Robert  Ellwood Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Robert Ellwood

As a retired professor of religious studies from the University of Southern California, I have geratly enjoyed having the opportunity to revise and update Introducing Japanese Religion, a college level textbook. The new edition includes material on religious responses to the Fukushima disaster, and augmented information on the very colourful popular religion of Japan. I sincerely hope many students find this Asian society as fascinating as do I.


Born 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.  


    B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder, 1954;
    M.Div., Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT 1957
    Ph.D. University of Chicago Divinity School, 1967

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My research has been in Japanese religion; American religion, especially new religious movements; and in history of religion theory.

Personal Interests

    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.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Introducing Japanese Religion - 1st Edition book cover