Group Title: Connections : a newsletter for the Department of Religion at the University of Florida
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Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2006
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A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida Fall 2006

In his important book, Habits of the
Heart, Robert Bellah reminds us that all
communities have a history; in a significant
sense they are constituted by their past. In
order not to forget that past, a community
is involved in retelling its story, and in so
doing calls into awareness the people and
events that provide the larger context of
meaning out of which they have come to
understand themselves.
This department has such a history, one
that can be broadly placed within the larger
narratives of the evolution of the discipline
of religious studies at public universities in
the United States-and the evolution of the
University of Florida. But within that larger
context, it is the people who have studied in
this department, taught in this department,
supported, lead, and learned from this
department that together have created this
common past.
This October, on the occasion of the
department's 60th anniversary, we brought
back our retired and former faculty, our
alumni and long-term supporters and joined
them with the faculty, students, and com-
munity supporters of today for two days of
celebrating the department we have created
together. Memories of insight, memories
of struggles, and lots of good humor and

encouragement that have bound us together
were brought to mind in our private and
public conversations.
To prime that pump of conversation,
on the first evening I offered some remarks
on the early history of the department that
appear in abridged form in the following
pages. The more recent history can be gath-
ered from the department's newsletters and

from the faculty and students who populate
the department of today. But it is those
earlier years that seem now largely forgot-
ten and need to be remembered as part of
our common past. I especially wanted to
recognize the elders, some of whom were
with us, who gave us the first chapters of
our continuing story.
With this talk as a beginning, we con-

continued on page 8

From the Chair .............................................. ....................... 1 In Remembrance: Taylor Scott................................................ 7
A History of the Department of Religion
on the Occasion of Our 60th Anniversary ........................................ 2 Alumni Lecture Fund ................................... ............................... 7

A Histor1y( f th DIpartmen ofI (6) ligio

(n the Occasion ofQ'|] Our 60th Anaryl

by David Hackett

n his provocative book, The Soul ofthe
American University, historian George
Marsden argues that only a century ago,
almost all state universities held compulsory
chapel services, and some required Sunday
church attendance. As late as the 1950s, it
was not unusual for leading schools to refer
to themselves as "Christian" institutions.
While chapel may not have been
compulsory at the University of Florida,
as recently as 1952, Baptist minister and
University President J. Hillis Miller declared
that "there are no walls between student
religious centers and the university." At
Christmastime throughout much of the
1950s, Miller, and his successor J. Wayne

The decision to create a Department of Religion in 1946
was both a secularization from and a continuation of this
earlier model of the "Christian University."

Reitz, presided at a midnight service where
they delivered a Christian message and bless-
ing as students left for home for the holidays.
The decision to create a Department of
Religion in 1946 was both a secularization
from and a continuation of this earlier model
of the "Christian University." (Prior to 1946,
the only public university with a depart-
ment of religion was the University of Iowa,
which began its department in 1927. The
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
founded its department in 1947).
When Delton Scudder was hired to cre-

ate the Department of Religion he was given
two responsibilities:
1. to develop a curriculum in religion, and
2. to organize and develop student religious
It wasn't until the late 1960s that the
religion department's academic responsibili-
ties became wholly separated from its min-
isterial duties. Throughout these early years,
the department offices were set apart from
other academic departments and placed close
to student activities in the student union.

Religion in Life Week
One impact of the department upon
the university during the 1950s and
1960s was its development of what became
known as "Religion in Life Week." During
this "week," normal university activities
were altered so that all might participate.
In one broadside from this time period,
Liston Pope from Yale Divinity School is

to address the whole of the student body in
the Florida Gym on the topic "Is Learning
Enough," and down at the bottom it states
'All Classes Dismissed for the Convocation."
A typical Religion in Life Week began with


