Rennie, Bryan 1954- (Bryan S. Rennie)

views updated

Rennie, Bryan 1954- (Bryan S. Rennie)


Born December 13, 1954, in Ayr, Scotland; son of James and Olive S. Rennie; married Rachela Permenter (a professor of English), October 19, 1990. Ethnicity: "Scottish." Education: University of Edinburgh, B.A., 1977, M.A. (summa cum laude), 1988, Ph.D., 1991. Politics: Labour. Religion: "Individual."


Home—New Castle, PA. Office—Department of Religion, History, Philosophy, and Classics, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA 16172. E-mail—[email protected].


Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA, associate professor, 1991—.


North American Association for the Study of Religion, American Academy of Religion, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.


(Under name Bryan S. Rennie) Reconstructing Eliade: Making Sense of Religion, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996.

(Editor) Changing Religious Worlds: The Meaning and End of Mircea Eliade, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2000.

(Editor) Mircea Eliade: A Critical Reader, Equinox (Oakville, CT), 2006.

(Editor) The International Eliade, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2007.

(Editor, with Philip L. Tite) Religion, Violence, and Terror: Religious Studies Perspectives, Routledge (New York, NY), 2008.

Editor of the series "Issues in the Study of Religion," State University of New York Press (Albany, NY).


Bryan Rennie once told CA: "I went from high school to the University of Edinburgh, where I took a bachelor's degree in religious studies, majoring in the philosophical method. I was one of three people who took the religious studies degree that year. I also spent a considerable amount of time in the rather less formal study of live music, beer, science fiction, and comic books—mainly Marvel Comics and the ‘undergrounds.’

"Rather disappointed with the academic inability to clearly distinguish the study of religion from the practice of religion—theology from philosophy—I left the university with no intention of pursuing an academic career. I went to live on the small island group of Orkney, north of the mainland of Scotland, where I spent six years helping my brother to build a sailing yacht. In that time I learned woodwork, sailing, navigation, and scuba diving. However, I realized that my real passion lay in navigating the uncharted waters of human religiousness and plotting my own course between the Scylla and Charybdis of philosophy and theology.

"I returned to the faculty of divinity at Edinburgh with the realization that answers are to be discovered on one's own initiative, rather than simply learned from professors, and applied myself to my studies the way I should have in the first place. I received my master's degree and went on to do my doctorate in theory and method in the study of religion, concentrating on the thought of Mircea Eliade, a leading theoretician in the field.

"Having completed a large-scale publishing project on Mircea Eliade, I now hope to focus on one of the most fascinating elements of the history of religion in general, and of the thought of Mircea Eliade in particular: the relation of religion and the arts. I would like to prepare a textbook accessible to undergraduate students exploring this relationship, and to complement that exploration as Eliade did by the writing of creative fiction."

About this article

Rennie, Bryan 1954- (Bryan S. Rennie)

Updated About content Print Article