Michael York, Ph.D., has been named Professor Emeritus by Cherry Hill Seminary, in recognition of his many years of teaching, mentoring and supporting the Seminary.
Wendy Griffin, Academic Dean Emerita, recommended York for the special recognition, noting his long dedication to the mission of the Seminary. Executive Director Holli Emore said, “Many of us have been the fortunate recipients of Dr. York’s academic guidance. His rigor as a scholar is only matched by his caring for his students.” Students and colleagues alike contributed comments which are posted on a special tribute page of the Seminary web site.
“Dr. Michael York is one of those rare academics in whom the spirit of Sophia burns so brightly that the spark of it is, for a student, both contagiously inspiring and formidably challenging.” — Valerie Hahn
“Michael’s work has made a major impact on the Academy. His was one of the first PhDs in the world to examine the phenomenon of Paganism through the academic lens of sociology of religion . . . From our time together as members of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College, University of London, until now at Cherry Hill Seminary, Michael has been an esteemed colleague and a valued friend.” — Vivianne Crowley
“During his courses he always treated us as his colleagues in Paganism, guiding us to increase our knowledge around his subject matter expertise. I loved having Michael as a professor . . .”— Jae Osenbach
“Michael York was a core member of the group that brought Pagan studies into the academy, contributing to the ten-year process that led to the creation of the Contemporary Pagan Studies unit within the American Academy of Religion . . .” — Chas Clifton
Michael’s book, Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion, was my first introduction into paganism. (I use the small “p” rather than the large “P” in tribute to Michael!) Truthfully I had never considered the idea of world religion as regards those traditions finding a place under paganism’s expansive umbrella. As a student, I deeply appreciate his wit and dry humor, especially when he shares the most amazing stories and experiences. These have a way of bringing home the humanity of our sometimes widely disparate cultural ideas. I thank you for being my teacher.”— Cynthia Cebuhar
“Studying with Michael finally gave me the opportunity to examine other religions in depth and compare them to Paganism. Not only do I better understand my own practice but I feel I’m better equipped to answer questions from others about Paganism. Whether as a future chaplain or just in my daily life, it’s important for me to more confidently engage with people as a Pagan, and Michael’s classes and scholarship have enabled me to do that.”—Wes Isley