Laurie L. Patton became dean of Arts and Sciences and professor of religion in July 2011.
Previously, she was the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religions at Emory University and director of Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence. From 2000-07, she chaired Emory’s Department of Religion. In 2005, she received the Emory Williams Award, the university's highest award for teaching.
An accomplished scholar, Patton is the author or editor of eight books on South Asian history, culture, and religion. In addition, she has translated the classical Sanskrit text, "The Bhagavad Gita," for the Penguin Classics Series. She also has published two books of poetry.
Patton has held Fulbright fellowships in India and Israel and lectured widely on religious pluralism and religion in the public sphere. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Tel Aviv, Hebrew University, and Deccan College (India). From 2000-10, she was founder and co-convener of the Emory’s Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Initiative, which hosted regular summits on local practices and global implications in interfaith relations.
She has consulted with the White House Office of Faith-Based Community Partnerships on interfaith literacy, and the U.S Department of Education's Initiative on Civic Engagement. From 2008-11, she served as president of the American Society for the Study of Religion.