Uainrsty Coavocatfo

Tsday, February 20 10:35 A. M.
Hw4d Oyminuanm


raYe DiviMrfy School

All Clamsses Dmissed for Covocatiem

Sunday services in the town's denominational
churches and continued with large gather-
ings for addresses as well as smaller meetings
in academic departments and residence halls
throughout the university.
Through the eyes of today, we can see
that these events were primarily Protes-
tant, white, and male, reflecting the social
make-up of the university until at least
the late 1960s. Faculty from those days,
however, will tell you that women were
very much included in these events, both
as organizers and speakers, as were Catho-
lics and Jews. For the times, Religion in
Life Week was a challenging, progressive
experience where hot button issues of the
day were engaged by the finest speakers.
In 1951, the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop
of Jerusalem gave a talk on the four Dead
Sea Scrolls that he had just brought to the
United States. In 1962, Victor Frankl held
center stage with his address on "Man's
Search for Meaning." William Sloan
Coffin's keynote in 1965 called for civil
rights and integration. In the late 1960s,
Alan Watts, James Cone, and Eli Weisel
were participating.

pag 2a l 206 Cnnetins ANesltte o te eprten ofReigonatth Unvesiy f loid

For the times, Religion in Life Week was a challenging,
progressive experience where hot button issues of the day
were engaged by the finest speakers.

page 2

Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

Delton Scudder
Delton Scudder loomed large through-
out this period. He came to the univer-
sity from Yale, and through most of his 26
years as chair hired only full-dme faculty with
Yale PhDs. The apostolic succession included
Harry Philpot, Charles McCoy, Austin
Creel, and Dick Hiers.
Delton Scudder was universally known
as someone who cared deeply about his
students' learning and welfare. Typically, he
would appear on campus, cigar in mouth,
lugging two heavy old, battered, leather, suit-
case-size briefcases stuffed with charts, lists,
and other materials he was going to distribute
to the hundred or so students he was about to
Beyond his teaching, Delton functoned
as de facto minister to the university in both
solemn occasions and times of crisis. Among
his files are invocations dedicating new
residence halls, prayers at commencement
services, and funeral sermons for university
presidents. Two days after the death of John
E Kennedy, Dr. Scudder gave a spell-binding
address to a packed Florida Gym that lead the
entire university toward an understanding of
what had just transpired.
By the mid-1960s, Delton, along with
Austin Creel, Dick Hiers and others, had
shaped a 12-course curriculum. The origi-
nal core of this curriculum was the Bible,
Religion in American Life, and Comparative
Religion, and from there it branched out to
Ethics and Philosophy.

The Academic
Study of Religion
In his book on The Soul ofthe American
University, George Marsden tells us that
during and after the 1960s Protestant aca-
demic leaders gradually gave way to secular,
non-religious forces that shaped the university
largely through a curriculum connected to the
larger, market-driven society. What this meant
for departments of religion was a separation
from their ministerial role, a greater recogni-
tion of religious pluralism, and a new effort
to justify their existence on the high ground
of objective, value-free academic inquiry.
Harbingers of these developments at the
University of Florida can be seen in a 1958
Study of the department directed by Delton
continued on pave 4

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Delton L. Scudder...........1946-1995
Harry M. Philpott..............1948-1952
Nolan P. Jacobson............. 1953-1954
Charles S. McCoy..............1954-1959
Austin B. Creel.................1957-1998
T. Z. Koo ......................... 1959-1960
Shao C. Lee......................1959-1960
Hajime Nakamura.............. 1960-1961
Richard H. Hiers................1961-2003
Samuel A. Banks ..............1962-1974
Michael V. Gannon............ 1967-1985
W. Thaxton Springfield ......1968-1970
Corbin S. Carnell.............1969-1979
Barry Mesch..................... 1969-1992
Robert E Smylie...............1969-1973
Harold M. Stahmer............ 1969-1995
Gene R. Thursby.............. 1970-
Robert Taylor Scott............ 1971-1981
SamuelS. Hill.................. 1972-1994
Sheldon R. Isenberg ...........1973-
Dennis E. Owen.................1974-2000
John P.Leavey, Jr...............978-1979
Ronald A. Carson............. 1979-1981
Russell L. Jaberg...............979-1992
Michael L. Eldridge............1983-1986
Theodor H. Gaster...........985-1987

