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 America, with an emphasis on religion in the Midwest and 19th-century New Religious Movements. He has also done work in 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.
Professor Wilson on YouTube
Professor Wilson on American Religious History
Professor Wilson on the importance of Studying Religion
Professor Wilson on WMU's Department of Comparative Religion
Professor Wilson on REL 3150: Christianity in the United States
What can I do with a Comparative Religion Major?