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Department of Religion


  • Ballentine, Debra Scoggins

    • Ballentine, Debra Scoggins
    • Director of Graduate Studies
    • Associate Professor
    • Areas of Specialization: Hebrew Bible, Ancient Israelite History and Religion, Ancient West Asian Literature Hebew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Second Temple Judaism, Myth-making in the Ancient World
    • Office: 64 College Ave, Office 301
    • Office Hours: Spring 2019: CAC by appointment
    • Phone: 848-932-6862 / 9641
    • Fax: 732-932-1271
    • Education: Ph.D and M.A., Brown University (2007-2012) B.A., University of Georgia (2001)
    • Postal Address: Department of Religion School of Arts and Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 64 College Ave New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525


    Debra Scoggins Ballentine focuses on ancient Israelite and Judean history, religion, and literature. She views literary and material data as social artifacts that reflect engagement with their contemporary contexts. In describing the scope of her field of study, she explains that, “Ancient Israel and Judah were situated geographically between more powerful and expansive empires in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and any study of biblical traditions must foreground this geo-political context. Because of this, Biblical Studies is necessarily comparative and interdisciplinary.” In teaching courses such as the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Ballentine explores with students how ancient cultic traditions are thoroughly embedded in their historical setting, yet resonant with many cross-cultural social dynamics: “Whether my students are familiar with biblical traditions or not, they find that these ancient texts really come to life when we study what types of political events or social controversies the authors were facing.” The Conflict Myth and the Biblical Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015) is Ballentine's first book. Broadly, she analyzes how ancient authors adapted traditional mythic themes of divine combat to further specific political and theological ideologies.

    pdf CV (301 KB)

    A Brief Video About My Work



    The Conflict Myth & the Biblical Tradition
    Oxford University Press (2015)


    Professional Memberships and Affiliations

    • Society of Biblical Literature
    • North American Association for the Study of Religion
  • Mojaddedi, Jawid

    • Mojaddedi, Jawid
    • Department Chair
    • Professor
    • Areas of Specialization: Islamic Studies
    • Office: 64 College Ave., Room 302
    • Office Hours: 64 College Ave By Appointment
    • Phone: 848-932-6821 / 9641
    • Fax: 732-932-1271
    • Education: Ph.D. and B.A. University of Manchester (1992 - 1998)
    • Postal Address: Department of Religion School of Arts and Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 64 College Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525

    Additional Information

    Personal Homepage



    Rumi, The Masnavi: Book Three
    A New Translation (Oxford University Press, 2013)
    Beyond Dogma: Rumi's Teachings on
    Friendship with God
    and Early Sufi Theories
    (Oxford University Press,
    Rumi, The Masnavi: Book Two (translator and editor)
    (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)
    Lois Roth Prize for
    Excellence in Translation
    of Persian Literature
    (translator and editor)
    Rumi, The Masnavi:
    Book One (Oxford
    Univ. Press, 2004)
    The Biographical Tradition in Sufism: the tabaqat genre from al-Sulami to Jami, Studies in Asian Religion
    (Routledge Curzon, 2001)
    (translator and editor)
    Classical Islam: A
    Sourcebook of Religious
    Literature (with N. Calder
    and A. Rippin)
    (Routledge, 2003)
    (contributing editor)
    Studies in Islamic and Middle Eastern Texts and Traditions in Memory of Norman Calder (with editors G. R. Hawting and A. Samely) (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000)
    The Wiley Blackwell Companion to The Qur'an
    Edited by Andrew Rippin and Jawid Mojaddedi, 2017
    Rumi the Masnavi Book Four
    A New translation by Jawid Mojaddedi (Oxford World Classics)
  • Williams, Joseph W.

    • Williams, Joseph W.
    • Director of Undergraduate Studies
    • Associate Professor
    • Areas of Specialization: American Religious History, The Pentecostal-Charismatic Tradition, Religion and Modernization, Religion and Healing
    • Office: 64 College Ave., Room 203
    • Phone: 848-932-6846 / 9641
    • Fax: 732-932-1271
    • Education: Ph.D. Florida State University (2008) M.A. and B.A. Wheaton College (1998-2002)
    • Postal Address: Department of Religion School of Arts and Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 64 College Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901



    Joseph Williams joined the religion department in 2010 and is assistant professor of American religious history. He teaches courses on the history of religion in the United States, religious healing, modern Christianity, and religion and globalization. Williams’s research interests include pentecostal and charismatic movements, the history of American evangelicalism, and the relationship between religion and modernization. His first book, Spirit Cure: A History of Pentecostal Healing (Oxford, 2013), highlighted the transformation of pentecostal healing since the early 1900s, and the way these changes fueled believers’ transition from a small minority to major players in the marketplace of American religion. His current project, Politics of the Spirit: Pentecostals, Israel, and the Shaping of American Evangelicalism (under contract with Oxford University Press), traces U.S. pentecostals' and charismatics' distinctive contributions to the politicization of American evangelicalism over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, focusing on their evolving relationship with Jews and Israel.

    pdf CV (103 KB)




    Spirit Cure: A History of Pentecostal Healing, Oxford University Press,  January 2013

Upcoming Events

  08 Apr 2024
04:00PM -
Annual Distinguished Lecture in Religion

Abortion Class

New Class Announcement - Abortion: The Collision of History, Law, Religion, Medicine, and Human Rights in the 20th & 21st Centuries

Click here to watch a video about this new class

Avenues of Interest