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)
Religion 7100: Independent Studies (informal graduate courses): 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, The Battle Creek Idea: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living is forthcoming for Indiana University Press in their Religion in North America Series.
Some Recent Publications
• "Religious Studies in the Context of Liberal Education," Religious Studies News: Spotlight on Teaching
• With Stephen G. Covell, "Graduate Student Pedagogical Training as a Key Component of Stand-Alone MA Programs in Religious Studies," Religious Studies News: Spotlight on Teaching (March 2012)
• "The Dawn of a New Denomination: Seventh-day Adventism Comes to Michigan," Michigan History 96:6 (November/December, 2012), pp. 43-49.
• "The Battle for Battle Creek: Sectarian Competition in the Yankee West," Quaker Theology 12:2 (Summer/Fall 2013): 72-91.
Click for Dr. Wilson's CV:
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?