May 25, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 17

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    Rosengarten to start deanship in Divinity School beginning July 1

    By Arthur Fournier
    News Office

    [rosengarten] by perry paegelow

    Richard Rosengarten, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature, will succeed Clark Gilpin, Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology, as Dean of the Divinity School.

    Gilpin, a historian of American Christianity, will conclude his 10-year tenure as Dean on June 30.

    “I am most pleased to inform you that Richard Rosengarten will become the next Dean of the Divinity School on July 1 of this year,” announced President Sonnenschein in a letter addressed to members of the University community.

    “Rick has served ably as Dean of Students in the Divinity School, garnering praise for his dedication to the welfare of students, his reasoned judgment and his creative and inspired teaching,” wrote Sonnenschein.

    Rosengarten, who received his Ph.D. in the Religion and Literature program at the Divinity School, returned to the University in 1991 when he was appointed Dean of Students. Since that time, through his work in the Divinity School and his participation in such organizations as the Council on the Graduate Study of Religion, he has become a national voice on questions of the academic study of religion.

    An expert on narrative theory and 18th-century religious thought, Rosengarten has written and lectured on the theological dimensions of works by such authors as Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Iris Murdoch and Flannery O’Connor. His forthcoming book, Narrating Providence: Divine Design and the Incursions of Evil in the Novels of Henry Fielding, will examine the idea of divine providence as expressed in Fielding’s novels. He also is currently involved in a project on satire as a form of religious expression.

    Prior to his appointment at Chicago, Rosengarten taught as an assistant professor at Saint Xavier College.

    “I look forward to the directions in which the school will move under his leadership,” said Gilpin. “Through superb work as Dean of Students, Richard has developed a clear conception of the administrative operations and educational mission of the school,” he continued.

    In his tenure as Dean, Gilpin has made distinguished appointments across the Divinity School faculty, overseeing significant new appointments in the history of Judaism and extending the school’s strengths in theology, biblical studies, ethics and the history of religions. In addition, Gilpin established the Martin Marty Center, which will bring contemporary religious scholarship to bear on issues of public life.

    “Gilpin’s leadership has been marked by the flourishing of the school’s program in ministry studies, a revision of the curriculum and system of doctoral qualifying examinations, and the establishment of an undergraduate concentration in religion,” added Sonnenschein. “I am enormously grateful to him for his extraordinary accomplishments and service.”

    “I’m absolutely delighted by this opportunity,” Rosengarten said.

    “The Divinity School has always sought to honor the University’s highest standards for excellence in research and for the role played by its programs in producing the next generation of scholars of religion and ministers. I look forward to the work of continuing that tradition.”