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Internal Religious Studies Faculty

Rangar Cline is a historian of the later Roman Empire with research and teaching interests in Roman religions, epigraphy, and archaeology.  His research focuses on the relationship between Greek and Roman religions, early Christianity, and Judaism in the Roman world.  His book Ancient Angels, about angel veneration in the Roman Empire, was published with Brill Press (Leiden, March 2011) in the series “Religions in the Graeco-Roman World.”   His current book project examines the economics of pilgrimage. Click here for Prof. Cline's website.   

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 146 |

(405) 325-5041

Geoffrey Goble

Geoffrey Goble joined the RELS faculty in the Fall of 2016, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught Buddhism and East Asian Religions.  In addition to his introduction to Buddhism, he has introduced courses on Daoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Religions, and East Asian Religions. Dr. Goble graduated from OU with a Letters degree, earned his M.A. at the University of Virginia, and his Ph.D. was completed at Indiana University.  For more information on Dr. Goble's research and teaching interests, see his website here.

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 138 

Jill Hicks-Keeton

Jill Hicks-Keeton (Phd, Duke University) teaches courses on biblical literature. Her book Arguing with Aseneth: Gentile Access to Israel's Living God in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2018), was awarded the 2020 Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, an international first book award. She is the author, with Cavan Concannon, of Does Scripture Speak for Itself? The Museum of the Bible and the Politics of Interpretation (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and co-editor of The Museum of the Bible: A Critical Introduction (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2019) and The Ways that Often Parted (SBL Press, 2018). Her writing has appeared in Religion Dispatches, Religion & Politics, Ancient Jew Review, The Revealer, and The Bible and Interpretation. Hicks-Keeton has been awarded the Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar Award and has served as a Humanities Forum Fellow, a Risser Innovative Teaching Fellow, and Honors College Presidential Teaching Fellow at the University of Oklahoma.  Follow her on Twitter @JillHicksKeeton.  For more on Prof. Hicks-Keeton's research and teaching, click here.

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 135

James Howard Hill, Jr. Headshot

James Howard Hill, Jr. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. He holds a B.A. from Criswell College, a M.T.S. from Southern Methodist University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Hill, Jr. teaches courses and conducts research in black studies, religious studies, visuality studies, cultural studies, and the politics of popular culture. His scholarship has received recognition and support from The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (Heidelberg, Germany), The Henry Luce Foundation (Sacred Writes), the Forum for Theological Exploration, The Louisville Institute, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the Mellon Cluster Research Fellowship in Comparative Race and Diaspora studies.  Hill, Jr. is currently completing a manuscript that examines how the relationship between Michael Jackson, (Anti-)Blackness, and the politics of popular culture destabilizes modern notions of the proper location of religion, and religion itself. His public commentary on issues of race, popular music, sports, politics and religion can be read in Black Agenda Report, The SyndicateBlack Perspectives, and The Berkley Center for Religion, Peaceand World Affairs among other outlets.  Click here for Prof. Hill's website.

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 114  

Headshot of Wendy Mallette

Wendy Mallette is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University after receiving a M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School and a B.A. from Valparaiso University. She is currently working on a book manuscript that draws on the archives of lesbian feminist public cultures of the 1960s through 1980s to intervene in conversations around negativity, sin, temporality, and affect in queer studies and religious studies. More broadly, her research brings critical theories of gender, sexuality, race, and animality to bear on questions of doctrine and method in religious studies and Christian thought. Her published and forthcoming work can be found in Women’s Studies Quarterly, the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and Feminist Theology.

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 140

Deonnie Moodie

Deonnie Moodie is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.  She earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Harvard University and M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School. She has a B. A. from Hope College, where she majored in International Studies. Dr. Moodie specializes in South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism. She is especially interested in contemporary temple Hinduism in urban South Asia and the ways in which people of various class backgrounds negotiate these sites as spaces of devotion, memory, monumentality, labor, and leisure. At OU, Prof. Moodie teaches Introduction to Religious Studies, Introduction to Hinduism, Religion and Nationalism in India, Approaches to the Study of Religion, and Money, Power, and God(s):  Religion and Economy East and West. For more information about her research, click here

