The Rev. James Redington, S.J. has been around the world, has exotic souvenirs displayed in his office and has been a member of the Jesuit order for 52 years. He is extensively familiar with worldwide religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Redington joined The University’s faculty last June and currently serves as an adjunct professor who teaches the course “Religions of the World.”
After completing his undergraduate studies at Boston College,
Redington attended University of Wisconsin and spent time researching the relationship between Hinduism and Christianity in India for seven years.
“I went from BC, where I graduated, to University of Wisconsin-Madison for seven years,” Redington said. “including almost three years in Madison and 2.8 years in India doing an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sanskrit language and Hindu religious and philosophical literature.”
Redington taught on college campuses across the United States following the completion of his master’s degree and doctoral degree. Students and friends at the various schools have provided him with some of the souvenirs that are displayed in his office.
There are three pieces of art behind his desk. One of them is a batik of Lord Krishna. Krishna is one the eight incarnations, or avatars, of the Hindu god Vishnu. He received the bakit from his “Hindu teacher,” whom he calls “guru.” The dictionary defines “batik” as “a technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using wax as a dye repellent to cover parts of a design, dyeing the uncovered fabric with a color or colors, and dissolving the wax in boiling water.”
“That is the most famous Krishna image of his particular system of Hinduism, which has about 10 million followers out of the billion Hindus,” Redington said.
Although Redington only arrived in Scranton in June, he is quite familiar with the small city of Scranton because he grew up here. He became a member of the Society of Jesus after high school when he enrolled in a seminary school affiliated with Boston College.
Redington taught at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia prior to coming to The University. However, because of budget cuts, Redington understood he had a year to look elsewhere for a job.
“When I knew that I had to go elsewhere, Scranton was one of the first choices I had,” Redington said.
When asked to describe his experience here thus far, Redington said “filled with care.”
“Filled with personal care for each level of people or each different kind of person,” Redington said.