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March Madness of Religion: East

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


massimoVillanova (1): Massimo Faggioli

Massimo Faggioli is a full professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia). He had been founding director (2014-2015) of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship and on the faculty in the Department of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) between 2009 and 2016. He writes regularly for newspapers and journals on the Church, religion and politics, frequently gives public lectures on the Church and on Vatican II, and he is co-chair of the new study group “Vatican II Studies” for the American Academy of Religion (2012–2016).

Pope Francis and the Unfolding of Vatican II in Today’s Church (video lecture)

Faculty Bio Page

bergmannPurdue (2): 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.

Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Evil (article)

Faculty Bio Page



Mark_Webb_BWTexas Tech (3): Mark Webb

Professor Webb, is the chair of the Philosophy Department and specializes in epistemology and philosophy of religion. He is currently working on philosophical problems arising from the commitments of the world’s religions, starting with karma and reincarnation, and their implications for free will and personal identity.

Interview on teaching style (video)

Faculty Bio Page



galeWest Virginia (5): Aaron Gale

Aaron M. Gale is an associate professor of religious studies at West Virginia University as well as the director of WVU’s Program for Religious Studies. Dr. Gale’s research has centered upon the Jewish roots of early Christianity, specifically as it relates to the community associated with Matthew’s Gospel. This research has resulted in various publications including the book Redefining Ancient Borders: The Jewish Scribal Framework of Matthew’s Gospel.

Faculty Bio Page





Michael Shepherd is an Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Political Science at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA, USA. He tweets at @profshepherd and @global_theology

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