September 30, 1997
Letter of Recommendation for Dr. Robert M. May
This is a letter of strong recommendation for Robert M. May whom I have known for approximately 20 years. He is a mature scholar and a dedicated teacher. I first came to know Bob when I was Parkman Professor of Religion and Psychology at Harvard University, and since then we have engaged in ongoing dialogue about issues in the fields of psychology and religion.
I have served as the thesis advisor for Bob, and he received his Ph.D. in 1997. His thesis was excellent -- comprehensive, insightful, and well focused, detailing the history of ideas in the interrelationship between psychology and religion, showing the significance of major streams of thought in psychology and the ways in which they have examined the dynamics of religious experience. He also showed how psychologists have been neglectful of significant features of religious and spiritual life.
Bob is well prepared to teach in areas of comparative religion, mythology, personality theory, social psychology, developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and the psychology of religion. I have read with deep appreciation his books, Physicians of the Soul and Cosmic Consciousness Revisited. His research and publications success would also make him resourceful with students as he guides and inspires their work.
Personally, Bob May is a very serious minded and diligent scholar. He has wide-ranging interests in history, philosophy, and literature as well as in religion and psychology. As a teacher, he brings great depth to his discussions and is concerned with the individual development of each student. His range of personal acquaintance with major scholars in this country as well as in Europe enhances the vitality of his teaching and builds connections for students and readers which are quite unique.
In short, Bob May is a very knowledgeable, thorough, and reliable scholar, teacher, and writer. I commend him to you!
William R. Rogers, Ph. D., President Emeritus, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, Parkman Professor (Emiritus), Religion and Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
September 4, 1997
Recommendation Letter for Robert M. May
I have had the opportunity to work with Robert May for approximately thre e years. I have been his instructor in educational research and statistics courses. I advised Robert on his dissertation which he completed this past spring.
Robert is a very impressive individual in many ways. As an author he has written four books. Two have already been published. I am impressed by both the breadth and depth of Robert's scholarly work.
It is difficult to succeed in one area of scholarship. Robert is making an effort to work across two areas, psychology and religion. I believe that his work will provide a theoretical and historical perspective on the interrelations between the two fields of study that will raise issues for today and for future scholars.
At a more personal level I find Robert to be commutative, supportive colleague. He sets an example with the energy that he puts into his research. I know very few people who can get as excited as Robert when involved in research. He certainly spreads this excitement and enthusiasm to others.
I have encouraged Robert to consider returning to higher education. His teaching and research would be very valuable in almost any higher educational institution. I would certainly recommend Robert highly. If a more specific or personal recommendation is needed please feel free to contact me.
Kenneth N. Fishell, Ed. D., Professor of Education, and Former Dean & Associate Dean, The University of Vermont, School of Education, Burlington, VT, Former Provost and Professor, Berne University: International Graduate School, St. Kitts/ Nevis, WI and Wolfeboro Falls, NH
November 22, 1989
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Robert M. May has asked me to write to you to recommend him for a possible teaching position in the areas of psychology and/or religion. I am very pleased to write this letter because I have come to know Robert May as a man with great talents in the fields of psychology and religion' and with a special gift of understanding and explaining the rich and often complex relationship between these two fields.
I have been very impressed with Robert's book, Physicians of the Soul, (Crossroad, 1984). The clear, succinct, and very lively way in which he discusses the world's great spiritual teachers shows his great ability to present difficult ideas to college students and to make them relevant to their lives and concerns.
Recently Robert finished his second book, Cosmic Consciousness Revisited, another important work in the area of psychology and religion. In this book, Robert proves to be extremely capable of integrating personal experience with a scholarly knowledge of different religious traditions. It is another fine work that deserves the attention of all those who work in the area of psychology and religion.
I am convinced that you will find in Robert May a man who has much to offer college students, and who can help them to find their way through the complex labyrinth of spiritual and psychological ideas that often tend to overwhelm young students.
It would be a great joy for me to see this talented man in a position which would allow him to share his great gifts with others.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Ph. D., Pastor of L' Arche Community of Daybreak since 1986 Professor of Theology Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, 1971-85
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I take great pleasure in recommending Mr. Robert May for a position teaching psychology and/or religion at your college. In the eleven years that I have known Mr. May, I have found him to be remarkably knowledgeable in both of these fields as well as being a brilliant and original thinker in the arena of psychology of religion. Indeed, his masterful works, Physicians of the Soul and Cosmic Consciousness Revisited, are considered by many major religious and psychological scholars to be seminal works in the field of sacred psychology. Mr. May's impeccable academic knowledge is matched only by the depth and breadth of his inner journey in spiritual psychology. Thus he brings great honesty and credibility to his teaching and will add both richness of mind and high teaching skills to any faculty on which he serves.
