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March Madness of Religion: Midwest

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


zahn_mollyKansas (1): Molly Zahn

Molly Zahn’s research focuses on issues of scriptural interpretation in the Hebrew Bible and in early Judaism (primarily the Dead Sea Scrolls and related texts). Other interests include the ancient Near Eastern world, early Christianity, and the historical relations between Christianity and Judaism. Molly’s publications explore how interpretation shapes the development of authoritative or scriptural texts themselves, and examine the variety of creative ways individuals and communities claim authority for new interpretations.

Interview with The Rhodes Project (website)

Faculty Bio Page

Mark Goodacre

Duke (2): Mark Goodacre

Mark Goodacre is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University. He specializes in the New Testament and Christian Origins. His research interests include Jesus, the Synoptic Gospels, John’s Gospel, the Gospel of Thomas and Jesus in Film. He is the author of four books including The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (2002) and Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Synoptics (2012). He is well known for internet sites like The New Testament Gateway and his podcast, the NT Pod.

Faculty Bio Page


ameburyClemson (5): Richard Amesbury

Richard Amesbury is a philosopher and scholar of religion who works at the intersection of ethics, philosophy of religion, and political theory. He chairs the American Academy of Religion’s Law, Religion, and Culture Unit and serves on the steering committee of the AAR’s Religion and Politics Unit. Prior to joining the department as chair in 2017, he was Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he also led the university’s Center for Ethics and directed the Institute for Social Ethics.

Religion and Rights: An Interview with Richard Amesbury (website)

Faculty Bio Page

Burrus-Virginia-hqSyracuse (11): Virginia Burris

Virginia Burris is the Bishop W. Earl Ledden Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Religion at Syracuse University. Professor Burrus specializes in the literary and cultural history of Christianity in late antiquity.  Her interests include: gender, sexuality, and the body; martyrdom and asceticism; ancient novels and hagiography; constructions of orthodoxy and heresy; histories of theology and historical theologies.

Ancient Christian Practice, as fellow-in-residence at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (website)

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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