Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Gary Laderman Ph.D.


Gary Laderman, Ph.D., is the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Religious History and Cultures at Emory University. He is the author of four books, including, Don't Think About Death: A Memoir on Mortality in 2020. He also has co-edited two encyclopedias, Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions (4 vols., ABC-Clio, 2003; voted best reference by Library Journal in same year) and Science, Religion, Societies: Histories, Cultures, Controversies (2 vols., 2006; ME Sharpe). Over the last decade, Laderman has been interviewed on topics ranging from death and funerals to horror films and drugs in a variety of media, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and other newspapers. He's appeared on the NBC Evening News, The Today Show, Charles Osgood's CBS Morning Show, and other television and documentary broadcasts.

In addition to serving as chairperson of the department of religion for 11 years, Laderman is also a founder of the online religion magazine, Religion Dispatches. He is continuing to research, write, and teach on the sacred in American life generally, and is currently working on a book project exploring drugs and religion in America. He has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects that have received funding from the Lilly Endowment, Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and the Ford Foundation. Some of the conferences Laderman has helped organize include "Religious Diversity in Metropolitan Atlanta," "Religion in the American South," "Science and Religion: Perspectives on Suffering and Healing," "Against Death: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Prolonging Life," "New Perspectives in Health and Healing: Can Science and Religion Work Together," and "Contesting Religion and Religions Contested: The Study of Religion in a Global Context." In Summer 2007, he participated in the Nanzan American Studies Summer Seminar as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer.

Laderman received his B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Northridge, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. He also spent a year in Paris, France, as a graduate student, studying at the Center for Critical Studies and the Sorbonne. Laderman’s courses and seminars include Sacred Drugs; US Religious History; Mind, Medicine, and Healing; Death and Dying; Religion and Sexuality; and Introduction to Religion.

Recent Posts