Message from the Chair| September 1, 2008
Greetings from the Chair:
My colleagues are so easygoing and so modest that someone who does not know their written work cannot fully appreciate how intellectually ambitious and productive they are. They make exceptional scholarly contributions, and we have become a major center of Religious Studies. But most of you do know how distinguished they are as teachers, and that this remains their highest priority. I am honored to chair a department where colleagues talk (often, incessantly) about teaching, and where students (incessantly) come to my office to tell me of the impact a Religious Studies professor had on them. We never stop talking about how to become better teachers – indeed, one candidate for the Hinduism position this past year wrote that they noticed a “culture of teaching” in the department. Williamsburg may have been a tiny bit off the beaten path in the world of Religious Studies, but this is true no longer. A student who pursues a degree in Religious Studies, or a student who just takes a single course, will find committed mentors among my colleagues as well as brilliant scholars and distinguished teachers.
Marc Lee Raphael
Nathan and Sophia Professor of Judaic Studies and Director of the Program and Minor in Judaic Studies, and
Professor of Religious Studies and Chair,
Department of Religious Studies