Virginia Corwin Papers
Virginia Corwin was born in Orange, New Jersey, on August 17, 1901, the daughter of Joseph R. and Caroline (Stallkencht) Corwin. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1923 and received the B.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1929; at Union she was a Kent Fellow. In 1930 she came to Smith College as an Instructor of Religion and Biblical Literature. Prof. Corwin entered Yale University in 1932 and received her Ph.D. from it in 1937. Her dissertation was on St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch; Yale University Press published a revision of the text in 1960. Prof. Corwin taught at Smith until 1939 when she went to Western Reserve University as Harkness Professor of Biblical Literature and acting head of the Department of Religion. In 1942 Miss Corwin returned to Smith College as an Associate Professor of Religion and was made Professor of Religion in 1953. She retired from Smith College in 1966. After Prof. Corwin retirement she was visiting professor at Claremont College in California and at Wells College in New York.
While at Smith College Prof. Corwin became interested in the study of non-Christian religions and invested time and energy studying Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions. She created courses in these topics and taught them, sometimes in conjunctions her colleague D. Dennis Hudson.
Prof. Corwin was active in the American Academy of Religion and served as its president in 1950. A constant traveler she visited the Asian countries associated with the non-Christian religions.
In 1975 she married Herman A. Brautigam, a former classmate of hers at Yale University, and they lived in Pennsylvania. She died August 19, 1996 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.