Religion in

William G. Doty
Professor Emeritus

We regret to inform you that Prof. Doty passed away on
Jan. 2, 2017.

Read more about his life
and work here.



Retired in 2001, William G. Doty is a prolific writer, translator, and editor who has published fourteen books and over seventy essays in a wide range of journals including religious studies, anthropology, psychology, classics, and art criticism. He served from 1987-1994 as the national coordinator for the yearly American Academy of Religion competition for the best book in the field. He has received grants and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellen Foundation, B'nai Brith, FIPSE, the Ford Foundation, and the Society for Values in Higher Education. In 1991 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School of Drew University, and in 1994, a College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Grant. In 1997-98 he served Auburn University as the Goodwin-Philpott Eminent Scholar in History.

A frequent lecturer and consultant on college campuses, Doty has edited, with Julie Thompson Klein, two studies of interdisciplinary education, Interdisciplinary Resources, and Interdisciplinary Studies Today, and with Robert Detweiler, a volume of essays on a short story by Margaret Atwood, entitled The Daemonic Imagination: Biblical Text and Secular Story. With Wendell Beane he edited the two-volume Myths, Rites, Symbols: A Mircea Eliade Reader and with William Hynes, he edited and contributed to The Mythical Trickster Figure: Contours, Contexts, and Criticisms. His Myths of Masculinity was published in 1993, and his Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals first appeared in 1986, with the second and revised edition appearing in 1997. He is also editor of and contributor to Picturing Cultural Values in Postmodern America, 1994, and has been a contributing writer to Atlanta's Art Papers since 1984. And between 1994-2001 Doty edited Mythosphere: A Journal for Image, Myth, and Symbol.

Projects underway include studies of myths and rituals of Native North America; emergence/origin/beginnings myths; the grotesque male body in postmodernist art; and various essays in classics, psychology, gender studies, iconography, and literature.

Since retiring from the Department, Professor Doty has taught in the University's Honors Program, offering an innovative Freshman Seminar entitled, "The Heroic Model in Life, Liteature and Film."

See photos from William Doty's retirement reception in Oct., 2001

See the following 1997 interview (in PDF format) with Professor Doty, on the topic of the function of myths in human societies.

See the PDF version of Professor Doty's article on "Myth," which appeared in the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition (1996)

See the flyer (PDF) for a 2004 lecture Prof. Doty presented at Gorgas Library, at the University of Alabama.