After a vastly rewarding career of thirty-eight years as a professor of religious studies, David Haberman is retiring from full-time teaching at the end of May. He taught at the University of Arizona and Williams College before joining the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University in 1993. Here he served as the director of both undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as departmental chair for five years. He is deeply grateful for his productive and enjoyable time with various colleagues over his years in the department, which he happily regards as one of the very best in the country.
Although he taught courses involving all religious traditions, his area of specialization has been the Hindu religious traditions of India, a country in which he has spent many years traveling and conducting research. He especially likes spending time at pilgrimage sites and in Hindu temples. Much of his work has centered on the culture of Braj, the active pilgrimage site long associated with Krishna and known for its lively temple festivals, extensive performative traditions, and aesthetically rich literary creations. His more recent research projects have tracked the relationship between religion, ecology and nature, with a focus on Hindu attitudes toward and interaction with nonhuman entities. He has published books on the worship of sacred rivers, trees, and mountains in India, often contemplating the complexities that the current environmental crisis poses for these natural and cultural domains. His latest concerns have turned to issues related to climate change and religion.
As he moves into the position of professor emeritus, he reports that the most gratifying aspect of his career has been the delight of exploring with students different ways of being human, especially that moment when one of them exclaims, “Wow! I never thought of that before!”
David Haberman Retires
Friday, May 13, 2022