Professor Geoffrey Parrinder has been a founder of the modern discipline of Religious Studies, and one of its most distinguished exponents. His work in African Traditional Religion has been especially significant. He was the first person to create a regular course in African Traditional Religion at university level, and taught many of those who have developed his insights further.
He has also made distinguished contributions in the field of Indian Religions. His controversial interpretation of Buddhism as a religion is still underestimated. He started his career as a Methodist missionary, then became a teacher in Nigeria and finally taught at King's College London, where he had a personal chair. A Christian theologian, he nevertheless has sought, and to a remarkable extent has succeeded, in interpreting the faith of others in an impartial and fair-minded way. He will be remembered as one of the twentieth century's most distinguished scholars of Religious Studies.