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In Memoriam: Don S. Browning

Don S. Browning, an AAR member since 1966, passed away of cancer on June 10, 2010. Active in the Christian Spirituality and Childhood Studies and Religion program units of the Annual Meeting, Browning worked to bridge the study of religion with other disciplines, including psychology and law, and issues such as marriage and family.

Browning had interests in the relation of religious thought to the social sciences, specifically in the way theological ethics may employ sociology, psychology, and the social scientific study of religion. An interest in issues and methods in practical theology led to his work, A Fundamental Practical Theology: With Descriptive and Strategic Proposals (Augsburg Fortress Press, 1991). He also coauthored From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (Westminster John Knox Press, 2000).

Browning was an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Browning was a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School for nearly forty years.

In Memoriam: James C. Livingston

James C. Livingston, a longstanding member of the AAR, retired professor of religion, and former dean of the undergraduate program at the College of William of Mary, died on July 31, 2011, of a stroke at the age of eighty-one.

Livingston served on the clergy staff of Riverside Church and Central Presbyterian Church in New York City before beginning his teaching career at Southern Methodist University in 1963. In 1968, he joined the College of William and Mary faculty as the founding head of the department of religion. He taught at the College of William and Mary for thirty years and retired there in 1998 as the Walter G. Mason Professor of Religion.

Livingston is the author or editor of numerous books in the field of religion, including Anatomy of the Sacred (Prentice Hall, 6th ed., 2008) and Modern Christian Thought: The Enlightenment and the Nineteenth Century (Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006). He served as a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Livingston received the Outstanding Faculty Award of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Award at the College of William and Mary.

In Memoriam: Lionel (Lee) Whiston Jr.

Lionel (Lee) Whiston Jr., a professor emeritus of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, died last night of natural causes. Whiston was 93 years old. In 1960 he served as the president of the AAR.

A graduate of Bates College in Maine, Whiston received his bachelor of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in 1942. He completed his ThD at Harvard University in 1951.

He was ordained in the Congregational Christian Churches (now the UCC). Whiston was author of The Unfolding Message of the Bible (Pilgrim Press, 1961) and served as the Old Testament abstract editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

Carol Lytch to Lead Lancaster Seminary

Rev. Carol E. Lytch has recently become the first woman to helm Lancaster Seminary, the 185-year-old ecumenical graduate school of theology. Lytch, a nationally known leader in theological education, has been named the seminary’s eleventh president. She assumed her role in mid-August.

Lytch was previously assistant executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Association of Theological Schools, an accrediting agency that serves 260 Protestant and Catholic theological graduate schools in the United States and Canada. Lytch was chosen by a ten-member search committee and unanimously approved as the seminary’s new president by its board of trustees.

A cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Lytch earned her master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and her doctorate from Emory University in the department of ethics and society. Her dissertation focused on the faith development of church-affiliated high school youth, a topic that has continued to inform her scholarship over the years.

Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion Lands $6.2M Grant from Lilly Endowment

Wabash College is getting a $6.2 million grant to boost the Center’s efforts to support professors who teach religious studies or theology.

The three-year Lilly Endowment grant will allow the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to continue offering workshops, off-site support, and new initiatives through 2015.

In the past fifteen years, 900 faculty members have taken part in workshops and seminars at the center. It’s also awarded nearly $12 million worth of grants to more than 275 institutions and 500 individuals.

Religion News Service Becomes a Nonprofit Journalism Site

Thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Religion News Service became a nonprofit as of June 1. What will this mean to nonprofit journalism and to the coverage of religion? Reportedly, the for-profit version of RNS suffered mightily. Some 25 to 30 percent of daily newspapers have unsubscribed from the service during the past five years.

The conversion — and the Lilly grant — will allow RNS to increase its staffing, add some multimedia journalism, and increase coverage on beats such as Islam in the United States and the intersection of religion and politics. Part of the RNS nonprofit plan is to create twenty local community-based websites for local or regional coverage of religion.

General Seminary Announces Partnership with Candler School of Theology

The General Theological Seminary in New York and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta will share library resources, collaborate on educational programs, and exchange both students and faculty members under a partnership announced August 15. The arrangement will begin this fall with a program of sharing library resources and the exchange program for students is slated to begin in the 2012–2013 academic year.

The sharing of library resources between the two institutions involves the physical transfer of 80,000 to 90,000 volumes from the Keller Library at GTS to the Pitts Theology Library at Candler, including books in English and world history and languages, as well as other materials of interest to a large university but without a specifically Anglican focus. Candler will extend library privileges, including the loan of books, use of study carrels, use of special collections and electronic access to GTS under certain terms and conditions. 

According to the document signed by both institutions, the agreement on student exchange was reached "in the conviction that such an exchange would enhance the education and mutual understanding of both groups of students." Participating students would remain enrolled at their home institution and would pay its tuition fees while studying at the host institution, either for a full academic year or a single semester.


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.