UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

Religious Studies Professor Wins Guggenheim, UC Fellowships

April 28, 2003

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – Catherine Albanese, a professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been awarded a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship to continue work on a book about metaphysical religion in the United States.

Albanese was one of 184 scientists, scholars, and artists chosen from a distinguished field of more than 3,200 Guggenheim applicants. Total amount of the fellowships granted this year is $6.75 million.

Albanese also recently received a Presidential Research Fellowship in the Humanities from the office of UC President Richard Atkinson. She plans to use the fellowships together while going on sabbatical from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004 to research and write her book, "A Republic of Mystics and Metaphysicians: A Cultural History of U.S. Metaphysical Religion." The Yale University Press has already agreed to publish the book.

"I will be arguing in the book that metaphysical religion colors very much more of American culture than at first appears," Albanese said. "Metaphysical religion includes traditions like spiritualism, theosophy, Christian Science and New Thought, and the New Age Movement. But it also encompasses certain aspects of movements as varied as Mormonism and positive thinking and self-help."

Albanese has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in American Religious History. She joined the UCSB faculty in 1987.

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