Faculty in Religious
Each campus must have religion scholars who are also academic statesmen/entrepreneurs, who will establish the conditions under which the teaching of religion will have an audience, although it goes without saying that there must be first-rate scholar-teachers who may well lack gifts of entrepreneurship but all of whom can and do deliverinthe classroom.
— Ray L. Hart
In his report on “religious and theological studies in American higher education,” Ray Hart quotes an anonymous “senior scholar and statesman” 1 who outlines three primary roles of the religious studies professor: “statesman,” “entrepreneur,” and “scholar-teacher.” 2 These terms capture the multiple and sometimes daunting facets of the task facing faculty in the contemporary university.
The role of statesman is primarily assumed by the department chair, though all faculty share in the role as they serve on committees or speak in public about religious studies and related issues. A department chair, especially in a small department, is the manager of the department, student advisor and principal advocate of the department within the administrative systems of the university. She or he participates in administration as a member of an arts faculty executive, the university Senate or of the seemingly endless committees that come and go within the university. No small part of the statesman's role is figuring out appropriate strategies to defend or enhance the study of religions in the curriculum. So, too, the department chair must attend to the larger community, explaining the place of the study of religions in the schools of the provinces.
It is the professor as “entrepreneur” who understands that a subject such as religious studies requires more than just being part of the university cur-