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A beautiful tribute

Xinzhang Zhang was a close friend and colleague of Jim's. He has created a lovely dedication to the time Jim spent with him in Hangzhou, China. Xinzhang has been working hard on a project with Jim at the ZUCC institute and he continues to work towards a lasting presence for Jim in the program. 

Thank you, Xinzhang for all your dedication

James R. Lewis, PhD

1949 - 2022

Professor of Religious Studies,
School of Philosophy,
Wuhan University, China

Professor Lewis passed away on 11 October 2022. He was a senior scholar in New Religious Movements (NRMs), New Age, Prophet religions, Shamanism and violence in religion.

This website serves as a memorial to his work, with information on Prof. Lewis, the projects he was working on and a community forum for people to leave comments, anecdotes and even photos they would like to share. If you knew Jim, please leave a comment on the forum by clicking to the left.


In the School of Philosophy, James was a Professor of Religious Studies. He was very excited to be working with Wuhan University and he was committed to unifying Eastern and Western scholars both in publications and academic conferences.

James loved being in China. He worked to help his colleagues get published in European journals and invited some of his brightest students to co-author articles. He also created the Wuhan Journal of Cultic Studies, bringing renowned Western scholars to be published in a Chinese journal. 

Wuhan University stood by James throughout his extremely long and difficult health crisis resulting from a head injury. His colleagues and supervisors gave such incredible support and both James and his family were so grateful. It is what allowed us to keep fighting for his rehabilitation.


A virtual memorial service

James R. Lewis was loved and respected by many around the world and in lieu of a physical service in one place, we have decided it would be better for a virtual service where his friends, family, and colleagues from all over the world may partake. We held this on the date of his birthday, 3 November (3rd in North America, 4th November elsewhere).

Thank you to all who were able to participate, it was a wonderful and heart warming meeting with family, friends and colleagues. Jim was truly an amazing human being.

If you weren't able to join, a video of the memorial is viewable here:

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Thanks for wanting to be a part of celebrating this wonderful man.


Jim had many appearances, interviews and conference lectures. Some of them are available in video. 

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