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Faculty Profile

Everett Mansion 371

Thomas Redden, PhD

Professor, The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences


  • Buddhist Chaplaincy Program, Upaya Zen Center/Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Joan Halifax, PhD, Director, 2016-2019
  • PhD, Political Science, University of Connecticut, 1998
  • Diplome (M.S.), Third World Development, Institut universitaire d’etudes du developpement, University of Geneva, Switzerland, 1986
  • MEd, Central Connecticut State University, 1984
  • BA, History, Williams College, 1977

Teaching Experience

  • Professor, History and Politics, Southern Vermont College, 1999-present
  • Professor, Political Science, Marlboro College, 1992-1999
  • Dean of Students, Marlboro College, 1993-1998
  • Instructor, Political Science, University of Connecticut, 1987-1992
  • Teacher of English, International School of Geneva, Switzerland, 1982-1983
  • Teacher of History, Kingswood-Oxford School, West Hartford, CT, 1979-1982
  • Teacher of English to Japanese students, Cook School, Izumisano, Japan, 1977-1978

Selected Courses

  • Race, the Police and American Justice (with two colleagues)
  • Legends, Landmarks and Adventurers (with one colleague)
  • U.S. History
  • Modern Asia History
  • Latin America History
  • African History
  • Middle East History
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Social Ethics
  • Social Science Research Methods
  • Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity
  • Global Issues
  • Buddhist Politics
  • Spanish I

Academic Research/Interests

My academic research historically has centered on U.S. foreign policy and U.S. response to revolution in the Third World since 1945, in particular the foreign policies of presidents Reagan and George W. Bush. As an ordained Zen Buddhist priest, I have begun to explore Buddhism from a political perspective and am working actively to develop a vision of what a “Buddhist politics” might look like in the U.S. and abroad. A book should result from this effort.

Selected Scholarly Presentations

  • "Reflections on The Politics of the Buddha and Jesus," Paper presented at Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, November 9, 2017
  • "Buddhism, Politics and Dukkha/Suffering," Paper presented at Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA, November 11, 2016
  • "The Buddha's Views on Poverty," Paper presented at Northeast Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA, November 15, 2014
  • “Envisioning a Buddhist Politics: Ending Suffering,” Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 15, 2013
  • “The Buddhist President: Buddhism and American Politics,” The Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, November 17, 2011
  • “Neoconservative Policy Toward Nicaragua and Iraq: Making War to Keep Peace,” Presented at the New England Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Newport Marriott, Newport, Rhode Island, April 23, 2010
  • “George W. Bush’s Final Two Years and Iraq: Surging to the End,” Paper presented at the New England Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Boston Marriott Newton, Newton, Mass., April 28, 2007
  • "Leadership of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush: Some Preliminary Comparisons," presented at the Northeastern Political Science Association, 2006
  • "Hegemony, Hegemonic Stability Theory and the Direction of U.S. Foreign Policy," New York State Political Science Association, John Jay College, 2006
  • "The Reagan and Bush Doctrines: The Ideological Genealogy," New England Political Science Association, 2005
  • "The Evolution of and Reaction to the Grand Strategy of the George W. Bush Administration," International Studies Association, 2004
  • "Is the United States an Empire? Competing Perspectives," New England Political Science Association, 2004
  • "Neoconservatism and George W. Bush's Foreign Policy," Northeast Political Science/International Studies Association, 2003

Selected Public Lectures/Presentations

  • Public Lecture Series, four talks on "Buddhist Politics in Challenging Times: Zen Meditation and Compassionate Action," May - June 2017, Putney, VT (These and other talks are broadcasted on local access TV stations.)
  • “A Buddhist Perspective on US Foreign Policy,” Nov. 13, 2013, Windham World Affairs Council, Nov. 22, 2013, Marlboro Graduate Center, Brattleboro, VT
  • “The US Political System,” June, 2013, Governor’s Summer Institute, School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT. Frequent guest lecturer since 2005
  • “Buddhism and the Middle East,” “April 16, 2012, Association of University Women, Bennington, VT., Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Lecture Series: “Buddhism and American Politics,” March, April, and May 2012; six public lectures, Unitarian Universalist Church, Bennington, VT
  • “The Buddhist President: Envisioning a Politics of Compassion,” Feb. 9, 2012, Maple Street School, Manchester, VT
  • “Day of Mindfulness” talk/activity, Sept. 16, 2011, Osborn Correctional Institution, Somers, CT. Main speaker on “Day of Mindfulness” for inmates
  • “US Foreign Policy and the Obama Administration,” January, 2009, Windham World Affairs Council, Brattleboro Memorial Library
  • Speech for “National Honor Society” awards at Arlington High School, Arlington, VT, April 2008
  • “Nicaragua Then (1980s) and Now,” Hartford-Ocotal Sistern City Project, Congregational Church, West Hartford, CT, Oct. 16, 2008
  • “Holistic Self-Determination” Annual Meeting of Vermont Educational Opportunity Programs (VEOP) Keynote Address:,” Holiday Inn, Rutland, VT. Oct. 22, 2007
  • “The Meaning of ‘Different’ in Japan,” Bennington Rotary Club, May 25, 2007


  • Southern Vermont College "Faculty of the Year,": 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008
  • Vermont Campus Compact "Excellence in Community-Based Teaching Award,": Finalist, 2008
  • Southern Vermont College Faculty Service Award, 2001

On Being at SVC

I enjoy the day in and day out being with students and interaction with a great group of people of faculty and staff.

  • Highlights

    March 2013 - Attended the Council of Independent College (CIC) Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Annual Conference, entitled "Enriching the Theological Exploration of Vocation," in Indianapolis, IN.

    October 2012 - Spoke on the upcoming US Presidential election at the School of International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT; talk was entitled "A Reflection of Foreign and Domestic Policy."

    February 2012 - Profiled at Vermont Campus Compact for community-engaged learning. Read more.

    April 2008 - Presented a paper titled "Neoconservative Interventions: Comparing the Wars of Presidents Reagan and Bush in Nicaragua and Iraq" at the New England Political Association Annual Meeting at Providence Marriott Hotel in Providence, R.I. Juniors Zach Garafalo and Laura Sullivan accompanied Professor Redden to the meeting.

    October 2007 - Presented a slide show and talk on campus titled "Nicaragua: Personal Reflections War Peace 1985 to 2007." Dr. Redden and his family visited Nicaragua for three weeks during the summer and came away with incredible experiences.

    View Professor Redden's Blog on his Journey to China.

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