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Religious Studies Board records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Related Material

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Religious Studies Board records
    Creator: University of California, Santa Cruz. Religious Studies Board
    Creator: King, Noel Quinton
    source: Lease, Gary, 1940-
    Identifier/Call Number: UA.090
    Physical Description: 12.5 Linear Feet 25 half cartons
    Date (inclusive): 1968-1980
    Abstract: This collection contains the Religious Studies Board office files, and correspondence pertaining to the short-lived Religious Studies major at UCSC.
    Physical Location: Stored offsite at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
    Language of Material: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by Regents of the University of California. Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. UCSC Special Collections and Archives can grant permission to publish materials to which it holds the copyright. For more information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.

    Preferred Citation

    Religious Studies Board Records. UA 90. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Transfer from the Religious Studies Board, 1980.

    Administrative History

    During the academic year 1967-68 a number of UCSC faculty formed an interdisciplinary program in religious studies. Initially this involved only a committee providing a framework for independent majors. By the following year the interdisciplinary committee became a Committee of Studies in Religious Studies, with Noel Q. King as its Chair. An enlarged staff was soon assembled, new courses added, and the Committee's size doubled. In the academic year 1970-71 religious studies was still administered by a Committee, but it had become a full and official major, granting a Bachelor of Arts degree. According to the UCSC Catalog for 1971 it was an interdisciplinary program "seeking to bring out the religious, moral, and numinal dimensions of such fields as history, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and art." The program continued to expand for a couple of years, and then in 1973 was granted the status of a Board of Studies, receiving four full-time appointments. The mid-1970's saw annual curricula of 10 to 15 courses, with 500 to 800 students enrolled any given quarter.
    A proposal for redesigning the program was accepted in 1975-76, but soon an ideological split developed within the faculty over the role of the program in regard to relating to the students. The Board became "paralyzed," and with the arrival of a new Dean for the Humanities Division in the spring of 1978, an external review was undertaken. The result was a recommendation for a complete redesign and reconception of the program's curriculum, while stablizing the number of core faculty. However, timing was such that extraordinarily severe budget restrictions were being imposed by the State of California, and two of the four faculty positions which were being vacated by resignations were axed. By January 1979 it became clear the program would likely be phased out.
    The UCSC Religious Studies Board was formally disestablished in 1980.
    [This short history is paraphrased from an essay by Gary Lease, a former head of the program. See Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, v.7:4 (1995), pages 305-324.]

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection contains office files and correspondence pertaining to the Religious Studies major at the University of California at Santa Cruz, covering from its inception around 1970 to its official disestablishment in 1980.


    The collection follows the original office arrangement as received during the transfer of the records.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mathew E. Simpson in 2013. EAD encoded finding aid by Mathew E. Simpson.

    Related Material

    UA 89 Noel Q. King Papers

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Religion -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- California -- Santa Cruz -- 20th century
    Lease, Gary, 1940-