Robert Orsi Elected 2003 President of the American Academy of Religion

Dr. Robert A. Orsi, American religious history professor at Harvard Divinity School, was elected president of the American Academy of Religion for 2003. He began his term at the conclusion of the AAR's November annual meeting in Toronto.

Orsi follows University of Florida professor Vasudha Narayanan. He assumes the presidency following a year as president-elect and a year as vice president.

As president, Orsi leads the major scholarly society in the field of religion. In addition to his role as public spokesperson and representative, he presides over the board and executive committees and makes all appointments to editorships and committees. Also, he will shape the plenary program of the annual meeting. Orsi will deliver the Academy's presidential address in November 2003 in Atlanta.

"Bob Orsi brings great gifts of mind, spirit and heart to the presidency of the AAR," said Barbara DeConcini, AAR executive director. "His presidential year promises to be significant granted the confluence of his prodigious talents with what is a strategic time in the life of the Academy. And what a joy it is to work with him."

Founded in 1909, the American Academy of Religion is the world's largest association of scholars of religion, with more than 9,000 members. A member of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Academy fosters excellence in scholarship and teaching about religion and promotes its broad public understanding.