Vasudha Narayanan............ 1982-
J. Patout Burns................. 1986-1991
David G. Hackett.............986-
Azim Nanji....................... 1988-1999
James R. Mueller..............1988-
Diedre Crumbley ............. 1992-1998
Miriam B. Peskowitz ..........1994-2000
Chi-Wah Chan.................1994-1997
Anna L. Peterson..............994-
Manuel A. Vasquez............. 1994-
Tanya Storch.................. 1998-2000
Leo D. Sandgren .............2002-
Zoharah Simmons..............2000-
Richard C. Foltz..............2000-2006
Leah Hochman ...............2000-
Gwynn Kessler ...................2001-
Mario Poceski..................2001-
Bron R. Taylor.................2003-
Jason E. Neelis.................2003-
Nina Caputo ...................2003-2004
Robin M. Wright ............2005-
Jalane D. Schmidt...........2005-
Robert S. Kawashima.........2006-
A. Whitney Sanford ...........2007-
Travis L. Smith................2007-
Gregory W. Goering...........2007-

[ "

Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

page 3

History, continued from page 3

Scudder (with our Advisory Board member
Perry Foote as a student member) that made
two important recommendations:
1. responsibility for directing religious activi-
tes should be moved out of the depart-
ment and placed under the Dean of
Students, and
2. the department offices should be moved
out of the Union and placed alongside
other academic departments.
Gradually these recommendations came into
The addition of Austin Creel in 1958
and Richard Hiers in 1961 also anticipated
these new developments. Though both Yale
men, they had the academic training that
Delton lacked in Comparative Religion and
Bible, respectively. The addition of Gene
Thursby in 1970, from Duke to be sure but
also a Protestant minister, further secured the
department's Asian course offerings.
A number of other faculty passed
through the department during these
and later years. These included Thaxton
Springfield, Delt's Methodist minister from
across the street, who was a significant pres-
ence in the 1950s, and Taylor Scott, who
passed away just this last year and taught
in the department until 1980 (See In
Remembrance, page 7). Each of these people
and others contributed to the life of the

Several of our department elders, along
with others who have supported us, are
with us today.
Let's begin with Austin Creel. Austin's
leadership skills were on display during the
13 years he served as chair between 1977 and
1990. In 1988, then Dean Charles Sidman
praised him for "the nucleus of strength, and
of common sense and collegiality, that now
permeates the department." It is to Austin
that we owe the far-sighted creation of the
department's Advisory Board long before
other departments began to move in this
direction. And it is to Austin we owe not only
the solid foundations for the department's
Asian curricular offerings, but too the found-
ing in 1973 of the College's Asian Studies
Program. Finally, Austin put us on the road
to computerization. A development we wel-
comed with appropriate rituals and blessings.
Dick Hiers served the department even
longer than Delton or Austin, retring
after more than 40 years in 2003. As many
of you know, Dick's early career was in Bible
and Ethics; this expanded in the mid-1980s
to the Law. While still teaching in the depart-
ment, he was able to get a UF law degree,
ranking high in his class, and then served a
clerkship to Judge Jerre S. Williams of the
United States Court of Appeals' Fifth Circuit
in Austin, Texas. Dick was most known at
UF for his tireless work on committees and in

