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.
North Carolina (1): Bart Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his teaching career at Rutgers University, and joined the faculty in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC in 1988, where he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department. Professor Ehrman has served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical literature and chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society. He has written extensively and is a New York Times Bestseller as well as a frequent guest and commentator about Christianity in the media. His most recent book is “Jesus Before the Gospels”, examining the role of memory in the earliest transmission of stories about the historical Jesus.
Butler (4): Brent Hege
Brent Hege’s research focuses on the history of Christian thought and contemporary Christian theology, with special attention to 19th- and early 20th-century liberal Protestant theology, continental philosophy and philosophical theology, contemporary constructive theology, and theology and culture. He teaches courses in world religions, ethics, the year-long First Year Seminar “Faith, Doubt, and Reason” and is the author of the award-winning, Faith at the Intersection of History and Experience.
UCLA (3): Scott Bartchy
Scott Bartchy is Professor Emeritus of Christian Origins and the History of Religion in the Department of History at UCLA and his current research focuses on the socialization of boys and girls into the dominant cultural values and social codes of the various peoples living in the early Roman Empire as the context for understanding the ways in which the developing “Christian” movement reinscribed, remained neutral, or undermined those values. He is also a member of The Context Group, a working group of international scholars committed to the use of the social sciences in biblical interpretation.
Kentucky (2): David Bradshaw
David Bradshaw is a professor of philosophy and department chair at the University of Kentucky and an Orthodox theologian. His research focuses on the ways that ancient Greek philosophy shaped medieval philosophy and religious thought, and how these, in turn, contributed to the formation of modernity. Most of his work to date has been on the philosophical roots of the division between the Greek-speaking (eastern) and Latin-speaking (western) branches of Christianity. His more recent work has continued this comparative study with respect to other issues such as divine freedom, time and eternity, the nature of the will, and free will and predestination.
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.