essays in religious literacy

About

Yours truly

I earned a dual BA in English and Religion at Hastings College, a first MA in Teaching English as a Second Language at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a second MA in Classics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and the PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. I taught one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion (sabbatical replacement) at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and ten years as an adjunct lecturer of Classics and Religious Studies, followed by another four years as an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Classics and Religious Studies, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL).

During my time at UNL, I taught 3,233 undergraduate and graduate students (= 9,755 student credit hours) in 82 iterations of 34 onsite, online, or hybrid courses in ancient languages, biblical studies, classics, and religious studies, ranging in class size from one (independent readings) to 214 (large lectures) students over 34 consecutive semesters. I was awarded the student-nominated UNL Parents’ Association/UNL Teaching Council Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students three times, in 2003, 2007, and 2012.

My research focus is on interfaces of Judaism, Christianity, and Hellenism in antiquity, wherever the messages and media of theology, ethics, and literature cross paths, but especially: apocalypticism and biblical interpretation in early Judaism and Christianity, classical forms and themes in early Jewish and Christian Greek poetry, and wisdom literature across cultures. These interests converged in my 2010 doctoral dissertation on Sibylline Oracles 1-2, an early Christian revision of an early Jewish pastiche of a traditional Greek oracle collection that incorporates elements of apocalypse, didactic poetry, gospel, and prophecy.

I have published a review of J. L. Lightfoot’s The Sibylline Oracles (Oxford, 2007) in The Classical Review (2009) 59.1, pp. 101-3, and have been a continuing contributor of articles for the 30-volume Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (de Gruyter, 2009–).

 

Courses I have taught

Classics

  • Classical mythology
  • Literature of the Ancient Near East
  • The myth of Atlantis

Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity

  • After the New Testament: the formation of normative Christian theology*
  • The Apostolic Fathers*
  • The Bible’s lost books: the New Testament Apocrypha*
  • Doing theology
  • Early Christian letters: Hebrews to Revelation; Barnabas, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp
  • Early Christianity
  • How we got the Bible: the formation of the New Testament canon*
  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • Jesus then and now: quests for the historical Jesus*
  • Life and letters of Paul
  • The other Old Testament: the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha*
  • Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity
  • Pauline theology
  • Rewriting Moses: reading Torah with Philo and Josephus*
  • Second Temple Judaism

 Languages

  • Biblical Aramaic
  • Biblical Greek
  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Classical Latin
  • Scientific Greek and Latin

Religious Studies

  • Apocalypticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam*
  • Apocalypticism in popular culture: ancient, medieval, modern
  • Biblical figures outside the Bible
  • Explaining religion
  • History of comparative religion
  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Prophets and prophecy in cross-cultural perspective*
  • World religions

* Honors program seminars

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