Professor Wilson earned a B.S. in Medical Microbiology from Stanford University (1982), and, after a stint in the Peace Corps (Honduras, Dominican Republic [1982-1986]), went on to earn an M.A. in Hispanic Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (1990) and an M.A./Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1991/1996).
Professor Wilson routinely teaches REL 3015: Christianity in the United States and REL 3145: New Religious Movements for undergraduates (a course now available on-line). Beginning Spring 2014, Professor Wilson will also be offering REL 5000: Religion and Alternative Medicine as part of the new on-line Graduate Certificate in Spirituality, Culture, and Health.
Courses taught by Professor Wilson at WMU:
Religion 1000: Religions of the World
Religion 2000: Introduction to the Academic Study of Religion
Religion 3130: Religion in America
Religion 3145: New Religious Movements (now available on-line during SSII)
Religion 3150: Christianity in the United States
Religion 4500: Capstone Seminar in Religious Studies
Religion 5000: Alternative American Scriptures
Religion 5000: Religion and Alternative Medicine (on-line)
Religion 6000: Classics in Theory and Method
Religion 6100: Contemporary Theory and Method
Religion 6150: Pedagogy for Graduate Students
Religion 6200: Advanced Seminar in Comparative Religion (Topics taught: American Sacred Space; Western Esotericism; Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design; New England Theology; Mormonism and Adventism; Alternative American Scriptures)
Religion 7100: Independent Studies (ad hoc graduate courses. Topics taught: Introduction to Phenomenology; Ninian Smart's World Philosophies; Max Weber's Studies in Comparative Religion; Mircea Eliade's History of Religious Ideas (3 Volumes); Comparative Philosophy of Religion)
Current Research Projects
Professor Wilson's areas of interest include religion in American Religious History; New Religious Movements; Religion in the Midwest and in the Yankee Diaspora; and Theory and Method in the Academic Study of Religion. His latest book project is the spiritual biography of John E. Fetzer supported by a grant from the Fetzer Institute.