Jean Houston, Ph. D., Director, The Foundation for Mind Research, Pomona, NY
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
July 14, 1988
I am happy to recommend Robert M. May for a teaching position on a College, University, or Theological school level. I have known Robert for many years as a friend and colleague in the area of writing in the field of psychology and religion. I am confident that he has the necessary academic, personal, and teaching ability qualifications to be an excellent teacher or professor in this field.
Mr. May's considerable teaching experience includes positions on the faculties of Cambridge College, the University of California at San Diego Extension, Central Connecticut State College, Rutgers University, and other academic institution.
More important, his educational training and experience includes not only academic work, but his personal explorations of the meaning of world religions, augmented by his intensive study of Jungian psychology and other areas of psychology that are related to the area of religious concerns. His strength as a teacher stems not only from his academic background but also from his life-experience and individual life of study.
Mr. May's first book is entitled PHYSICIANS OF THE SOUL. It is a fin work which contrasts and compares a number of different religious perspectives and integrates them with psychological perspectives draw from the work of C.G. Jung and his own personal experience. The book received fine reviews and is still in print.
His second major work COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS REVISITED is a unique contribution to the psychology of religious and transpersonal experience. It will be published later in 1988.
I can recommend Mr. May heartily, and will be glad to be contacted if further information is desired.
John A. Sanford, DD, Episcopal Priest and Jungian Analyst, San Diego, CA
December 12, 1988
May I recommend Mr. Robert May to your kindest consideration. I have known him since 1969. We were colleagues at that time in the Department of Psychology at Central Connecticut State University. He taught various courses with success, such as General Psychology, Social Psychology, and Personality. The students liked his enthusiasm and teaching
Mr. May is conscientious, cooperative, and hardworking. He has great qualities in psych-religion. He has published a book, "Physicians of the Soul". His other book, "Cosmic Conscious Revisited" will come out in print in the spring of 1989.
Paul Chu, Ph.D., Associate Professor Psychology, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
March 8, 1989
To Whom It Concerns,
I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of Robert May, a very special and very talented person. I have known Bob for about 22 years, since we were fellow graduate students, an I believe I can offer a unique perspective.
The fundamental point is that Bob's actual competence goes we beyond his paper credentials. For reasons of personal dedication chose to embark on an odyssey of much wider study just at the point when he was close to completing his Ph.D. His graduate work up to that point was regarded as brilliant. He wrote what any of his professors (people like Irvin Rock and Solomon Asch) will recall a the best comprehensive examination seen at the Institute for Cognitive Studies.
The work he has been doing in recent years is in the tradition: William James. His books Physicians of the Soul and Cosmic Consciousness Revisited are just a sample of the extensive breadth of this unusual scholar.
On a personal level, Bob May can be described in terms of strong qualities. For a person of such intellect he is remarkably open-minded, willing to see the value in other people's perspective. and experiences. He is modest. His sharp wit was always well-known and I can testify that it remains an endearing quality. He has an absolutely keen sense of the ironic, an ability to bring a novel perspective from which the most mundane situations can be seen as refreshingly entertaining.
I consider Bob May to be a man of great knowledge and talent. He is also an engaging teacher. He belongs in the classroom; he belongs in academia, and I recommend him for an academic position with great enthusiasm.
Alan L. Gilchrist, Ph.D., Director of the Graduate Program in Psychology, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
18 September, 1997
To Whom it May Concern:
It is a pleasure to recommend Dr. Robert May for a teaching position in the field of psychology and/or religion at your institution.
I have known Dr. May for many years and respect his wisdom and insight immensely. He is a brilliant synthesizer and cross-disciplinarian whose work I admire very much. He demonstrates depth and breadth that are greatly needed in the field of spiritual psychology and religion.
I feel that his appointment would grace your institution.
Larry Dossey, MD
Former co-chair, Panel of Mind-Body Interventions, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Former chief of staff, Humana Medical City Dallas Hospital
Executive, editor, Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine