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Charles Prebish

Charles Prebish
Main 331

Charles Prebish came to Utah State University following more than thirty-five years on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University. He currently holds the Charles Redd Chair in Religious Studies.

Dr. Prebish has published nineteen books and more than fifty scholarly articles and chapters. His books Buddhist Monastic Discipline (1975) and Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America (1999) are considered classic volumes in Buddhist Studies. Dr. Prebish is the leading pioneer in the establishment of the study of Western Buddhism as a sub-discipline in Buddhist Studies. In 1993 he held the Visiting Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary, and in 1997 was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation National Humanities Fellowship for research at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Prebish has been an officer in the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and was co-founder of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. In 1994, he co-founded the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, which was the first online peer-reviewed journal in the field of Buddhist Studies; and in 1996, co-founded the Routledge "Critical Studies in Buddhism" series. He has also served as editor of the Journal of Global Buddhism and Critical Review of Books in Religion.

In 2005, he was honored with a "festschrift" volume by his colleagues titled Buddhist Studies from India to America: Essays in Honor of Charles S. Prebish.

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Norm Jones

Norm Jones
Main 323A

A native of Filer, Idaho, Norman Jones began his higher education at the College of Southern Idaho, earned a bachelor's degree at Idaho State University, and went on to complete his master's degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder. For his doctoral work he switched locations entirely, earning his degree at Cambridge University in England in 1978. Later that year he joined the faculty at USU. He quickly worked through the ranks from assistant to associate to full professor, and has served as head of the Department of History since 1994.

Dr. Jones has published approximately thirty-five scholarly articles and seven books including The English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaptation (2001), The Birth of the Elizabethan Age (1993), God and the Moneylenders (1989), and the prize-winning Faith by Statute (1982). The Huntington Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard Universities have awarded him grants and fellowships.

In addition to being a prolific scholar, Dr. Jones is also an excellent teacher who has taken his interest in pedagogy beyond his own classroom to present papers, organize conferences, and serve as a consultant concerning the content and process of teaching in America's classrooms.

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Philip Barlow
Philip Barlow
Main 331

Philip Barlow, Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, joined the faculty at Utah State University in 2007. He earned a B. A. from Weber State College and an M.T.S. and Ph.D. (1988, with an emphasis on Religion and American Culture and on the History of Christianity) from Harvard University. He spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at the University of Rochester after which he became professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College in Indiana. He will teach introductory courses in Religious Studies and Mormon and American Culture as well as upper-level courses in American religion, and explorations of time, silence, and film. While teaching at Hanover College, Dr. Barlow was the recipient of Hanover's Arthur and Ilene Baynham Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1995 and 2001. In addition to articles, essays, and reviews, Dr. Barlow has published Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991); the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (Oxford, 2000, co-authored with Edwin Scott Gaustad); and, as co-editor with Mark Silk, Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America's Common Denominator? (Alta Mira Press, 2004). He is past president of the Mormon History Association.

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Christine Cooper-Rompata

Christine Cooper-Rompato
Ray B. West 204E


Christine Cooper-Rompato is an Assistant Professor of English.

Cooper-Rampato specializes in both medieval hagiogr
aphy and later medieval English literature. her book, "The Gift of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages," was recently published by Penn State Press (2010); the book explores medieval hagiographical and literary accounts of xenoglossia, the miraculous ability to speak, understand, read, or write a foreign language. Her current book project, "Traveling Tongues," examines how medieval and early modern pilgrims, missionaries, and merchants learned foreign languages, as well as their aids to communication, including interpreters and phrase books. She is also working on the concepts of numeracy of innumeracy in medieval religious writings.

Cooper-Rompato's article publications include "Miraculous and Mundane Translation in The Book of Margery Kempe" (Studies in Philology), "Translating Custance in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale" (Yearbook of English Studies) and "Digesting the Example of (Im)Patient Griselda in John Lydgate's 'A Mumming at Hertford' and 'Bycorne and Chychevache" (ASMAR 18).

Cooper-Rompato is the Co-editor of the Journal of medieval Religious Cultures, which is published by Penn State Press.


Richley Crapo

Richley Crapo
Main 245C

Richley H. Crapo, (Ph.D. University of Utah). Professor.
His interests include psychological anthropology, gender, and religion. He received his PhD. from the University of Utah in 1970 and has been employed at Utah State University ever since. He carried out his dissertation fieldwork, a study of language use by Shoshone Indians, on the Duckwater Reservation near Ely, Nevada, and subsequently published the definitive dictionary of the Big Smokey Valley dialect of Shoshone through the University of Nevada Press. His areas of expertise can be described as Symbolic Anthropology (combining interests in language, personality, and religion) and Gender (with an emphasis on supranumary genders and sexual identity). As a previous chair of USU's Religious Studies Certificate Program, he is interested in both the anthropology of the Bible and of nonwestern religions. He recently published a textbook titled Anthropology of Religion: the Unity and Diversity of Religion.

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Bonnie Glass-Coffin

Bonnie Glass-Coffin
Main 245A

Bonnie Glass-Coffin first became widely-known beyond the academic world of anthropology with the publication of The Gift of Life: Female Spirituality and Healing in Northern Peru, exploring the role of curanderas in their communities. She knew from the ancient Moche and Chimu sculptures of women as healers and shamans, that women have historically played a large role in the healing arts of the region. In writing and research, she explores the concepts of healing, shamanism, sorcery, plant medicines, and gender in Peru and Ecuador. She has published numerous anthropological articles and teaches at Utah State University, where she organized a major conference in 2000, "Body, Mind, and Spirit: Culture and Health in America." She founded and directs an ethnographic field school that meets in Huanchaco, Peru each summer. She has received numerous awards for her research and for her teaching, including the prestigious CASE/Carnegie Foundation award as Teacher of the Year -- and brings an infectious excitement to her ground-breaking work.