the UF Senate where he was a vocal advocate
of proper procedures and academic freedom.
He was one of the College's main links to the
law school and was a mainstay of the local Phi
Beta Kappa chapter. For those of us still in
the department the image of his upright-walk,
floppy hat, briefcase in hand, and ready smile
can still be seen today.
Also in this late 1960s time period, the
department signaled a significant step toward
religious pluralism by hiring Michael Gannon
and Barry Mesch.
Michael Gannon, who went on to a
distinguished career in administration and
in history at the university and has only
recently retired, was then Father Gannon,
the Newman Center priest. In 1962, Mike
completed a history Ph.D. at UF and was
subsequently hired into both the Department
of Religion and the Department of History.
During the late 1960s student protests, Mike
was the strongest moral voice within the uni-
In 1969, Barry Mesch was hired from
graduate school at Brandeis and, over the
next decade, brought the academic study of
Judaism to campus. In 1973, Barry founded
the Jewish Studies Center and was its Director
for ten years. He was instrumental in bring-
ing to our library the core of our world class
Judaica collection and initiated the first study
abroad program in Israel. As Austin Creel
put it, Barry was universally known for his
"conscientious attention to matters of student
welfare." There are former students among
us today-I think of Fred Chaiken-whose
lives were changed through the teaching and
counsel of Barry Mesch. Barry left us in the
early 1990s to become the Provost at Hebrew
College in Brookline, Massachusetts, but he is
here today.
By 1970, these six faculty: Scudder,
Creel, and Hiers now joined by Gannon,
Mesch, and Thursby produced a self-study
that is noteworthy for its attention to aca-
demic rigor and scholarly publications. The
following year, Sam Hill was brought in from
the University of North Carolina to chair the
department. Department memos from the
1970s period forward increasingly concern
themselves with faculty grants, publications,
and the need to carve out time for research.
Service to the university, in the familiar form
of participation on committees, continued at
full throttle yet the department's overtly min-
isterial dues to the university clearly waned.
What remained constant was a focus on the
nurture of students within and without the

newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

This brings me to Sam Hill. If ever
there was a church for the study of southern
religion, Sam Hill would have his own cha-
pel. Twelve years after retirement from the
University of Florida Sam's work is still the
starting point for anyone seeking to delve into
this area of study. His Southern Churches in
Crisis was a blockbuster, and other important
works followed. To switch metaphors, if ever
there was an award for itinerancy in bringing
the message of the study of southern religion
to nearly every college in this vast region and
beyond, Sam would get it. By the 1980s, his
cv listed more than forty separate addresses
and fifteen endowed lectureships.
At the end of his career, Sam devoted his
time to the teaching of Ethics to a devoted
undergraduate following. When I first came
on the faculty, he pulled me aside to say that
what we really were doing in our teaching was
"character formation." One could not have
found a better mentor in this than Sam.
In 1974, Sam Hill remarked, "My
young colleague, Gene Thursby, is very
bright, exceptionally industrious, and keenly
committed to his professional work. His
research energies and capabilities are pro-
digious. His teaching performance is also
outstanding. His use of innovative teaching
materials and techniques is extensive and
discriminating." Throughout his career, Gene
has been an outstanding teacher. His use of
innovative teaching techniques has reached
its fruition in this computer age. Gene is the
electronic subject editor for a variety of Asian
religious and new religious movement topics.
Google up "Gene Thursby" and away you
will go. These last few years, Gene's scholar-
ship has experienced an unusual flowering
with the publication of new books on the

Hindu World, Religions of South Asia, and
Modern Hinduism.
During the 1970s, three other faculty
joined the department through circuitous
In 1969, Harold Stahmer was a
Professor of Religion at Barnard College
when his interest and activism in the civil
rights movement brought him to the
University of Florida. As an Associate Dean at
UE Hal played a major role in the integration
of the university. He was also instrumental in
establishing the Women's Studies Program,
the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for
Gerontological Studies, and the Criminal
Justice Program. Following his years in
administration, Hal joined the department as
a professor of religion and philosophy.
Dennis Owen and Shaya Isenberg came
to the department following the closing of the
old University College
and the integration
of its faculty into Department
departments across the 1970s p
the university. Dennis increasingly
officially became
a member of the selves with J
department in 1979 publications,
and departed in 2000.
As Delton carve out tin,
Scudder retired, he
passed on several mantles. To Dennis was
passed the appetite for teaching literally hun-
dreds of students each semester, advising our
undergraduate majors and, in the 1990s, our
graduate students as well. Will Setliffis one of
our graduates from the 1990s who came all
the way from Minnesota to be with us today.
As Will told me, "Dr. Owen inspired
me to pursue a major in Religion. It wasn't
blatant persuasion, rather it was his
passion exhibited by his willingness
to spend hours talking with students
outside of class that brought to life
a perspective within me that the
religious experience is a great lens
through which to acknowledge,
examine, and relate to all aspects of
the human condition."
Like Gene Thursby, Shaya
Isenberg is still with us but close
to retirement, so I am joining him
with this merry band of the 1970s
and 1980s. It is worth noting how
many times the word "wise" is used
to describe Shaya. Especially in his
years as chair and now, with Gene,
as Department Elder, Shaya has
been a sober, steadying influence
bringing insight and compassion to
departmental complexities as they
have arisen.



