Internal RELS Faculty

Charles Kimball

Dr. Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Between 1996 and 2008, he served as Chair of the Department of Religion and the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. During the 2006 fall term, Dr. Kimball was the Rita and William Bell Visiting Professor at the University of Tulsa. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds the M.Div. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his Th.D. from Harvard University in comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies.  Prof. Kimball became the Director of the Program in 2008. Click here for Prof. Kimball's website. 

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 141 | 325-5015 

Rangar Cline

Rangar Cline is a historian of the later Roman Empire with research and teaching interests in Roman religions, epigraphy, and archaeology.  His research focuses on the relationship between Greek and Roman religions, early Christianity, and Judaism in the Roman world.  His book Ancient Angels, about angel veneration in the Roman Empire, was recently published with Brill Press (Leiden, March 2011) in the series “Religions in the Graeco-Roman World.”   His current book project examines the economics of pilgrimage. Click here for Prof. Cline's website.

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 146 | 325-5041 

Deonnie Moodie

Deonnie Moodie earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Harvard University and M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School. She has a B. A. from Hope College, where she majored in International Studies. Dr. Moodie specializes in South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism. She is especially interested in contemporary temple Hinduism in urban South Asia and the ways in which people of various class backgrounds negotiate these sites as spaces of devotion, memory, monumentality, labor, and leisure. At OU, Prof. Moodie teaches Introduction to Religious Studies, Introduction to Hinduism, and Religion and Nationalism in India. For more information about her research, click here.

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 114 | 325-5143

David Vishanoff

David Vishanoff earned his Ph.D. in West and South Asian Religions, with a focus on Islamic thought, at Emory University, after completing an M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Colorado. His research is principally concerned with how religious people interpret and conceptualize sacred texts—both their own, and those of other religious traditions. His publications have dealt with Islamic thought, including the early history of Islamic legal theory (The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics: How Sunni Legal Theorists Imagined a Revealed Law), and with interactions between religious communities, including Muslim rewritings of the Psalms of David. He is presently studying modern Qur’anic hermeneutics, beginning with recent developments in Indonesia, where he spent the spring of 2013 as a Fulbright senior scholar. He teaches upper-level courses on The Qur’an, Islamic Law, and Islamic Theology, as well as comparative courses such as Jesus in the World’s Religions.  Click here for Prof. Vishanoff's website. 

 Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 119 | 325-1150

Jill Hicks-Keeton

 Jill Hicks-Keeton specializes in New Testament and Christian origins,    Second Temple Judaism, and the relationship of Judaism and  Christianity in antiquity. She earned her PhD from Duke University's  Graduate Program in Religion and has previously taught at George  Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prof.Jill Hicks-Keeton specializes in  New Testament and Christian origins, Second Temple Judaism, and the relationship of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity.  She earned her PhD from Duke University's Graduate Program in Religion and has previously taught at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prof. Hicks-Keeton's book project, entitled Rewritten Gentiles: Conversion to Israel's 'Living God' and Jewish Identity in Antiquity, examines the sociological novelty of conversion in ancient Judaism and earliest Christianity with specific attention to literary strategies of boundary construction and enforcement. She is interested broadly in the so-called 'parting of the ways' between Judaism and Christianity in antiquity, processes of identity formation through religious narrative, and the new uses of inherited biblical traditions in the New Testament and other early Christian and Second Temple Jewish literature.  For more on Prof. Hicks-Keeton's research and teaching, click here.

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 112 | 325-5554

Mara Willard

Mara Willard specializes in Christian Studies, and Theories and Methods in Religious Studies.  A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences with her PhD, she taught at Harvard and Tufts Universities. Her areas of specialty include religious and political thought in Hannah Arendt, Religion and the Modern West, Religion and Society, and Theories and Methods in Religious Studies. Courses she taught at Tufts and Harvard include Religion, Race, and Nation; Introduction to Christianity; Religion and American Public Life; Christian Perspectives on War and Peace; and Christian Ethics and Modern Society. At OU, Professor Willard teaches RELS 2413 Religion, Culture, and the Meaning of Life, along with courses in Christian Studies, including RELS 2133 Introduction to Christianity.  For more information on Prof. Willard's research and teaching interests, see her website here.