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Dan McInerney
Dan McInerney
Main 323H

Daniel McInerney, born in Brooklyn, New York, majored in history at Manhattan College, where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his graduate work in Indiana, earning his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies-History at Purdue University. Dr. McInerney joined the faculty at Utah State in 1986, and served as director of the University's Honors Program from 1993 to 1997. He currently holds the rank of full professor.

Dr. McInerney is the author of two books: The Fortunate Heirs of Freedom: Abolition and Republican Thought (1994) and The Travellers' History of the United States (2000). His articles have appeared in Civil War History and The Journal of the Early Republic. Since 1994, he has served as an associate editor of The Social Science Journal. His current research involves nineteenth-century interest in mnemonics (the science of improving memory).

Dr. McInerney teaches the lower-division U.S. history survey as well as upper-division courses on the Age of Jefferson and Jackson, Civil War and Reconstruction, and American Religious History. At the graduate level, he leads seminars in American Studies as well as history. In addition, Dr. McInerney is "co-principal investigator" and executive historian on the million-dollar "Teaching American History" grant that the History Department (and local school districts) received from the U.S. Department of Education.

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Peter Mentzel

Peter Mentzel
Main 321G

Associate Professor Peter Mentzel specializes in the social and political history of the Ottoman Empire. His most recent work concentrates on the interactions between technological change and the development of ethnic and national identities among the peoples of southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia. He teaches a variety of upper-division courses covering the modern history of those areas, as well as lower-division courses on Islamic and Western Civilizations. Twice nominated History Department Teacher of the Year, Dr. Mentzel also received a “Top Prof” award in 2002 from the Mortar Board Honor Society.

Dr. Mentzel is the author of “Transportation Technology and Imperialism in the Ottoman Empire, 1800-1923 (AHA-SHOT, 2006). He is also the editor of a special issue of the journal Nationalities Papers (2000) focusing on Muslim minorities in the Balkans. He was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Turkey during the 1998-99 academic year and has received additional grants from Utah State University and the American Research Institute in Turkey. He serves on the Board of Editors of Nationalities Papers and is the past President of the Western Association for Slavic Studies.

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Alexa Sand

Alexa Sand

Alexa Sand joined the faculty at USU in 2004 after several years at Sonoma State University in California. A specialist in medieval art, she teaches courses in ancient, medieval, Islamic, and Renaissance Art, often with a focus on issues of gender and religion. As a participating faculty-member in the new Religious Studies program, she will teach a regularly-offered seminar in sacred art. She is also involved in the Medieval Studies area-studies certificate program.

Professor Sand has published articles on medieval manuscript illumination in professional journals including The Art Bulletin and Yale French Studies, and over the past two years she has presented her research on aspects of medieval manuscript illumination at annual meetings of the College Art Association and the Medieval Academy of America.


Richard Sherlock
Richard Sherlock
Main 202E

Richard Sherlock, Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University, with advanced training in theology, ethics, and philosophy at Harvard. Before coming to USU he taught at the University of Tennessee and was professor of moral theology at Fordham University in New York. He has over 80 books, book chapters, articles and book reviews in theological and philosophical ethics and applied ethics, history of philosophy and theology, philosophical theology, and religious history. His book on the theological meanings of genetics is just appearing in Fall 2007. A reader on religion and science will appear next year.

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Steve Siporin

Steve Siporin
Ray B. West 204B

Professor Steve Siporin is a folklorist who holds a joint appointment in English and History. He teaches a wide variety of folklore classes, including Jewish Folklore and Folklore and Religion. He is the author of American FolkMasters: The National Heritage Fellows (Abrams, 1992) and co-editor of Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself (Utah State University Press, 2000). His translation of Augusto Segre’s Memories of Jewish Life: Casale Monferrato-Rome-Jerusalem, 1918-1960, from the Italian, is due to be published by the University of Nebraska Press (2008).

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Gordon Steinhoff

Gordon Steinhoff
Main 202D

Gordon Steinhoff is an associate professor of philosophy. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. His teaching interests include philosophy of science, metaphysics, logic, and East Asian philosophy. He enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, gardening, and reading mystery novels. He lives in River Heights, Utah.

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Michael Sowder

Michael Sowder is an associate professor of English. He received his Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Michigan, an M.F.A. in poetry writing from Georgia State University, and a J.D. from the University of Washington. He specializes in poetry writing and nineteenth-century American literature.

The author of three poetry collections and a critical book on Walt Whitman, Sowder is currently at work on a spiritual memoir. His poetry collection, The Empty Boat, was chosen from over 720 manuscripts to win the 2004 T. S. Eliot Prize, his chapbook collection, A Calendar of Crows, won the 2001 New Michigan Press Award, and a second chapbook, Café Midnight, a collaborative work, features his poems alongside those of poet Margaret Aho

Sowder’s study of Walt Whitman’s poetry, Whitman’s Ecstatic Union: Conversion and Ideology in Leaves of Grass, was published by Routledge in 2005. Whitman’s Ecstatic Union reads Whitman’s poetry within the context of the culture of proliferating religious sects and movements during the “Second Great Awakening” of the first half of the nineteenth century. It reads Leaves of Grass as a sermonic performance designed to create conversions in readers and transform them into Whitman’s ideal of a “new American personality.”

Sowder’s creative nonfiction and personal essays appear in literary magazines and journals throughout the country.

He is the poetry editor of Utah State’s literary magazine, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing.

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