Part of Shaya's legacy will certainly be
institutional building. With Barry Mesch
he started the Center for Jewish Studies and
raised the initial funds for its now glorious
library. Way back in 1974, he began, with
Sidney Homan in English, a interdisciplin-
ary Presidents' Scholars Program that is a
forerunner of the Honors Program today. The
Center for Spirituality and Health could not
have reached its current flowering without
Shaya's discernment and energies as Associate
Director. And he was a guiding force behind
the creation of both our MA. program in
1990 and our Ph.D. Program in 2003.
Patout Burns is a superb Augustine
scholar who is now the Edward A. Malloy
Professor of Catholic Studies at Vanderbilt
University. Back in 1985, as the story goes,
then Dean Charles Sidman took a look over
at the Protestants and Jews in the Department
of Religion and gave
m from us two positions in
memos from Catholicism. Patout
riod forward and I came to the
concern them- department as a
result of that deci-
'culty grants, sion.
ndthe needto In his short
f. time with us,
,for research. Patout was thrust
into administra-
tive responsibilities: serving on the Executive
Committee of the Philosophy Department
and the College's new Tenure and Promotion
Committee, which Dean Sidman had cre-
ated. During this time, as Austin has stated,
Patout gave unstintinglyy of his time and
provided fresh perspective and judgment on
many matters. continued on pge 6
continued on page 6

Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Fk

History, continued from page 5

Toward the Future
f you are following along on a timeline, we
are only now around 1988 but we have
run out of retired and former faculty who are
present, though we still have a couple of oth-
ers, and we will get to them. But, if you want
to know about the last 15 years or so, here is
a brief sketch.
On one hand, there are marked con-
tinuities with the past. Though a great deal
has changed in the field of religious studies
in the 60 years since Delton Scudder's origi-
nal curriculum of Bible, Ethics, Religion in
American Life and Comparative Religion
was taught (entirely by him), we have con-
tinuity today in the biblical field with the
efforts of Leo Sandgren, Jim Mueller (when
not in the Dean's Office) and, most recently,
Robert Kawashima and Greg Goering. In
Ethics, we have Anna Peterson and Bron
Taylor. The Religion in American Life
mantle has been passed from Delton to Sam
and Dennis and now to me. In Comparative
Religion, which in Delton's teaching meant a
three-course sequence in first, Hinduism and
Islam, second, Buddhism and Chinese reli-
gions, and third, Judaism and Christianity,
we have had a flowering of new faculty. Next
fall, Travis Smith will be joining Vasudha
Narayanan in teaching Hinduism. Azim
Nanji, our chair in the early 1990s was hired
to teach Islam, as was Richard Foltz (who
has departed), leaving Zoharah Simmons
to carry that mantle. Jason Neelis and
Mario Poceski cover Buddhism and Chinese
Religions, while Leah Hochman, Gwynn
Kessler and Robert Kawashima have carried
forward with Shaya Isenberg the study of
Judaism. In broad, these are all continuities
with Delt's original curriculum.
Quite different from the past, on the
other hand, is our social make-up. Prior to
the hiring ofVasudha Narayanan in 1982,
the permanent department faculty were all
white men. And it would be 1993 before
another woman would be hired-Anna
Peterson. But this social composition was
actually on par with other university and reli-
gion departments across the United States.
One way of looking at departmental
hiring over the last ten years is that we have
become substantially more diverse. We
now number 17 and this includes seven
women, three African-Americans, two Asian-
Americans, and one Hispanic.
Another new direction has been the
development of our doctoral program with
its three unique tracks in: the Religions of
Asia, Religion and Nature, and Religion in