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 141 | (405) 325-5143

David Vishanoff

David Vishanoff earned his Ph.D. in West and South Asian Religions, with a focus on Islamic thought, at Emory University, after completing an M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Colorado. His research is principally concerned with how religious people interpret and conceptualize sacred texts—both their own, and those of other religious traditions. His publications have dealt with Islamic thought, including the early history of Islamic legal theory (The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics: How Sunni Legal Theorists Imagined a Revealed Law), and with interactions between religious communities, including Muslim rewritings of the Psalms of David. He is presently studying modern Qur’anic hermeneutics, beginning with recent developments in Indonesia, where he spent the spring of 2013 as a Fulbright senior scholar. He teaches upper-level courses on The Qur’an, Islamic Law, and Islamic Theology, as well as comparative courses such as Jesus in the World’s Religions.  Click here for Prof. Vishanoff's website. 

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 119

Current Adjunct Instructors


Michael Pregill

Lecturer, The Qur'an


Robb Young

Lecturer, Introduction to Religious Studies



Rebecca Hall-Davis headshot

Rebecca Hall-Davis serves the Department of Religious Studies as Administrative/Financial Coordinator.  She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems, a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in History with a focus on early modern English religion.


Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 120 | (405) 325-4594

Religious Studies Advisor

Headshot of Jennie Lazar


Jennie Lazar in the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences is the advisor for Religious Studies.  You can find her information here.  

Jennie is located in Ellison Hall, Room 124, and Religious Studies majors and minors are encouraged to utilize her as a resource. You can reach Jennie at and you can schedule an appointment with her on iAdvise.

Core Faculty

The Department of Religious Studies is governed by both internal and core voting faculty.  To be eligible to serve on the core voting faculty, members must regularly teach courses in the Religious Studies curriculum and attend departmental meetings.  

Faculty, if you are interested in becoming a member of the Religious Studies Core Faculty, you may apply here.

You may also review the RELS Faculty Guidelines.


Thomas Burns

Thomas Burns
Office: Kaufman 323

Marie Dallam

Marie Dallam
Associate Professor
Office: Honors College, DLB Hall
Research: American religion and culture

Alan Levenson

Alan Levenson
Schusterman Professor of Jewish History
Office: DAHT 305E
Research: Jewish Intellectual, Literary, and Religious History

Roberta Magnusson

Roberta Magnusson
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 822
Research: Medieval European and Italian History

Bala Saho

Bala Saho
Associate Professor
Office:  DAHT 412
Research:  African History, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Colonialism

Jane Wickersham

Jane Wickersham
Associate Professor
Office: DAHT 806
Research: Italian and Reformation History

Affiliated Faculty

All OU faculty members who have an interest in the Department of Religious Studies and wish to be affiliated with it, are eligible to be so designated, and can participate in faculty meetings, job talks, deliberations, and other faculty functions. Affiliated faculty do not participate as voting faculty.

Peter Barker History of Science
Jeanette DavidsonAfrican & African
 American Studies
R.C. Davis

World Literature Today
Greg GrahamAfrican and African-American
Michael GivelPolitical
Kyle HarperClassics &
Allen HertzkePolitical
Jill IrvineWomen's and Gender Studies
Scott JohnsonClassics &
Charles KenneyPolitical
Ori KritzModern Languages, Literatures, and
Joshua LandisInternational & Area Studies, Director of the Center of Middle East Studies, Director of the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf
Kieran MullenPhysics &
Sean O'
Amy OlberdingPhilosophy/International & Area
Carrie SchroederWomen's and Gender
Ann-Marie SyzmanskiPolitical
Rienk VermijHistory of
Stephen WeldonHistory of
Musharraf ZamanCivil Engineering/Environmental

Emeritus Faculty


Charles Kimball

Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor Emeritus, and Former Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Between 1996 and 2008, he served as Chair of the Department of Religion and the Divinity School at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. During the 2006 fall term, Dr. Kimball was the Rita and William Bell Visiting Professor at the University of Tulsa. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds the M.Div. degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his Th.D. from Harvard University in comparative religion with specialization in Islamic studies.  Prof. Kimball became the Chair of the Religious Studies Department in 2008, and retired in 2020. Click here for Prof. Kimball's website. 

Religious Studies | | Office: ROBT 112

Tom BoydPhilosophy of
Barbara BoydChristianity, Historical
Dan Snell Ancient Near
Norman StillmanJudaic Studies
Alan VelieEarly Modern English Literature, Native American