Buddhism Professor Heading Westward for New Job

October 30, 2006

Author: Adam Smeltz

Source: Centre Daily Times


For 35 years and thousands of Penn State students, Charles Prebish has been a gateway to the Eastern world.

He has been the sole professor of Buddhism here since 1971, introducing to undergraduates a religion that is fast emerging in the U.S. and in global cultural exchanges.

By December, though, the 62-year-old will leave State College, he said last week. Prebish has accepted the Charles Redd Endowed Chair in religious studies at Utah State University.

He had been planning to retire soon from Penn State, where he witnessed the downsizing of religious studies from an entire department to the current, smaller program.

But Prebish, a preeminent scholar in American Buddhism, said the opportunity to help develop a religious-studies program at Utah State was irresistible.

"It's an enormously exciting challenge to go to a university that is known as a Mormon-related school and open a religious-studies (program) that is open, welcome and inviting," Prebish said.

See also: Buddhism, Campus