2015 Archives

Professor Ruben Habito elected to American Theological Society

May 13, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) – Ruben L. F. Habito, professor of World Religions and Spirituality at SMU's Perkins School of Theology has been was elected to membership in the American Theological Society

Founded in 1912, the American Theological Society accepts no applications for membership and is limited to 100 active members. Membership depends on nomination and election, by secret ballot, of the Society’s members, based on a candidate’s established record of contribution to the field of theological inquiry.

Ruben L. F. HabitoIn his announcement of Habito’s election, Professor C. Clifton Black, Secretary of the American Theological Society, noted that “Professor Habito’s election to the Society is a high honor and a distinguished professional achievement.” Black, a former member of the Perkins School of Theology faculty, is Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where the American Theological Society has held their annual meetings since 1980.

Dean William B. Lawrence of Perkins School of Theology praised Habito’s election as “a splendid recognition of the outstanding achievements that have marked the career of Ruben Habito,” adding, “This honor acknowledges in an exceptionally significant way how vast Professor Habito’s contributions are.”

In addition to his duties as Professor of World Religions and Spirituality, Habito is director of Spiritual Formation at Perkins School of Theology. He is the author of several books, including his most recent work, “Zen and the Spiritual Exercises: Paths of Awakening and Transformation, (2013). Among many previous distinctions, Habito is past president of the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies (2003-2005), and was selected by fellow faculty members and staff across Southern Methodist University to receive the 2013 Faculty Club “Mentor Supereminens Award,” for exceptional mentoring of faculty and students.

As a member of The American Theological Society, Habito becomes part of a distinguished history, with past Society presidents including Charles E. Curran (1989–1990), Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at SMU, and Charles M. Wood (2012–2013), Lehman Professor Emeritus of Christian Doctrine at Perkins, as well as other such notable figures as Douglas Clyde Macintosh (1919–1920), John Baillie (1930–1931), Paul Tillich (1943–1944), H. Richard Niebuhr (1946–1947), Reinhold Niebuhr (1947–1948), and Wilhelm Pauck (1962–1963). 

Its current president is Professor Peter C. Phan of Georgetown University. Other Society members related to SMU include Bruce Marshall, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine at Perkins, and Robin Lovin, former Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at SMU and a former Dean of Perkins School of Theology.

More information about Ruben L.F. Habito.

More information about the American Theological Society.


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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Ministry, as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.