Dean of Grace Cathedral to join Stanford

Rev. Jane Shaw named university's dean for religious life

The dean of San Francisco's Episcopal Grace Cathedral will become Stanford University's new dean for religious life, the university announced Monday.

The Rev. Jane Shaw, a historian and theologian, has been at Grace Cathedral since 2010 and previously taught at Oxford University.

At Stanford, Shaw will be charged with providing spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serving as minister at Memorial Church and teaching undergraduates and graduate students as a professor of religious studies.

She replaces the Rev. William "Scotty" McLennan Jr., who is stepping down after 14 years.

"We are lucky to have found in Jane Shaw both a charismatic leader and an accomplished academic to lead our Office for Religious Life," Stanford Provost John Etchemendy stated in a press release.

"Dean Shaw is equally committed to the educational mission of the university and the ecumenical mission of Memorial Church."

Shaw said: "It will be my pleasure to work with so many wonderful colleagues and students to relate religious and ethical questions to the cutting-edge work being done at Stanford University and to provide spiritual leadership for this exceptional academic community."

Shaw already has lectured at Stanford, on topics including the reasons behind a 20th-century flight from institutional religion and the role of the modern cathedral. While at Stanford this spring on a leave from Grace Cathedral, she researched the "moral imagination" for a project she's working on with actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.

Shaw is the author of "Miracles in Enlightenment England," "Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers" and "A Practical Christianity: Meditations for the Season of Lent." She's currently working on a book about spirituality and mysticism in the early 20th century, the university said.

At Grace Cathedral, Shaw tripled the number of artistic, cultural and educational events, founded a resident artist program and developed educational programming that related questions of values and ethics to current issues such as the environment and technology.

Prior to her 2010 arrival at Grace Cathedral, she taught history and theology at Oxford for 16 years. She holds an undergraduate degree from Oxford, a master's in divinity from Harvard University and a PhD in history from the University of California at Berkeley.

Chris Kenrick


Like this comment
Posted by randy albin
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:52 am

this is really great news for Stanford. the need for religious life on campus is important. best wishes for this leader. it is good to see things going this well

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

I'm sad to see Rev. McLennan step down but, wow!, welcome Rev. Shaw!

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