Dr. G. William Barnard (B.A. Antioch University; M.A. Temple University; Ph.D. University of Chicago) is currently an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, as well as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. His primary areas of research are the comparative philosophy of mysticism, religion and the social sciences, contemporary spirituality, and religion and healing. He teaches a variety of courses on an undergraduate level: “Magic, Myth, and Religion”; “Mysticism: East and West”; “Understanding the Self: East and West”; “Introduction to Primal Religions”; “Ways of Being Religious”; “Social-Scientific Study of Religion” (at both undergraduate and graduate levels); and “Wholeness and Holiness: Religion and Healing Across Cultures.” In 2000, Barnard won the Golden Mustang Award for teaching and scholarship, and from 2002-2004 he was a member of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He has published Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of Mysticism as well as an edited volume, Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism. He has also written many journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, such as pedagogy in religious studies, the nature of religious experience, and issues in the psychology of religion. He has recently completed a second monograph, Living Consciousness: Reclaiming the Intuitive Vision of Henri Bergson.

Professor Barnard will be traveling throughout Brazil from May 2010 through July 2011, studying the Santo Daime tradition. He is especially interested in the role of healing and mediumship in the Santo Daime, as well as the broader philosophical implications of the alternate states of consciousness linked to taking the Santo Daime as a sacrament. Barnard intends to immerse himself within the ritual life of various Santo Daime churches and communities, and hopes to respectfully interview numerous elders within the tradition as a way to learn as much a possible about the history and religious depths of this tradition. If all goes as planned, Barnard will be writing a book on the Santo Daime based on what he has learned and experienced during his time in Brazil.

To get in touch with Barnard: bbarnard@mail.smu.edu

Comments are closed.