News Archive

Selva J. Raj Memorial Scholarship

This award was established in March of 2008 in memory of Dr. Selva J. Raj (1952 – 2008). Dr. Raj was a beloved and outstanding scholar, teacher, and colleague. Recipients of the scholarship are announced at Albion College's Honors Convocation each April.

2014 Laxmi Kotha

2013 Christina Hallam

2012 Dustin Moretz

2011 Christopher White

2010 Julia Humenik

2009 Christina Griffith and Steven Maisel

John and Williemae Cheek Award

The John and Williemae Cheek Award is a cash award presented each year to the outstanding senior in the Religious Studies Department.

2014 Tim Delong, Christina Hallam & Dustin Moretz

2013 Jonathan Tostige

2012 Nicholas Lessnau

2011 Julia Humenik

2010 Steve Maisel

2009 Dianne F. Marshall

2008 Joel Pier-Fitzgerald

2007 Andrea Mettler

2006 Mathew Milligan

2004 Marcia Nelson

2002 Madolene Page-Wood

2001 Heather Schmidt

2000 Meredith Thompson & Michelle Lesperance

1999 Brenda Green

1998 Jennifer Ralston

1997 Jennifer Koehn

1996 Wendi Mrozinski

1995 Aaron Schwoebel

1994 Christopher Behling

1992 Jennifer Smith

1991 Andrew Keck

1990 Weatherly Burkhead

1989 Peter Plagge

1987 Gerald Hunter

1986 Jonathon Smiedendorf

1983 Donald Treglown

1982 Barry Petrucci

1981 Patrick Twomey

1980 Holly Wagner

1979 Carol Mader

1978 Richard Copp

1977 Barbara Mader

Student Research

Many of our majors and minors undertake research projects under the supervision of Religious Studies faculty members. We encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities for summer study offered by the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA). Many of our students have written honors theses based on original research and presented at the College's Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium. Some have gone on to present their work at the Midwest American Academy of Religion Conference, held annually in Chicago.

Here are some examples of recent research undertaken by Religious Studies students:

FURSCA Projects

  • “Responding to the Hermeneutics of Suspicion in Christian Theology” Erica Dudas
  • “The Effects of Forceful Takeovers on Religion in India and Greece” Christina Wade
  • “Religious Studies and the Pro-Ana Movement” Sarah Hewitt
  • “Christian Apologetics and Kantian Moral Influences” and“Evangelicals and Environmentalism” Jon Reynolds
  • “From Martyr to Dragon-Slayer: The Myth of St. George” Steven Maisel

Honors Theses

  • The Hermeneutics of Suspicion: A Critical View Using Feminist and Black Theology Erica Dudas
  • "Casting Down Imaginations": An Exegetical, Romans-Based Response to "Religious Pluralism" Luke Myc
  • Early North Indian Buddhism: Epigraphy and Architecture in the Extant Record Matt Milligan
  • God Loving Liberals: Why the Religious Left Gets Left Out Meredith Whitehouse
  • The Constitution and the Connection: The Relationship Between Early American Methodist Polity and American Democracy Joel Pier-Fitzgerald
  • Toward an Ethical Faith: Affirming the Importance of Critical Questioning Concerning Religion Dianne Marshall

Midwest AAR Presentations

  • "The Annunciation of Hope for Justice on Earth: The Feminist Response of Rosemary Radford Ruether to Karl Marx's Critique of Religion and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion." Erica Dudas
  • “The Pineapple Story: Exploring the Use of Narrative in New Tribes Mission” Marci Nelson
  • “Buddhism and the Matrix Trilogy” and “Early North Indian Buddhism: Epigraphy and Architecture in the Extant Record” Matt Milligan

Jocelyn McWhirter

Jocelyn McWhirter, associate professor of religious studies at Albion CollegeStanley S. Kresge Professor and Chair

E-mail:
Phone: 517/629-0268
Office: 214 Vulgamore Hall

Dr. Jocelyn McWhirter is a Biblical Studies scholar who specializes in New Testament studies. Her current research focuses on how the first Christians interpreted Israel's Scriptures in light of their conviction that Jesus was the Messiah. Other areas of interest include cultural hermeneutics and the literature of Second Temple Judaism. She is affiliated with the Society of Biblical Literature, where she is a member of the Mark Group. Her dissertation was published by Cambridge University Press in the fall of 2007.

