Department of Religion and Philosophy
Marquette University, PhD, 1993 University of Dubuque, BA, 1967
Research and Teaching Interests
First-century Judaism and Christian origins, historical Jesus, parable parallels between Ancient Near East and modern-day Africa, status and role of women in the world’s religions (Africa and the Middle East), and the Bible of the Poor Project. In addition to teaching religion courses, I also teach in the Integrative Studies Program (social justice), The Freshmen Year Experience (religion and the film industry), and The Senior Year Experience (travel to Africa).
- Editorial Board, The Fourth R: An Advocate for Religious Literacy (Santa Rosa, California).
- Review Staff, Hervormde Teologiese Studies (University of Pretoria, South Africa).
- “The ‘Complete Gospel’ Revisited: Middle East and African Influences,” HTS 70:1 [70th Anniversary Edition (2014)/Johan Buitendag Dedication], Art. #2760, 6 pages [http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2760].
- “Death, Afterlife, and Ancestors in Africa” with Jean Ntahoturi and Mbengu David Nyiawung in Ellens, ed., Heaven, Hell, and Afterlife: Eternity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Vol. 3; Praeger, 2013), pp. 109-134.
- “Parable Parallels from Cameroon,” Voices from Kumba 4 (Cameroon) [Diamond Jubilee Edition, 2013), pp. 238-52.
- “Another Look at the Canaanite Woman,” The Fourth R 25:5 (September-October 2012), pp. 10-14.
- “Seeing the World Through the Eyes of Andries van Aarde: Radical Inclusivity” Hervormde Teologiese Studies [Festschrift: Andries van Aarde 67:1 (2011), pp. 11-16.
- “Religious Diversity: A Recipe for Peace or Violence?” AXIAL (Spring 2010), pp. 5-14.
- “From Hippo to Hippos: Being on the Edge of Smash in Africa” in Hedrick, ed., When Faith Meets Reason: Religion Scholars Reflect on Their Spiritual Journeys (Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press, 2008), pp. 1-11.
- ‘Have Mercy On Me’: The Story of the Canaanite Woman in Matthew 15.21-28 (Sheffield, England: the Copenhagen International Seminar Series; Sheffield Academic Press, 2002).
When I came to Otterbein University in 1992, my mentor at Marquette University told me that although I was going to a college renowned for teaching, I should always remember that good teaching cannot be done without good research and good research cannot be done without the outlet of good teaching. He was right. My passion for both teaching and research centers on issues of social justice from the first century through today’s world and on a global basis. Otterbein has enabled sabbaticals as a scholar-in-residence at Westar Institute in California, Africa University in Zimbabwe, Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, The American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and research in Namibia, Malawi, Botswana, and South Africa. In addition, I have a research affiliation with The University of Pretoria and have lectured in Cameroon, Finland, Canada, Australia and The Journeys of Paul in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Crete. As an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, I present papers on a yearly basis in countries around the world.