Edwin Scott Gaustad

June 28, 2011

Dr. Edwin Scott Gaustad, BA '47, one of the foremost historians of American religious history, died March 25 in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 87. Gaustad's special interest was the colonial period, in particular the nature of American religious liberty, pluralism and dissent. His books include The Great Awakening in New England, A Religious History of America, and Dissent in American Religion. In 2002, Gaustad was an expert witness in the widely publicized trial brought by the ACLU and other groups against Montgomery, Ala., judge Roy Moore (Glassroth v. Moore), who refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse. After serving in the Army Air Corps in 1943-45, he graduated from Baylor and completed his graduate work at Brown University. He spent most of his teaching career at the University of California at Riverside (1965-89). Gaustad served as president of the American Society of Church History and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Speakers Panel. A longtime Baylor donor, he received Distinguished Alumni Awards at both Baylor and Brown universities, as well as the Distinguished Teaching Award at UC Riverside and the Alumni Religious Liberty Award from Baylor. Gaustad was married for 63 years to Virginia Morgan Gaustad, BBA '47, who died in 2009.