BiographyBorn in Illinois, I began my professional career as a priest in the Episcopal church in 1957, starting out in a small parish in Nebraska. After a few years, wanting wider experience, I became a chaplain in the U.S. Navy, serving largely in Oklnawa and Japan. This awakened an interest in Japanese culture and world religions generally. In 1963 I subsequently started graduate work in history of religion at the University of Chicago, writing my dissertation on a medieval Shinto text. From 1967 to retirement in 1997 I taught in the School of Religion of the University of Southern California, chiefly in South and East Asian religions.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My research has been in Japanese religion; American religion, especially new religious movements; and in history of religion theory.
Beyond professional interests, I enjoy reading history and science, particularly astronomy; and my life in retirement in Ojai, C A, with my spouse, Gracia Fay, three cats, and two grown children who live in the area.