Brian Hatcher was named the McFee Professor of Religion and Humanities in 2007. A Fulbright-Hays research fellow, his courses explore the religions of India, China, Tibet and Japan. His recent books explore modern Hinduism.

Your hometown? Minnetonka, Minn.
Alma mater? Carleton College. I did my B.A. in chemistry. Go figure.
Why Wesleyan? I came to Illinois Wesleyan in 1992 after completing my PhD at Harvard.

IWU really impressed me with its record of excellence and its promise of continued growth. It has certainly delivered on both counts.

And if you ask me, the Religion Department represents just the kind of cutting-edge teaching and scholarship that mark the best undergraduate education today. 

Your teaching? My training is in the study of Hinduism and the religions of India, so I offer courses at all levels that introduce students to South Asian religion throughout history.

But I also let myself range a bit wider in my teaching, covering topics or issues that strike me as important for undergraduates to consider.

That means I occasionally find myself teaching courses on the sociology of new religious movements in Japan or the history of "religious experience" as a concept in modern religious studies.

Biggest thrill? Well, back in the day, I qualified to compete in the 1976 National Freestyle Skiing Championships held at Wildcat Mountain, N.H.

At the time that was pretty cool. I didn't place all that high in the end, but I had a great road trip with my ski bum friends from Minnesota.

Brian Hatcher
At Illinois Wesleyan, the academic study of religion offers an interdisciplinary approach to the ways in which human thought, values, ceremonies, literature, architecture, art, community and politics are woven into a cultural religious fabric.

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