SHARPE, Eric John. Lancaster 19.9.1933 — Sydney 19.10.2000. British Scholar of Comparative Religion in Australia. Born in a working class family. In his teens became close to Methodist church and began studies at Hartley Victoria College in Manchester to become minister, but turned to History of Religions and was never ordained. In 1954-58 at Manchester University, B.A. and M.A. under S. G. F. Brandon. From 1958 in Sweden, 1965 Dr.theol. Uppsala, in Church History and Missiology. From 1966 taught at Manchester, from 1970 Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Lancaster (collaborated with N. Smart). In 1977-96 the first Professor of Religious Studies at Sydney. Married 1962 Birgitta Johannesson.
The phenomenology of religion, the history of modern Christian mission, and inter-religious dialogue are mentioned as his main interests.
Publications: Diss. Not to Destroy but to Fulfil: the Contribution of J. N. Farquhar to Protestant Missionary Thought in India before 1914. 387 p. Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia 5. Lund 1965.
– With John R. Hinnels (eds.): Hinduism. 224 p. Newcastle 1972.
– Faith Meets Faith: some Christian attitudes to Hinduism in the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries. 178 p. L. 1977.
– The Universal Gita. Western images of the Bhagavadgita: a bicentenary survey. 204 p. L. 1985.
– Nathan Söderblom and the Study of Religion. 258 p. Chapel Hill 1990.
– Many further publications.
Sources: *G. Trompf, Australian Religion Studies Review 14, 2001, 128-131; Wikipedia (with more publications); CV and bibliography in This Immense Panorama: Studies in Honour of Eric J. Sharpe. Sydney 1999.