Students may approach any faculty member in the Department for the Study of Religions about a course being offered or even arranging an individual reading course that may relate to the student’s RPE interests.

Dr. Lucas Johnston

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Director, Religion and Public Engagement
Dr. Johnston’s interdisciplinary educational background includes degrees in Religion and Nature (PhD, University of Florida), Environmental Ethics (Graduate Certificate), Theology (MA), and Psychology (BA).  His research focuses on the relationships between biocultural evolution and religion, with particular attention to environmental social movements and cross-cultural political dialog related to ideas about nature.  He is the author of Religion and Sustainability: Social Movements and the Politics of the Environment (2013), co-editor of Science and Religion: One Planet, Many Possibilities (2014), and editor of Higher Education for Sustainability: Cases, Challenges and Opportunities Across the Curriculum (2012).  He is also the Senior Book Reviews Editor for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.

Dr. Steve Boyd

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J. Allen Easley Professor of Religion at Wake Forest University. He teaches courses on the history of Christianity and Christian thought, gender studies, and religion and public life. He has been awarded The Don Schoonmaker Faculty Prize for Community Service (2005) and the The Reid Doyle Prize for Excellence in Teaching (1989). He has authored Pilgram Marpeck: His Life and Social Theology (Duke University Press, 1992); The Men We Long to Be (Harper San Francisco 1995 & Pilgrim Press, 1997); and (editor) Redeeming Men: Religion and Masculine Identity (Westminster/John Knox, 1996). A new book, Making Justice Our Business: The Wrongful Conviction of Darryl Hunt and the Work of Faith (Wipf & Stock) about race, religion and the criminal justice system was published Fall 2011. He has also served as co-chair of the Men’s Studies in Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion, President of the American Men’s Studies Association, and was a founder of Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment (C.H.A.N.G.E.) in Winston-Salem. Courses: REL 332 Religion and Public Engagement; REL 369 Radical Christian Movements; FYS Seeing with a Native Eye

Dr. Ken Hoglund

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Dr. Hoglund has taught at NC State University, NC Wesleyan College, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill prior to joining the faculty at Wake Forest University in 1990. He was co-researcher along with Profs. Eric and Carol Meyers at the site of Sepphoris in the Galilee as part of the Joint Sepphoris Project. He has held a number of leadership roles including past American Schools of Oriental Research-SE President, and Society of Biblical Literature-SE President. Since 2009 Dr. Hoglund has served as the Executive Director of the SE Commission for the Study of Religion. He frequently lectures within the community on various topics related to Biblical Studies and Religion. He is a licensed amateur radio operator and is deeply engaged in training with other operators to be prepared for public service in an emergency, and is the Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Forsyth County for the SKYWARN network.

Dr. Lynn Neal

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Lynn S. Neal earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches courses in American religious history, religion and popular culture, and religious intolerance. She is the author of Romancing God: Evangelical Women and Inspirational Fiction (2006), and “Evangelical Love Stories: The Triumphs and Temptations of Romantic Fiction.” She is also the co-editor, with John Corrigan, of Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History (2010), and has published other works on this topic, including “Intolerance and American Religious History,” and “They’re Freaks!: The Cults Stereotype in Fictional TV Shows, 1958-2008.” Her current research examines the intersection of religion and fashion.

Dr. Tanisha Ramachandran

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Tanisha Ramachandran earned her Ph.D from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. She is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled,Idolized Representations which deals with issues of colonialism and the transmission and commoditization of Hindu imagery in the Euro-American world. Prior to joining Wake Forest University, she taught in the Department of Religion and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University. She has published in various journals including The Journal of Religion and Culture and Canadian Women’s Studies/ les cahiers de la Femme and has given numerous talks on issues pertaining to race, sexuality, religion and feminism. Her other areas of interest include the racialization of Islam in the North American media, Hindu Nationalism, Hindu and Buddhist art and Women in South Asian Religions

Dr. Nelly Van Doorn-Harder

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Nelly van Doorn-Harder was born and raised in the Netherlands were she earned her PhD on the topic of women in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Before moving to the USA she was director of a refugee program in Cairo, Egypt, and taught Islamic Studies at universities in the Netherlands (Leiden) and Indonesia (Yogyakarta). Her latest book, The Emergence of the Modern Coptic Papacy.The Egyptian Church and its Leadership from the Ottoman Period to the Present. Part III, The Modern Coptic Papacy (1798-2010), co-authored with Magdi Guirguis. (Cairo, AUC Press, 2011) just appeared. Courses: REL Islam and Law: Varieties in Interpretation and Expression

Dr. Ulrike Wiethaus

Ulrike Wiethaus (PhD, Religious Studies, Temple University) currently holds a joint appointment as full professor in the Department of Religion and American Ethnic Studies, and is a 2013 Community Solutions Fellow with the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University.
Her research interests focus on the history of Christian spirituality with an emphasis on gender justice and political history, and most recently, historic trauma, religion, and the long-term impact of US colonialism. As the inaugural director, she has guided the creation of the Religion and Public Engagement concentration in Religious Studies.
She has won several awards on innovative teaching strategies and community engagements, including the Donald O. Schoonmaker Faculty Prize for Community Service, Innovative Teaching Award (with Gillian Overing, WFU 2008), the Presidential Library Grant (with Mary Scanlon, WFU 2008), and the Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts Award for Local Community Involvement and Outreach (WFU 2007), and has been awarded a Shively Family Fellowship for 2010 – 2012. She has directed, produced, and co-produced several non-profit documentaries with elders on the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota, and most recently edited a non-profit book of poetry and autobiographies by American Indian prisoners at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC.