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March Madness of Religion: East Bracket

March Madness is an opportunity for college basketball fans to look around the United States at teams that they don’t usually follow and learn about players, coaches, and stories. At Global Theology, I wanted to take a look at the faculty teaching in religious studies, theology, Biblical studies, and related fields to form my own “bracket”. Each person highlighted has a brief description (usually from the school’s department page) and link to a blog, article, video, or book where you can learn more about them.

East Bracket | West Bracket | Midwest Bracket | South Bracket


Image result for Bruce LongeneckerBaylor (3): Bruce Longenecker

Bruce Longenecker is professor and W.W. Melton Chair of Religion at Baylor University. He specializes in the origins of Christianity, especially its Greco-Roman context, the life and theology of Paul, and the care for the needy among Christian communities. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Thinking through Paul: A Survey of His Life, Letters, and Theology and The Cross before Constantine: The Early Life of a Christian Symbol.

Interview: Bruce W. Longenecker on Pompeii (blog)

Faculty Bio Page



Image result for stephanie mitchemSouth Carolina (7): Stephanie Mitchem

Stephanie Mitchem teaches contemporary theology and women’s studies, emphasizing the experiences and perspectives of black women, both in the US and in the African Diaspora. Her current research focuses on the intersections of social class, gender constructions, racism, and religions. Her book, Introducing Womanist Theology, surveys the contributions and challenges of women of color to theology and the life of the church.

Locating Yourself as an Individual and an Intellectual (keynote address at Meadville Lombard Theological School, video)

Faculty Bio Page


cohen_charlesWisconsin (8): Charles Cohen

Charles L. Cohen is Professor of History and Religious Studies and founding Director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions (LISAR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Lubar Institute seeks to create a better understanding of the Abrahamic traditions and their interrelationships through academic and public discussion.  His current research interests are in American religious history and comparative religion, and he has published widely on these topics, including as co-editor of Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States.

Islam is not the Enemy (with Jonathan Biatch) (article)

Faculty Bio Page | Professional Website


robin wrightFlorida (4): Robin Wright

Robin Wright is Associate Professor whose research and fieldwork have focused on Indigenous religious traditions in South America and more broadly, the Americas and the world. Of special interest are beliefs and practices related to shamanism, sickness and healing, intersections of traditional medicine with Western biomedicine, indigenous Christianities, anthropology and advocacy, history of theory in the anthropology of religion. He is the co-editor of Native Christians: Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

Indigenous Religious Traditions (chapter, pdf)

Faculty Bio Page


Read more: East Bracket | West Bracket | Midwest Bracket | South Bracket

Michael Shepherd is the editor of Global Theology and an assistant professor of political science and intercultural studies at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA.

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