People

William  Barnard

Professor

B.A., Antioch University; M.A., Temple University; Ph.D., University of Chicago
Hyer Hall 300I
214-768-2135
bbarnard@mail.smu.edu

Dr. G. William Barnard, (B.A. Antioch University; M.A. Temple University; Ph.D. University of Chicago) is a Professor of Religious Studies, as well as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. His primary areas of research interests are the comparative philosophy of mysticism, religion and the social sciences, contemporary spirituality, religion and healing, and consciousness studies. Professor Barnard is currently researching the Santo Daime tradition, a syncretistic, entheogenically-based new religious movement that emerged in Brazil in the mid-twentieth century. He teaches a variety of courses: Magic, Myth, and Religion; Mysticism: East and West; Understanding the Self: East and West; Introduction to Primal Religions; Wholeness and Holiness: Religion and Healing Across Cultures; Waking Up: The Philosophy of Yoga and the Practice of Meditation; Ways of Being Religious; Living from the Heart (of it All): An Exploration of Mystical/Spiritual Ethics; Plants of the Gods: Religion and Psychedelics; and a graduate core seminar: History, Theory, and Method in Religious Studies. Professor Barnard is the author of Living Consciousness: The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson as well as Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of Mysticism, both published by State University of New York Press. In addition, Professor Barnard is the co-editor of Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism. Professor Barnard has also written many journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, such as pedagogy in religious studies, the nature of religious experience, and issues in the psychology of religion. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and has received the Godbey Lecture Series Authors’ Award for both Living Consciousness and Exploring Unseen Worlds. He has also received the Golden Mustang Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching and scholarship as well as the SMU Mortar Board Honor Society Award for teaching excellence. He was also awarded an American Academy of Religion Individual Research grant.

Courses Taught
  • Magic, Myth, and Religion
  • Mysticism: East and West
  • Understanding the Self: East and West
  • Introduction to Primal Religions
  • Wholeness and Holiness: Religion and Healing Across Cultures
  • Waking Up: The Philosophy of Yoga and the Practice of Meditation
  • Ways of Being Religious
  • Living from the Heart (of It All): An Exploration of Mystical/Spiritual Ethics
  • Plants of the Gods: Religion and Psychedelics
  • History, Theory, and Method in Religious Studies (a graduate core seminar)

Selected Publications
  • Living Consciousness: The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2011.)
  • Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of Mysticism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.)
  • Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism, ed.; with Jeffrey J. Kripal. (New York: Seven Bridges Press/Chatham House, 2002). 
  • “Entheogens in a Religious Context: The Case of the Santo Daime Religious Tradition.” Zygon, 49, no. 3, 2014, 666-684.
  • “Exploring the Unseen Worlds of Consciousness.” Journal of Consciousness Studies, 21, no. 3-4. March/April, 2014, 40-59. 
  • “Tuning into Other Worlds: Henri Bergson and the Radio Reception Theory of Consciousness,” in Bergson, Politics, Religion, Alexander Lefebvre and Melanie, White, eds. (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2012), 281-298.