»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»  BIO    

Joseph L. Price

While attending Georgetown College in Kentucky in the late 1960s, Joseph Price heard Vanderbilt professor John Killinger deliver a lecture on Dadaism. Killinger considered how the literature's seemingly nonsensical syllables revealed deep aesthetic sensitivity and religious sensibility. Convinced that the study of spiritual dimensions of secular experiences and expressions were engaging, Price decided to pursue graduate study in "religion and culture."

After completing his doctoral studies in theology at The University of Chicago Divinity School, Price joined the faculty at Whittier College. His teaching often blends his theological, literary, and cultural interests in courses ranging from "Cinema and Religion" and "Farce and Faith in Recent Southern Fiction" to "Sport, Play, and Ritual." Currently, he holds the Genevieve Shaul Connick Chair in Religious Studies.

Price's research, lectures, and publications include two widely used theological resources, the New and Enlarged Handbook of Christian Theology and A New Handbook of Christian Theologians, both of which he co-edited with Donald Musser. Recently he has collaborated again with Musser in writing an introductory study of the theology Paul Tillich for Abingdon’s series on "Pillars of Theology."

An avid sports fan from early childhood, Price has observed the passionate devotion of sports fans who have often also participated actively in traditional religious congregations. His initial interests in the religious affiliations and testimonies of athletes have expanded to include the study of the religious character of rituals in sporting events and the spiritual significance of fans’ devotion to sports teams, which provide the focus for books Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America and From Season to Season: Sports as American Religion.

Currently, Price is working on two projects that connect sports and religion. One focuses on the ritual significance of the performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" for baseball games. As part of the research for that work, he is singing the National Anthem at than 100 Minor League ballparks during the 2011 baseball season. In previous years he has sung the Anthem in twenty Major League ballparks throughout the country. In another work, he analyzes the rituals of closure for baseball stadiums, having interviewed fans and photographed ceremonies following the final games in eight Major League stadiums.

Within the Whittier community, Price is Past President of the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce, and he has served two terms as the Chair of the Cultural Arts Commission of the City of Whittier. He and his wife Bonnie were honored by the community in 2010 with the Rio Hondo chapter Good Scout Award.

© copyright 2004 | Whittier College | all rights reserved