Frank E. Reynolds, 1955 B.D.

2005Distinction in Theological Education

After graduating from Yale Divinity School, Frank Reynolds spent three years as program director at the Student Christian Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Working with Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, he became convinced of the need to supplement confessional modes of religious scholarship with new approaches that are non-sectarian and empirically oriented.

Upon his return to the United States, he earned his Ph.D. in the History of Religions program at the University of Chicago. In 1967 he joined the Chicago faculty as professor of history of religions and Buddhist studies in the Divinity School and the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Throughout Reynolds's career at Chicago, he has fostered -- through his writing, his teaching, and the research projects he has directed -- the establishment and development of religious studies as an independent discipline that utilizes and creatively adapts approaches employed in other areas of the humanities and social sciences.

During Reynolds's stay in Thailand, he married Mani Bloch, with whom he enjoyed a family life that produced three sons and nine grandchildren as well as an academic partnership that resulted in the translation of a 14th century Buddhist cosmology, The Three Worlds of King Ruang. In 1997, after the death of his first wife, Reynolds married June Nash, an anthropologist who has written extensively on global issues and local communities in Burma, Bolivia, Mexico and the U.S.