Has taught courses on Japanese, Chinese, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, and Zen traditions, myth and symbol in religion, and phenomenology of religion. His expertise in East Asian philosophies and religion led to his appointment as a lecturer in the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department. In August 1993, the Foreign Service Institute conferred on him the honorary title "Distinguished Visiting Lecturer." Recipient of the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching, he has also been the recipient of a National Defense Education Act Fellowship in Chinese language study and a Yoshida Foundation Fellowship for post-doctoral study in Japan. His papers and publications have explored such areas as the Buddhist Ecumenical Movement, the church-state controversy in Japan, the role of the shaman in Japan, and omamori story tokens in Japanese culture. He is author of chapters on the Buddhist and Shinto traditions in Great Asian Religions and also a chapter in the book Kurozumi Shinto. He completed a monograph on the nature and function of charms and amulets in Japanese culture and has been doing research on popular religious behavior in Japan. Swanger holds a B.A. and B.D. from Capital University and a S.T.M. from Oberlin College. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Swanger came to Wittenberg in 1967 and retired in 2000.