Charles Reynolds: Rest in Peace

We learned that Charles Harlan Reynolds, professor emeritus of the University of Tennesse, passed away January 25. He was 78.

Rosalind Hackett, current head of the Department of Religious Studies, stated, “He brought vision, professionalism, creative networking, and financial and political savvy to the task, along with great mentoring and teaching, humor and affability, and sheer devotion to the department family. He also taught how to give back, serving after retirement on our board of visitors and generously contributing to the department’s 50th anniversary endowment fund.”

Reynolds studied at Birmingham Southern College, Southern Methodist University, and Harvard, where he completed his PhD in religious studies in 1968. After a year of teaching at Heidelberg and Oxford, he accepted a position with the UT Department of Religious Studies in 1969. He served as head from 1980 to 2001.

During his long career at UT, Reynolds established himself as an activist for justice, an acclaimed teacher, and a highly respected scholar. He helped define his field as the founding editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics. He was promoted to professor in 1978, a position he held until he retired as professor emeritus in 2009.

Reynolds served as a SCE Board member, 1974-1977, Executive Secretary  1987-1991, President of the SCE in 1996. He was instrumental in registering the SCE as a nonprofit corporation.

Reynolds’ survivors include his four children: Glenn, Jonathan, Katharine, and Bradford; son-in-law Dean; daughters-in-law Helen, Ngozi, and Kelly; and grandchildren Joseph, Julia, Christopher, Jackson, William, Ojie, and Harrison.