What is striking today is that, unlike the past, our depart-
ment has no normative religion, geographic area or method.
It is the kind of department that is best equipped to cre-
atively respond and contribute to an understanding of reli-
gion as it is lived today.

the Americas. In Religion in the Americas,
this has meant the hiring of new faculty
with exciting new teaching areas, like Robin
Wright's focus on Indigenous Religions,
Jalane Schmidt's expertise in the African
Diaspora, Manuel Vasquez's interests in
Globalization, and the training of all three
in Latin American religions. In Religion and
Nature it has meant the creation of a whole
new field by ethicists Bron Taylor and Anna
Peterson and Hinduism scholar Whitney
Sanford. And in Religions of Asia, this has
meant a new focus on the transmission and
interaction of Asian religions as they move
across and beyond Asia.
How this doctoral program came about
is a story unto itself, but it could not have
happened without the support and encour-
agement of Dean Neil Sullivan. By provid-
ing us with the funding we needed to attract
first-rate graduate students, and to hire fac-
ulty in new and innovative areas, Neil made
it possible for us to realistically see ourselves
as comparable to the best public university
religious studies departments (Like North
Carolina, Indiana, and Santa Barbara).
Along with Neil Sullivan, we are espe-
cially thankful to our Advisory Board. Board
members who are present include: Dick
Petry, Gene Zimmerman, Perry Foote, Ralph
Nicosia, Vernon Swartsell, and Linda Wells.
Like many of our Board members,
Linda Wells was a major player in Religion
in Life Week when she was an undergradu-
ate and before she went off to law school.
When Austin Creel first formed the Board in
the 1980s, it was Linda who chaired it and
continues to lead us now. Throughout these
years and especially since the creation of our
Ph.D. program she has supported our efforts
to grow and sustain our doctoral program. I
want to thank her now for all of us for stand-
ing with the department now and in the
Perry Foote, as I have mentioned,
was the President of the Student Religion
Association when he was here as a stu-
dent and a member of Delton Scudder's
Committee that re-evaluated the depart-
ment in the mid-1950s. Perry has had a
distinguished career as a doctor here in
Gainesville. He has also been a member of
the Advisory Board for many years. In recent

years Perry has made a commitment to create
an endowed chair in Christian Ethics to be
known as the Samuel S. Hill Jr. Chair.
Finally, I want especially to thank
Cecilia Rodriguez-Armas our business
manager, and Annie Newman, our senior
secretary, and those who have gone before
them in these positions. And then there are
our students, old and new, many of whom
are here today, who continue to stimulate us.

oward the end of George Marsden's
book on the Soul of the American
University, he observes with approval the
decline in the belief that there can be any-
thing like objective, value-free knowledge.
Scholars have interpretive perspectives that
they bring to their research. I cannot speak
for the department here, but I see this as an
opportunity for multiple religious and cultur-
al voices to be heard. We will be able to talk
about this more tomorrow in the common
conversation led by John Sommerville.
But let me say this, in my understand-
ing, the Department of Religion today is
an increasingly plural environment where
we live in overlapping neighborhoods that
come together for both immediate and
longer-term conversations. Our established
fields of research are our neighborhoods,
Bible, Jewish Studies, Islam, Buddhism,
Hinduism, Christianity, African Religions
and Indigenous Religions. Yet our neighbor-
hoods also come together not only in our
three doctoral tracks of Asia, Nature, and
the Americas but also in such areas as Ethics,
Gender, and Method and Theory. And our
neighborhoods are part of a larger city called
religion. Though we may understand the
term in different ways, it provides us with
our common identity. What is striking today
is that, unlike the past, our department has
no normative religion, geographic area or
method. It is the kind of department that is
best equipped to creatively respond and con-
tribute to an understanding of religion as it is
lived today.
So we are thankful to each one of you
who has come here today, and to the many
who are not here, who have contributed
great and small to the origins, growth, and
development of this department.

