Researcher biography

Associate Professor Richard Hutch is an Honorary Associate Professor and Reader in Religion and Psychological Studies in the School of Historical and Philosopical Inquiry. His research interests include psychology of religion, sport and spirituality, self-narrations and life-writing, and death and dying.

His current research projects include:

  • The American Civil Rights Movement: A Personal Narrative
  • Sport, Spirituality and Productive Ageing
  • History and Phenomenology of Religion

TO NOTE: Richard Hutch presented the keynote address at a symposium on the American Civil Rights Movement held at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the United States on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, 9 April 1865. It was also the 50th anniversary of the "Summer Community Organization and Political Education" project (SCOPE), which was sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), founded and led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Richard volunteered for the SCOPE project in rural counties in Alabama and Louisiana in the summer of 1965. The project spearheaded a massive voter registration drive throughout the South after "Bloody Sunday," the violent racial conflict that occurred at the beginning of the Selma to Montgomery march on March 7th that year. Through the efforts of SCOPE volunteers and others, who often faced life-threatening incidents of racial violence (as Richard himself did), the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was finally passed by the American Congress and signed by the President in August. The keynote address at Gettysburg College presented Richard's experiences in the South during his harrowing time there. He was honoured by his alma mater on the occasion with the establishment of an archive in his name in the Musselman Library at Gettysburg College, including the journal he kept during his summer in the South and other unique materials from the Civil Rights Movement. It can be noted at the town of Gettysburg was the site where the Civil War "Battle of Gettysburg" took place in July, 1863. Northern Union troops pushed the Southern Confederate troops from their so-called "high-water mark" back south across the Mason-Dixon Line (which separated "slave" states from "free" states, and was drawn on maps just beyond the southern border of the state of Pennsylvania near Gettysburg). The battle represented the beginning of the end of the Civil War, with the final defeat of the Confederacy by Abraham Lincoln's Union Army two years later on 9 April, 1865 at 3:15 in the afternoon, when church bells rang out throughout the North.

Associate Professor Hutch was the Director of Studies for the Faculty of Arts (2001-05) and Head of the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics (2005-08) at the University of Queensland. Before taking up his appointment at UQ in 1978, he was Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Southern Illinois University in the United States (1974-78). He graduated from Gettysburg College (BA, 1967), Yale University (BD, 1970) and the University of Chicago (MA, 1971; PhD, 1974).