In memoriam: Leon Schlamm

Dr Leon Schlamm who worked in the Department of Religious Studies atĀ KentĀ from 1977 to 2011 sadly died on 3 August 2015, aged 67. Leon played a major part in the life of the University for over 30 years and played a formative part in building the identity of the Department of Religious Studies, enhancing its profile in comparative religion.

At Kent, Leon taught modules on the psychology of religion, Hinduism and Gurus and Disciples. He was important in bringing mysticism and the psychology of religion to Kent from the 1970s and took early retirement in 2011. He brought success, as the co-convenor with Dr Peter Moore, with the MA in Mysticism & Religious Experience (the first programme of its kind to be established in the UK in 1993/1994). It ran for many successful years and attracted a number of students who now have academic positions in the UK. He was also key in developing new and creative MA programmes, supporting the development of MA programmes in psychoanalysis and in cosmology and divination, which were both delivered for a number of years at Kent.

His research work focused on Rudolf Otto and numinous experience and on the psychology of Carl Jung and religion. He was particularly interested to show the relation of Otto and Jung to mystical experience and explored work in transpersonal psychology, particularly Ken Wilber and John Welwood. He produced important articles for the Jungian journal Harvest and in the journal Religious Studies. His commitment to this position was driven by thinking in relation to the history of religion and established a strong position for locating Jung in the history of mystical thought.

Many staff and students will remember him fondly.