The King lecture

Once upon a time there was a man born in India, educated in England, working in Africa, who was hired by a visiting American to help set up a new college and program at the newest jewel in the crown that is the University of California.

When Noel King came to Santa Cruz, most of the UCSC colleges were little more than architectural plans. It was the era of Flower Power, teach-ins, and self-actualization. Life Magazine came to record this peculiar manifestation of the taxpayer’s dollars for the wonder of readers in Dubuque and Amarillo, and included this wild-haired professor on the page.Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 9.23.47 AM

Noel taught undergraduates religion and history until he retired in the early 90s. When he died in 2009, his family—both blood and his university kin—began a series of Noel King lectures with a goal of maintaining the presence of religious studies on campus. The third such was particularly great, a panel of women crime writers talking about how they use religion in their work (slightly ironic, considering how fiction baffled Noel!)—the video of it is on my YouTube channel, here.

This year’s NQK Memorial Lecture will take place at 7:00 Thursday night at Merrill College, UCSC, the college Noel and his first wife helped to found. The topic is as dear to his heart as the venue: African Art and Religion, with Professor Elisabeth Cameron talking about how an artifact speaks of the religious truths of a people.

Come and join Noel’s wide-spread family in celebrating his life of ideas.NQKLecture


  1. Merrily Taylor on May 9, 2016 at 7:01 am

    A lovely way to memorialize a man who was clearly remarkable, and one of which I’m sure he would have approved. Scholars love nothing more than transmitting knowledge to new generations!

  2. Diane on May 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I always enjoy reading about influential people being remembered this way. A beautiful way to honor a man and his contributions.

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