Religion & Philosophy Faculty


Dr. Jennifer Berenson

Ph.D., Harvard University
Office phone: 540-375-4969 
West Hall 315
Office Hours: Fall 2022  M 10:45-11:45am; W 1:00-2:00pm; TH 3:00-4:00pm

Dr. Berenson is a Professor of Religion. Her primary interests are in biblical interpretation both ancient and modern. Her published works include Flavius Philostratus Heroikos (SBL Press 2001), Flavius Philostratus On Heroes (SBL Press, 2001), and Philostratus's Heroikos: Religion and Cultural Identity in the Third Century C.E. (SBL Press, 2004).

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Dr. Brent Adkins
Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago

Office phone: 540-378-5152
West Hall 321
Office Hours: On sabbatical

Dr. Adkins is a Professor of Philosophy. His primary interests are 19th and 20th Century European philosophy, Modern Philosophy, and politics. His most recent books are Death and Desire in Hegel, Heidegger and Deleuze (2007) and True Freedom: Spinoza's Practical Philosophy (2009), and with Paul Hinlicky Rethinking Philosophy & Theology with Deleuze: A New Cartography (2013); Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus: A Reader's Guide and Critical Introduction (2015) and A Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy (2017).

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Dr. Marwood Larson-Harris
Ph.D., Boston University

Office phone: 540-375-2083
West Hall 317
Office Hours: Fall 2022: MWF 10:50-11:50am

Dr. Larson-Harris is a Lecturer in Religion. He teaches Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Native American Religions, and Religion and Literature. His interests are in the ways that religious ideas shape literary and artistic culture, as well as how ancient Native American traditions continue to shape modern Native experience. He is currently working on a study of the Zen Oxherding Pictures and a book on Buddhism and Film.

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Dr. James Peterson
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Office phone: 540-375-4919
West Hall 307
Office Hours: Fall 2022 TTH 9:30-10:00am and 2:45-3:15pm
Website: Dr. Peterson's page

Dr. Peterson holds the Schumann Chair in Christian Ethics and is the Director of the Benne Center for Religion & Society. An ordained pastor who has been a research fellow in molecular and clinical genetics on grant from the National Institutes of Health, his books Genetic Turning Points and Changing Human Nature (both Eerdmans), examine the ethics of genetic intervention. Most recently he contributed to Neural Organoids, Transplants, and Chimeras for the National Academy of Sciences. Invited lectures have ranged from the World Parliament of Religions, AAAS, and the National Academy of Medicine, to universities from Yonsei (Seoul) to Washington (St Louis) to McMaster to Harvard to Oxford... Peterson is also the ethicist for the LewisGale Medical Center, a professor for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, editor-in-chief of the academic journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, and an elected Fellow of both the American Scientific Affiliation and of the International Society for Science and Religion (Cambridge University).

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Dr. Melanie Trexler
Ph.D., Georgetown University
Office phone: 540-375-5266
West Hall 303
Office Hours: Fall0 2022  MW 1:00-2:00pm; T 1:30-2:30pm

Melanie Trexler is an Assistant Professor of Religion. Her scholarly interests and research focus on Muslim-Christian relations in the U.S. and Arab world. She is particularly interested in the encounters between Muslims and Christians throughout history, examining the ways in which these encounters shape identity construction, religious ideas, political views, and interreligious engagement. Her most recent book is Evangelizing Lebanon: Baptists, Muslims, and the Question of Cultures (Baylor, 2016). Currently, her research focuses on an underexplored group of imam correctional chaplains who serve incarcerated Muslims (about 10–15% of the incarcerated population).  

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Dr. Ned Wisnefske
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Office phone: 540-375-2372
West Hall 301
Office Hours: Fall 2022  T 10:00-11:00am; F 4:00-5:00pm

Prof. Wisnefske's most recent book is Could God Fail?  The Fate of the Universe and the Faith of Christians.  The book considers what the disintegration of the universe would mean for the Christian faith.  His previous book was God Hides: A Critique of Religion and a Primer for Faith.  He also recently published The Ought. The Ought is written for those who wonder where morals come from and whether we just make them up.  The book is an ethical quest to answer those questions.  Intriguingly illustrated, it brings these questions to life.

Dr. Hans Zorn
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office phone: 540-375-2024
West Hall 309
Office Hours: Fall 2022 MW 2:20-3:20pm; TTH 3:00-4:00pm

Dr. Zorn is Professor of Philosophy, has taught previously at the University of Toledo, the University of Notre Dame, and Valparaiso University. His primary areas of interest are the philosophy of religion, ancient and medieval philosophy, and metaphysics. He is particularly interested in the ways in which philosophers attempt to push the limits of thought to encompass what cannot be said.

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Robert Benne
Ph.D., University of Chicago


Dr. Benne is the founder of the Center for Religion and Society. He came to Roanoke from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1982. He is a leading figure in Lutheran ethics and social thought. A selection of his publications illustrates his interests: The Ethic of Democratic Capitalism: A Moral Reassessment; Ordinary Saints: An Introduction to the Christian Life; The Paradoxical Vision: A Public Theology for the Twenty-first Century; Seeing is Believing: Vision of Life Through Film. He is currently working on a study of higher education in Lutheran and other Christian denominations.

Dr. Paul Hinlicky
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary

Website: Dr. Hinlicky's page

Dr. Hinlicky came to Roanoke College after six years of service in post-communist Slovakia as a missionary professor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, of which he is an ordained minister. His background is in classical theology and modern continental philosophy. Committed to the tradition of Lutheran confessional theology, he is interested in developing an ecumenically-oriented Christian systematic theology and ethics. He is concerned to meet varied contemporary challenges, preeminently the scientific view of the history of the cosmos, the dangers of cultural nihilism, and the disunity of the churches.

Adjunct Lecturers

Dr. David Delaney
Office phone: 540-389-1000
Bittle Memorial Hall
Office hours:

Prof. Nick Montgomery
Office phone: 540-375-2083
West Hall 313
Office hours:


Judi Pinckney
Office phone: 540-378-5148
Office fax: 540-375-2405
West 208