Michael L. Raposa
, professor of religion studies and E.W. Fairchild Chair in American Studies, was recently named the new associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Raposa will officially assume the new post Jan. 1, 2006.
He will replace interim associate dean Bill Newman, professor emeritus of psychology, who served in the position vacated by former associate dean Carl Moses, who was named deputy provost for academic programs for the university this past summer.
In his new role in Lehigh’s College of Arts and Sciences
, Raposa will have responsibility for oversight and strategic planning to sustain the quality and competitiveness of the college’s undergraduate programs. He will also serve as the college’s primary liaison to the Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Life, as well as take an active role in the review of the first-year experience for undergraduates. In addition, he will continue to provide oversight and support for undergraduate advising in the college.
“Michael is passionate about the value of a liberal education in the arts and sciences,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Anne Meltzer in announcing Raposa’s appointment. “His experience and perspective will be a real asset in advancing our undergraduate programs. We're fortunate to have him join us in the Dean's Office."
Raposa joined the department of religion studies at Lehigh in 1985 after teaching for four years at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. His primary research and teaching interests fall within the areas of modern western religious thought and the philosophy of religion, and he regularly teaches courses in the philosophy of religion, contemporary theology, Roman Catholic studies, American religious history, and the relationship between religion and science
His first book, published in 1989, explored the religious dimension of Charles S. Peirce's philosophy. In 1999, he published a book on the religious significance of boredom, its importance as both a threat and a stimulus to the spiritual life. His third book, Meditation and the Martial Arts
, which was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2003, was devoted to the relationship between the meditative aspect of certain martial exercises and the martial character of certain classical forms of spirituality. He is currently working on a book titled Theosemiotic
, which deals with basic issues in theological method.
Born in Westport, Mass., Raposa received his undergraduate education at Yale University. After a year of graduate study at the University of Toronto, he returned to Yale and completed his master's degree at the Divinity School there. In 1979, he entered the doctoral program in Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1987.
An ardent supporter of Lehigh’s athletic programs, Raposa has a particular interest in basketball and cross-country running. He is an accomplished long-distance runner who has competed in several races, as well as a student of the martial arts since 1988, with a special interest in the Japanese art of aikido and the Chinese discipline of tai chi chuan.