page 6 Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

page 6

Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

n 1970, Taylor Scott was appointed
Assistant Professor of Religion at the
University of Florida. Born in Richmond,
Virginia, in 1931, Taylor was ordained as
an Episcopal priest in 1956 and received
his PhD from Duke in 1971. At UF he
was known for his brilliant classroom per-
formance and was chosen to receive the
Excellence in Teaching Award in the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences. During his ten
years on our faculty, Taylor was selected to
conduct a pilot course on the Humanities
and Professions, funded by the National
Endowment for the Humanities, and
received three summer appointments as an
NEH Fellow. His students, many years later,
still stopped him in Gainesville to tell him
how much they loved his classes.
In 1980, Bishop Tom Fraser persuaded
Taylor to leave UF to found the Center for
Continuing Education for the Diocese of
North Carolina in Raleigh. During that
time, Taylor was also a Visiting Instructor of
Religion at the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro and served as the Episcopal
Chaplain at Duke.

Because of his outstanding work in con-
tinuing education in Raleigh, he was invited
in 1984 to become the inaugural Director of
Academic Affairs at the College of Preachers
at the National Cathedral in Washington.
Later, Taylor joined the Department of
Philosophy and Religious Studies at Francis
Marion University in Florence, North
Carolina, where he served with distinction
until his retirement in 2001. During his time
in Florence, Taylor was also Vicar of Christ
Church, where he was much beloved and
Following his retirement, Taylor moved
back to Florida and bought a house in the
newly formed community of Palm Coast,
just south of Crescent Beach. He served in
interim capacities at Holy Trinity Parish and
the Chapel of the Incarnation in Gainesville
and taught part-time at Stetson where his
good friend Ron Hall was by then the chair
of the Department of Philosophy.
Taylor died this past spring. He is sur-
vived by his wife Carol Enge Goldman, his
daughter Carter, an opera singer, and his
physician son R. Taylor Scott V

Aumn] Le 1ctur Fund U116

The Department of Religion hopes to provide students with academic
experiences that will offer perspectives on religion's role in our everyday lives.
We hope that through an Alumni Lecture Series and other activities both
students and alumni will gain insights from some of today's most brilliant
minds. These occasions will also offer the opportunity for today's classes to
connect with those who came before them.
Please consider a gift to the Department of Religion to support the
department's critical educational activities for those following in your foot-
steps. Please complete the form and return to the address below. Thanks for
your support!
David Hackett, Chair

Yes! I would like to support the Alumni Lecture Series! (Fund #00767)

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Foundation, Inc., PO. Box 14425, Gainesville FL 32604-2425

Fall200, Cnnetion, ANewleter o th Deartent f Rligon t th Unverityof Foria pgeI

Fall 2006, Connections, A Newsletter of the Department of Religion at the University of Florida

page 7

From the Chair, continued from page 1

tinued the conversation in the reception that
followed. The following day, John Sommer-
ville-a good friend of the department and
emeritus history professor-lead us in chew-
ing through contemporary issues confront-
ing "Religion and the Public University,"
based on his well received new book (The
Decline of the Secular University, Oxford),
before we broke up into smaller groups to
continue that conversation and have lunch.
We closed our time together with a gala
reception that included Latin music and an
open mike at the Thomas Center.
A good time was had by all.

Department of Religion
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
107 Anderson Hall
P.O. Box 117410
Gainesville, FL 32611-7410
Telephone: 352-392-1625
Fax: 352-392-7395



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