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 135 | 325-6239

Geoffrey Goble

Geoffrey Goble joined the RELS faculty in the Fall of 2016, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught Buddhism and East Asian Religions.  In addition to his introduction to Buddhism, he will be introducing courses on Daoism, Tibetan Buddhism, and East Asian Religions. Dr. Goble graduated from OU with a Letters degree, earned his MA at the University of Virginia, and his PhD was completed at Indiana University.  For more information on Dr. Goble's research and teaching interests, see his website here.

Religious Studies | Email: | Office: ROBT 138 | 325-3118

Core Faculty

The Religious Studies program is governed by a core voting faculty committee, which is assisted by a wider group of affiliated faculty.  To be eligible to serve on the core faculty, members must regularly teach courses in the Religious Studies curriculum and be willing to attend the Program's meetings and participate in curriculum and hiring decisions. 

Thomas Burns
Office: Kaufman 323

Luis Cortest
Professor of Spanish
Office: Kaufman 130
Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Marie Dallam
Associate Professor
Office: Honors College, DLB Hall
Research: American religion and culture


Kyle Harper
Professor, Interim Sr. Vice President & Provost
Office: Carn 215
Research: Roman Empire and Early Middle Ages

Ori Kritz
Associate Professor Hebrew Studies
Office: Kaufman 209
Research: Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature

Joshua Landis
Associate Professor, IAS
Director of the Center of Middle East Studies
Office: Cate Center 4 # 385
Research: Political Islam, International Relations in the Middle East, Islam, The Modern Middle East, Culture and Society in the Middle East, the US in the Middle East

Alan Levenson
Schusterman Professor of Jewish History
Office: Cate Center 4 # 230
Research: Jewish Intellectual, Literary, and Religious History
Roberta Magnusson
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 822
Research: Medieval European and Italian History

Sam Perry
Assistant Professor
Office:  Kaufman Hall 335A
Research:  Religion, Culture, Families, Race/Ethnicity, Gender/Sexuality, Inequality, Collective Action
Bala Saho
Assistant Professor
Office:  DAHT 412
Research:  African History, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Colonialism

Carsten Schapkow
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 316
Research: Jewish History

Shmuel Shepkaru
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 305F
Research: Late Antiquity and Medieval Jewish History, Hebrew

Daniel C. Snell
Office: DAHT 420
Research: Ancient Near East

Alan R. Velie
David Ross Boyd Professor of English
Office: GIH 313
Research: Early Modern English and Native American Literature

Jane Wickersham
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 806
Research: Italian and Reformation History

Linda Zagzebski
George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Philosophy
Office: DAHT 601
Research: Philosophy of religion, Epistemology, Virtue ethics

Affiliated Faculty

All OU faculty members who have an interest in the Religious Studies Program, and wish to be affiliated with it, are eligible to be so designated, and can participate in faculty meetings, job talks, deliberations, and other faculty functions. Affiliated faculty do not vote.

Peter Barker History of Science 
Ryan BrownPsychology
Susan CaldwellArt
Jeanette DavidsonAfrican & African
 American Studies
R.C. Davis

World Literature Today
Michael GivelPolitical
Allen HertzkePolitical
Jill IrvineWomen's Studies
Charles KenneyPolitical
Steven LiveseyHistory of
Kieran MullenPhysics &
Sean O'
Amy OlberdingPhilosophy/International & Area
Michael ScaperlandaCollege of
Ann-Marie SyzmanskiPolitical
Rienk VermijHistory of
Stephen WeldonHistory of
Musharraf ZamanCivil Engineering/Environmental

Faculty Emeriti

Norman Stillman
Professor, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History
Jewish History, Medieval Islamic History