University of Vermont

University Communications


Professor and Chair
Arts & Sciences
Public Relations:Lee Ann Cox (802)656-1107
Specialty:religion and human culture, religion and reality
Biography:Paden, professor and chair of the Department of Religion, has been a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford (1999, 1992), and spent time as a research fellow in Japan (1999, 1992). He is particularly interested in ways of interpreting religion as a multi-faceted subject, requiring not only multiple points of view and forms of analysis but also considerable cross-cultural perspective, which is necessary for freeing our conceptualizations from Euro-centric biases and notions. He is trying to explore what the study of religion can show us about human behavior, culture, and the nature/process of world (or reality) construction. Publications include RELIGIOUS WORLDS: THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF RELIGION and INTERPRETING THE SACRED: WAYS OF VIEWING RELIGION. Recent articles have focused on key categories of comparison used in religious studies. Examples are: "Sacrality as Integrity: `Sacred Order' as a Model for Describing Religious Worlds," in THE SACRED AND ITS SCHOLARS (Brill, 1996); "Elements of a New Comparativism," in METHOD AND THEORY IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION; "Universals Revisited: Human Behaviors and Cultural Variables," in NUMEN; "The Concept of World Habitation: Eliadian Linkages with a New Comparativism," ii CHANGING RELIGIOUS WORLDS; "World," in THE STUDY OF RELIGION; "The Creation of Human Behavior: Reconciling Durkheim and the Study of Religion" REAPPRAISING DURKHEIM FOR THE STUDY AND TEACHING OF RELIGION TODAY; and "Religion, World, Plurality," SECULAR THEORIES ON RELIGION: CURRENT PERSPECTIVES.