Courses

  • RS101 Introduction to Western Religions
  • RS121 History, Literature, and Religion of the Old Testament
  • RS122 History, Literature, and Religion of the New Testament
  • RS215 Jewish Life and Thought
  • RS220 Legend, Wisdom, Apocalypse
  • RS222 Jesus and the Gospels
  • RS320 Gender and Biblical Interpretation
  • LA 101 Ancient Faith, Modern World
  • LA 101 The Holocaust
  • IDY 198 Holocaust Studies Service Learning Project

Education

  • Ph.D. New Testament Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2002
  • M.A. Religion, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, 1991
  • B.A. (with Honors) Religion, Trinity College, 1982

Career

  • Stanley S. Kresge Professor, Department of Religious Studies, 2015-present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Albion College, 2011-2015
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Albion College, 2006-2011
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Theology, St. Joseph's University, 2001-2005
  • Lecturer, Department of Theology, St. Joseph's University, 1999-2001

Books

  • Rejected Prophets: Jesus and His Witnesses in Luke-Acts, Fortress Press, 2014
  • The Bridegroom-Messiah and the People of God, SNTSMS, Cambridge University
    Press, 2007

Essays

  • "Luke 16:19-31," Interpretation 69 (2015): 463-65
  • "Messianic Exegesis in Mark 1-2," in "What does the Scripture Say?" Studies in the Function of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity, The Library of New Testament Studies, vol. 469, Continuum, 2012, 158-78
  • "Messianic Exegesis in Mark's Passion Narrative." in The Trial and Death of Jesus: Essays
    on the Passion Narrative in Mark, CBET 45, Peeters, 2007, 69-98

Dictionary Articles

  • "Nathan the Prophet," in Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2015)
  • "Tobit, Book of," in Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2015)
  • "Sarah, Wife of Tobias," in Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2015)
  • “Bride, Bridegroom,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (2nd ed.; Downers Grove, Ill.:InterVarsity Press, 2013): 95-97
  • “Marriage in the Bible,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2013)

Book Reviews

  • Review of Sharan B. Merriam and Laura L. Bierema, Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice, Wabash Center Resources, 2015
  • Review of Angela Breidenstein et al., Leading for Powerful Learning: A Guide for Instructional Leaders, Teaching Theology and Religion 17 (2014): 183-4
  • Review of Susan E. Docherty, The Use of the Old Testament in Hebrews: A Case Study in
    Early Bible Interpretation, CBQ 73 (2011): 158-9
  • Review of Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns, Three Views on the New
    Testament Use of the Old Testament, CBQ 71 (2009): 689-90· Review of Magnus
    Zetterholm, ed., The Messiah in Early Judaism and Christianity, CBQ 70
    (2008): 887-8
  • Review of Mark H. Hamilton et al., eds., Renewing Tradition: Studies in Texts and Contexts,
    CBQ 69 (2007): 858-9
  • Review of Mira Stare, Durch ihn leben: Die lebensthematik in Joh 6, CBQ 67 (2005): 724-6.
  • Review of Holly E. Hearon, The Mary Magdalene Tradition: Witness and Counter-Witness in
    Early Christian Communities, CBQ 66 (2004): 650-1.

Conference Presentations

  • "Searching the Scriptures: Jewish Messianic Exegesis in the Fourth Gospel," to be presented at the Sixth Nangeroni Meeting of the Enoch Seminar, Camaldoli, Italy, June 2016
  • "To Juel and Beyond: Messianic Exegesis in Mark 4:12," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2015
  • "Review of James W. Voelz, Mark 1:1 - 8:26," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Diego, California, 2014
  • "Prophets Who Set Precedents in Luke-Acts," presented at the Annual Meeting of the
    Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010
  • "Messianic Exegesis in Mark 1:2-3," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of
    Biblical Literature, Boston, Massachusetts, 2008
  • "Luke's Use of Mark and the Septuagint to Portray Jesus and Peter as Prophets,"
    presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Diego, California,
    2007
  • "Messianic Exegesis in Romans 9:30-11:32," presented at the Annual Meeting of the
    Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, D.C., 2006
  • "Messianic Exegesis in Mark's Passion Narrative," presented at the Annual Meeting of the
    Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, Texas, 2004
  • "The Bridegroom-Messiah in the Fourth Gospel: Messianic Exegesis of the Song of Songs
    and Gen 29:1-20 in Light of Ps 45," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of
    Biblical Literature, Denver, Colorado, 2001, and at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic
    Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, Lima, Pennsylvania, 2000

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