). Three faculty members receive fellowships to support their scholarship: Douglas M. Jesseph (Ph.D., Princeton), Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Tony K. Stewart (Ph.D., Chicago), Associate Professor of Religious Studies, from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and Joseph Levine (Ph.D., Harvard), Professor of Philosophy, from the American Council of Learned Societies.

2006/07: William Adler (Ph.D., Pennsylvania), Professor of Religious Studies, is Visiting Guest Professor at Friederich-Schiller-Universität Jena in Summer 2006. The B.S. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Logic, Representation, and Reasoning is introduced in Fall 2006. Over 4,200 students enroll in the Department’s courses during the academic year, 65 students are registered for the major in Philosophy and 53 are registered for the major in Religious Studies. Visiting speakers include Daniel Garber (Princeton), Richard Kraut (Northwestern) and Connie Sue Rosati (Arizona) in philosophy; and Robert Orsi (Harvard) in religious studies.

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