Jason Interviews Special Guest Professor Brian Wilson, Ph.D.
Brian C. Wilson, author of the new book, John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age, is a professor of American religious history in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University (WMU). It was during his years in the Peace Corps that he developed a fascination with religion, initially fueled by what he experienced of the ancient religion of the Maya, and of Roman Catholicism. Returning to the U.S., Wilson completed a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied religion in the United States. In 1993, he co-authored a book on new religious movements in California.
After moving to WMU, Wilson wrote an award-winning book on cereal inventor and the leading Seventh-day Adventist of his time, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Based on the success of that book, the Fetzer Institute invited Wilson to write a full-length spiritual biography of its founder, John E. Fetzer. The Kalamazoo-based Fetzer was a radio pioneer, media mogul, and long-time owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. Of his many pursuits, however, there is one that is not well known: his life-long spiritual search, which led him from traditional Christianity to an exploration of a variety of metaphysical religions culminating in the New Age. In many ways, the story of John Fetzer’s long spiritual search mirrors that of millions of Americans who sought new ways of thinking and being in the evolving metaphysical religions of the 20th century.
In John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age, Wilson not only explores the evolution of Fetzer’s beliefs, but how he put them into action by permanently endowing three funds that will foster research into the scientific/spiritual interface for years to come, and help cultivate a more peaceful, loving and inclusive world founded on the principle that we are all connected through one infinite force.