Department of Religious Studies

Posted on January 27, 2017

In 1938, Dean of Administration Walter Clinton Jackson approved the first formal religious course for students which focused on the life and teachings of Jesus. It was not until thirteen years later, in 1951, that the university began adding more religious courses to its catalog under the Department of Philosophy. In keeping with the trend at many other universities, UNCG created the Department of Religious Studies in 1971. The department began offering introductory classes in religion and a few upper level courses “that undertook to examine the religious dimensions of contemporary culture through an inquiry into its social, intellectual, and imaginative forms.” The first Department head was Benjamin Ladner who would serve from 1971 to 1976. Warren Ashby served as interim head until 1978 when Professor Alan Anderson was appointed. In 1975, an undergraduate major was added in religious studies and by 1979, the department has grown in size to include eight full time faculty members. Today, the department teaches courses on the traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, and Taoism as well as historical studies courses about religions in African, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and American (especially United States) history.


Department Heads:

Benjamin Ladner (1970-1976)

Arnold Levison (1976-1977)

Warren Ashby (1951-1970, 1977-1978)

Alan Anderson (1978-1982)

Janet Gunn (1987-1988)

Paul Courtright (1982-1987, 1988-1989)

Mary Wakeman (1989-1990)

Henry Levinson (1990-1998)

Charles Orzech (1998-2004)

Derek Krueger (2004-2009)

William Hart (2009-2016)

Gregory Grieve (2016-current)


Department Names:

Religion courses in the Department of Philosophy (1951-1970)

Department of Religious Studies (1970-current)

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