It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. J Bruce Long, Professor of Religious Studies at University of the West.
Dr. Long received his BA from Baylor University and also embarked on post-baccalaureate studies at the Episcopal Seminary in Southwest Texas. He completed two Masters degrees: one in Theology and Literature and the other in the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. During his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, Dr. Long was the recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment of the Humanities, and subsequently completed his PhD under the supervision of Mircea Eliade in 1970.
Before arriving at University of the West in 2003, Dr. Long taught at Haverford College, Cornell University, Cal State University, Northridge, and Claremont Graduate University. For five years he served as Executive Director of the Blaisdell Institute for the Advanced Study of World Religions and Cultures in Claremont, California.
Dr. Long’s research encompassed the areas of South Asian religions, Buddhism, myth and mythology, and hermeneutics. His books include, Experiencing Śiva: Encounters with a Hindu Deity (1980), and the co-edited volumes, Śiva: Myth, Rites, and Attitude (1982) and Hindu Festivals (1982). He also published numerous scholarly articles, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews. Dr. Long’s most recent piece, “Aung San Suu Kyi: Freedom Fighter and Prophetess for a Free Democracy in Burma,” appeared in Living in Peace: Insights from Buddhism (2014). And at the time of his death, he was working on an article on Zen master Bernie Glassman and had undertaken an in-depth study of the Digha Nikaya.
Impassioned scholar, dedicated teacher, respected colleague – Dr. Long shared his wisdom and knowledge and graced us with his erudite presence for fifteen years. Committed to the life of the mind and a genuine engagement with Buddhism and Asian religions, he contributed greatly to the development of the University of the West and its students.
Dr. Long is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Long, her husband, Patrick Kitson, and grandson, Emory; and son, Matthew Long, his wife, Carissa, and grandchildren, Sophie and Mason.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Dr. Long will take place on Saturday, May 21st, 11:00am in the UWest Auditorium.