Williams Named Distinguished Alumnus at Disciples Divnity House• July 21, 2004
Professor of Religion Emeritus Raymond Williams H'68
The award cited Williams as a “servant and model of excellence in teaching, learning, ministry, and scholarship.”
Williams became a Disciples Divinity House Scholar in 1960 and earned the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees there. He trained as a scholar of the New Testament and became one of the foremost interpreters of immigrants and their religious traditions. His numerous books include studies of Swaminarayan Hinduism, Indian immigrant experiences, and Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America. At the same time, he never stopped teaching his “academic ‘first love,’” the New Testament.
In 1996, Williams founded the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.
“I think that good teaching enhances the lives of teachers and students,” Williams commented in a recent interview in the Center’s journal, Teaching Theology and Religion. “Students who catch a glimmer of what it means to be a truly educated and self-educating person, and the potential that opens up for them, experience a deep joy.”