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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)
  • Wasserman, Emma J.

    • Wasserman, Emma J.
    • Director of Undergraduate Studies
    • Professor
    • Areas of Specialization: New Testament, Religions of the Greco-Roman World, Second Temple Judaism
    • Office: 64 College Ave., Room 304
    • Phone: 848-932-6834 / 9641
    • Fax: 732-932-1271
    • Education: Ph.D., Yale University (2005) A.B., Brown University (1997)
    • Postal Address: Department of Religion School of Arts and Sciences Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 64 College Ave. New Brunswick, NJ 08901


    Emma Wasserman is Professor of Religion at Rutgers University specializing in early Christian history. Her work focuses on Christian origins within the social, intellectual, and religious contexts of the ancient Mediterranean and especially on apocalypticism and cosmology, the Christian appropriation of ancient philosophy, and the social description of ancient intellectuals. Her published work treats intellectual discourses about the self and their use in the letters Paul, our earliest and best sources for Christianity. Her second book, which is forthcoming, treats apocalyptic expectations in the Paul's letters. 

    Wasserman holds a Ph.D. from Yale University in Religious Studies and a B.A. from Brown University. Her first book, The Death of the Soul in Romans 7: Sin, Death, and the Law in Light of Hellenistic Moral Psychology (Mohr Siebeck) was published in 2008.



    Course Syllabi:

    pdf New Testament
    pdf Origins of Western Morality
    pdf Apocalypse Now: Religious Movements and the End of Time



    The Death of the Soulsin Romans 7: Sin, Death,
    and the Law in Light of
    Hellenistic Moral Psychology
    (Mohr Siebeck, 2008)

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Abortion Class

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