Department of Religion
Faculty - Luther H. Martin
Professor Martin specializes in the study of Hellenistic (Graeco-Roman) religions as well as in theoretical and methodological issues in the study of religion. In addition to graduate study at Universitäts Göttingen and post-graduate study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Yeshiva University in New York City and the American Academy in Rome, he holds advanced degrees from Drew University (1962, 1963) and the Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School (1972). He is a member and active participant in the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the International Association for the History of Religions, and the North American Association for the Study of Religion of which he is a founding member. He is currently Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont where he has been teaching for over thirty years. He served as chair of the department from 1978-1991, was named a University Scholar in 1993-1994, and was the founder and first director of the John Dewey Honors Program of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1994-1996. His publications include: Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 1967), six edited volumes of essays on aspects of theory and method in the study of religion including, most recently,The Academic Study of Religion During the Cold War: East and West (Lang, 2001) and Theoretical Frameworks for the Study of Graeco-Roman Religions (University Studio Press, 2003), and over 50 scholarly articles and 35 reviews in his field as well as contributions to various dictionaries and encyclopedias. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, and Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, and he is an editor of a series on the Cognitive Science of Religion (AltaMira Press). During the fall 2006 semester, Professor Martin is in residence at Queen's University, Belfast where he has been appointed Distinguished International Fellow at the Institute for Cognition and Culture.
Martin currently teaches courses on Hellenistic religions, on Christian origins, and on various aspects of theory and method. His approach to the study of religion is historical and comparative as formulated theoretically according to scientific (academic) principles. He is currently interested in the empirical researches of cognitive psychologists and in social theory, especially as these are related to each other and as they may be tested by and be applied to historical and anthropological data.