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.
Kansas (1): Timothy Miller
Timothy Miller’s major research focus is the history of intentional communities in America, especially in the twentieth century. For his work in this area, Professor Miller has been recognized by the Communal Studies Association as a distinguished scholar. Additional areas of research interest include American religious history, new and alternative religious movements in the United States, and religion in Kansas. Professor Miller also coordinates the Religion in Kansas Oral History Project.
Purdue (4): Michael Bergmann
Michael Bergmann’s specialization is in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. Within philosophy of reason, he is an advocate for skeptical theism, emphasizing that one should be critical of the ability of a human person to evaluate the morality of actions of God.
Oregon (3): Stephen Shoemaker
Stephen Shoemaker teaches courses on the Christian traditions. His primary interests lie in the ancient and early medieval Christian traditions, and more specifically in early Byzantine and Near Eastern Christianity. His research focuses on early devotion to the Virgin Mary, Christian apocryphal literature, and the relations between Near Eastern Christianity and formative Islam. His book, The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam, examines the historical context of the formation of Islam similar to the inquiry to establish a “historical Jesus”.
(Editor’s Note: Go Ducks!)
Michigan (7): Dierdre de la Cruz
Deirdre de la Cruz specializes in the cultures and histories of Southeast Asia, in particular the Philippines. Her current book project is a historical and ethnographic examination of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the Philippines from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, especially as they articulate with projects and practices of colonial and post-colonial modernity. In addition to Philippine history and ethnography, her research interests include theories of religion, colonialism and post-colonialism, visual culture, histories and theories of the mass media, and global occultisms.
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.