Santa Barbara: Departments
The Department of Religious Studies on the
Santa Barbara campus, the first of its kind within the University,
was officially organized on July 1, 1964 under the chairmanship
of D. Mackenzie Brown. The formal curricular program in religion
had its beginnings, however, in the interest of Brown (a political
scientist with special competence in Asian Studies) to provide an
opportunity for the objective study of the role and nature of religion
in eastern and western cultures.
In 1954, a faculty committee was appointed to
consider "the introduction into our College curriculum of a course,
or courses, in the field of religion." Religious Institutions, a
course under the special sponsorship of political science, was established
in 1958 within the College of Letters and Science and a course in
Western Religious Heritage, along with another offering in Group
Studies in Religious Institutions, was announced. In 1959, a faculty
committee composed of Brown (chairman) and Professors Cornelius
H. Muller of botany and William F. Kennedy of economics was appointed.
Additional courses in Contemporary Religious Movements and Comparative
Religion were given in the same year. Paul Tillich was appointed
as visiting professor in 1962 and a major in this field was authorized.
In 1963, the title of the program was changed to religious studies
and Tillich rejoined the faculty in the second semester, 1964-65,
at which time some 500 students and 12 majors were enrolled in the
There is no history currently available
for this department.