Religion Studies Department
Susan L. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion Studies
Director, Interdisciplinary Minor in Asian Traditions
EDUCATION : Degrees Earned
Ph.D.Religion and Culture, Syracuse University, Department of Religion, 1982.
Doctoral Comprehensive Examinations passed with commendation.
Dissertation : Orpheus Remembered: Images of Death in Life
M.A. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, Department of Religious Studies, 1975.
Thesis: Thracian Orpheus: A Mythological "First Shaman"
B.A. State University of New York at Buffalo, Magna Cum Laude, 1971.
Major: Classical Civilization; Minor: Literature.
ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
1975-76 Harvard University. Courses and research in Classics, Religion, Indology, Psychology and Anthropology; primary work with Professors Albert Lord, Emily Vermeule, Diana Eck, and William Rogers (School of Divinity). Language Studies in Greek and Sanskrit.
1971 Fulbright Fellowship Program in India. Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, India. Studies in the Religions and Cultures of India, Mythology, Literature, Fine Arts.
Language Proficiency: Greek, Sanskrit, German, French
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION AND TEACHING EXPERTISE
Religions of India
Hindu Mythology and Iconography, Performing Arts
Gender, Sexuality and Women in Religion
History of Religions
Major religious traditions and movements as well as non-literate traditions from historical, comparative and anthropological perspectives, myth, ritual and symbol.
Religion and Psychology
The relationship between Religion and Psychology and the perspectives of Freud, Jung, Hillman and others upon religious imagery and phenomenology.
Religion and Literature
Focus upon those works in which religion and literature are pushed beyond their traditional boundaries and, at times, become part of the same enterprise. Authors of continuing interest are Salman Rushdie, Russell Hoban, Nikos Kazantzakis, Alan Lightman, Toni Morrison, Bharati Mukherjee, R.K. Narayan.
2012 - Current Professor of Religion, Muhlenberg College.
1997- 2012 Associate Professor of Religion, Muhlenberg College. New courses: Religions of Star Trek (Fall 1998), Introduction to Asian Cultures and Civilizations (Spring 1999), Religion and Performing Arts in India (Fall 1999), First Year Seminar Magic and Mystery (Fall 1999). Spring 1999, Consortium Professor at Lehigh University: Religions of India.
1994-97 Assistant Professor of Religion, Muhlenberg College. Courses taught: First Year Seminars: Mythologies of the Quest; Time Traks; Myth, Symbol and Ritual; Religions of India; Psychology of Religion; Theory and Method in the Study of Religion; Religion and Eastern Literature; Introduction to Religion East and West
1993-1994 Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion Studies, Lehigh University, Department of Religion Studies. Courses taught: The Feminine in South Asia (Cross-listed with Women's Studies), Introduction to Religions of the World (multiple sections), Religions of India
1986-1993 Lecturer in Religion, Muhlenberg College, Department of Religion. Courses taught: Asian Religions, Religions of India, Psychology of Religion, Myth, Ritual and Symbol, Religion and Literature, Jewish and Christian Heritage, Introduction to Religion East and West, Freshman Seminar: The Quest. Freshman advisor; Religion Department major and minor advisor.
1989-1990 Consortium Professor, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges. Fall 1989, Lafayette College, Spring 1991, Cedar Crest College. Courses taught: Psychology of Religion; Myth, Ritual and Symbol.
1984-1992 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Religion Studies, Lehigh University. Courses taught: Religions of India, Introduction to Religions of the World, Myth and Meaning in Religion.
RECENT PAPERS PRESENTED
Dune: Religion is the Spice of Life, 2011, American Academy of Religion Annual Meetings, San Francisco, California
Time is of Essence: Hindu Cosmology in Science Fiction, November, 2009, American Academy of Religion Annual Meetings, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Rasa/Rakta: Transformations in Red,November 2007, Dharma Association of North America at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings, San Diego, California.
The Mysterious Powers of a Woman’s Blood: The Case of The Red Violin, November 2004, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings, San Antonio, Texas.
Getting Lost in the Part: Religion as Performing Arts in India, April 2002, Association of Asian Studies Annual Meetings, Washington, D.C.
She Stands Before Us to Bear Witness's: The Arangetram and the Bat Mitzvah in the Diaspora, November 2001, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings, Denver, Co.
Understanding Indian Aesthetics in the Context of a Secularized Culture, January 2001, India International Centre, Delhi, India.
Teaching India Through the Arts, October 2000, Association for Asian Studies Mid-Atlantic Regional Meetings, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.
I Dream, Therefore I Am: What Dreams May Come. November 2000, National Meetings of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, Religion and Film Section, Boston, MA.
Does A Course Named "Light From the East" Suggest There is No "Light in the West"? November 2000. National Meetings of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, Academic Teaching and Study of Religion Section, Boston, MA..
"Rasa/Rakta: Transformations in Red." In Emotion, Imagination, Transformation: The Indian Theory of Rasa: DHB Academic Publishers, Hampton, VA, 2012.
Through a Glass Darkly: Magic and Religion in Western Thought and Practice, in Performing Magic on the Western Stage, From the Eighteenth Century to the Present,Palgrave Macmillan, December, 2008.
Magic, Irrationality, and the Shifting Tectonics of Reality, in Disturbances in the Field, Spring Journal Inc., 2006
Rasa: Performing the Divine in India. Columbia University Press, 2004.
The Religions of Star Trek, 2001,Westview Press, co-authoredwith Professors Ross S. Kraemer, Brown University and William Cassidy, Alfred University.
I Dream, Therefore I Am: What Dreams May Come, in The Journal of Religion and Film, online at
www.unomaha.edu/jrf/IDream.htm, Volume 4, Number 1, 2000.
Does a Course Named "Light From the East" Suggest There Is No "Light in the West"? Teaching Asian Traditions at Church-Related Colleges, in Bulletin of The Council For The Study of Religion, Volume 29 Number 1, February 2000.
GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
Muhlenberg College Summer Faculty Development Grant, 2000
Muhlenberg College Summer Faculty Development Grant, 1998
Muhlenberg College Travel Grant to India for December, 1997
Muhlenberg College Summer Development Grant, 1995
First Year Advisor of the Year Award, Muhlenberg College, 1995.
Lilly Foundation/American Academy of Religion Grant to participate in a year-long
Teaching Workshop, 1993-94.
Muhlenberg College Faculty Workshop on Gender Issues, June 1991.
LVAIC Consortium Professorships, 1989-90; 1999
Teaching Assistantship, Syracuse University Department of Religion, 1977-80.
Teaching Assistantship, Indiana University at Bloomington, 1974-75.
Fulbright Fellowship to India, 1971.