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Santa Barbara: Departments

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Religious Studies
Renaissance Studies

Religious Studies
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 program. source

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Renaissance Studies
There is no history currently available for this department.

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