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1 - For such a time as this: the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion, 1969–2009

Scott S. Elliott
Affiliation:
Adrian College, Michigan, USA
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Summary

My first encounter with professional societies in the field of religion was at Union Seminary, New York, in December of 1962. I was representing Fortress Press, newly minted by bringing under one roof the publishing arms of two Lutheran denominations that had merged. I had come on as one of two editors hired by the new press in September of that year.

The other new editor, Norman Hjelm (later Director of Fortress Press), and I had both graduated from university and seminary, had done some graduate work, and had been working as pastors. And we were white and male. In my case, it had been employment as a pastor in Princeton, after two years as a translator and editor at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva following a year on a Fulbright in Göttingen. In these respects we were fairly typical of the students I surveyed in 1969–70 for the chapter on graduate students in religion for Claude Welch's Graduate Education in Religion: A Critical Appraisal (1971: 203–19): religious background and often religious commitment; college or university; ministerial training in a professional school; graduate study in a divinity school institution and/or a university often connected with such; and (not least) white and male.

Our backgrounds were also similar to those of the members of the National Association of Biblical Instructors (NABI) and the Society of Biblical Literature meetings that December at Union. But changes were in the wings. Welch's groundbreaking book spelled out those changes and why they were occurring.

Type
Chapter
Information
Reinventing Religious Studies
Key Writings in the History of a Discipline
, pp. 1 - 30
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2013

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