Religious Studies



Religious Studies

» Religious Studies Faculty

Religious Studies Faculty

Elmhurst faculty members are eminent scholars and theologians in their own right—who love to teach on a campus where they can work with their students as individuals. Want to know more? See our faculty profiles, below. Or, contact a professor directly.

Full-time Faculty
Paul Parker
A. Andrew Das
Nancy C. Lee
Mladen Turk

Adjunct Faculty
Gavril Andreicut
Jennifer Baldwin
Steven Bob
Rebecca Clancy
Joel Cruz
Joshua Daniel
Mark Draper
Inamul Haq
David McCurdy
Kevin O'Donnell

Paul Parker, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Chair 
Baltzer Distinguished Professor of Theology and Religion

Paul has been a professor of religious studies at Elmhurst College since 1987. His area of specialization is Christian theological ethics, but he teaches broadly across the field of religious studies and regularly leads students overseas for month long courses to study religion in Israel and Palestine. Professor Parker is a passionate advocate for interreligious relationships and international study. He has studied in England, India, Jordan and the West Bank; given public lectures on Islamic mysticism at major American universities; published articles on prayer, suffering, and God; and edited two small books–one on the Holocaust and one on poverty and Christian responsibility. He is currently researching projects on Christian ecumenism in Palestine and established religion in Israel. Paul is the secretary/treasurer of the American Theological Society (Midwest Branch) and one of its past presidents. He is honored to have been a recent recipient of the Niagara Foundation’s prestigious Fethullah Gülen Award.


A. Andrew Das, Ph.D.

Donald W. and Betty J. Buik Chair

Dr. Das has been listed among twenty-five leading Pauline theorists of the last century in the textbook Perspectives Old and New on Paul. Another recent text, Approaches to Paul, devotes a section to his work. He has authored several books with leading publishers in biblical studies: Solving the Romans Debate (Fortress, 2007), Paul and the Jews (Hendrickson, 2003), Paul, the Law, and the Covenant (Hendrickson, 2001), and Galatians (808 pages, Concordia Academic, 2014). The Grand Thematic Narratives of Galatians: The Search for the Key to Pauline Theology is forthcoming from Fortress Press. He co-edited and contributed to The Forgotten God: Perspectives in Biblical Theology, (Westminster John Knox, 2002). His articles have appeared in such premiere venues as the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, New Testament Studies, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Biblical Research (forthcoming) as well as in edited volumes, most recently in Paul Unbound (Hendrickson, 2009), The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon, 2009), Reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul: Essays in Honor of Frank J. Matera (Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics (forthcoming in 2014), and the Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies (forthcoming in 2015). He is also researching the key women and their leadership in the Pauline communities and writings. He served as an invited member of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Paul and Scripture Seminar and has presented his work at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Chicago Society of Biblical Research, the prestigious international Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, of which he is an elected member, and the Evangelical Theological Society. He is also a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America. He was one of a handful of western scholars invited to deliver a paper at the inaugural meeting of the Society of Biblical Scholars, the new organization for biblical scholarship on the African continent. He currently serves on the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation revision committee. He has authored for wider audiences Baptized Into God’s Family (Northwestern, 1991; second edition, 2008). He received graduate degrees from Yale University and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He also did doctoral work at Duke University. He teaches in biblical studies, early Christianity and Second Temple Judaism.


Inamul Haq, M.A.
Coordinator, Islamic Studies Program
Adjunct Professor
Professor Haq specializes in Islamic theology, Qur’anic studies, history of Islam, and Muslims in America. He has an international educational background and interreligious professional experience. He has received professional and graduate degrees from Islamic seminaries in Pakistan and from major universities in the U.S. He has been a principal at Islamic high schools and taught in graduate and undergraduate programs. At Elmhurst College he gives leadership to the development of its Islamic studies curriculum and teaches introductory courses on Islam and international courses on religion in Turkey and Jordan. He is a founding member of the International Strategy and Policy Institute, a frequent public speaker and an honorary Imam at area mosques. He is a board member of a number of organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Fiqh Committee of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago, and the Interfaith Committee of the Bernardin Center.


Nancy C. Lee, Ph.D.

Visiting Professor Extraordinary, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Dr. Lee is internationally recognized as a leading biblical scholar of the book of Lamentations and lament across cultures, and the author and editor of numerous books and articles. Her recent article on the crisis in Syria and lament appeared in the journal, Interpretation (April 2013). Dr. Lee specializes in Hebrew Bible (lament poetry, prophets, women in the Bible, biblical Hebrew, and feminist and postcolonial hermeneutics), with additional work in indigenous spiritual traditions and cultures, religion and society, and social justice. She is currently writing on the distinctive oral poetry of biblical women and women biblical prophets. Dr. Lee was founding co-chair in 1999 of the scholarly group on Lamentations in the Society of Biblical Literature—an area not formally represented in the Society since its founding in 1880. She was the senior editor and contributed to the group’s collected essays from ten years, Lamentations in Ancient and Contemporary Cultural Contexts (SBL, 2008). A regular presenter at the SBL annual meeting, she has served on SBL steering committees, presented at international meetings, served and/or taught in South Africa, Germany, India, Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia, where she was a Fulbright fellow (1996/97). She also is a member of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. At Elmhurst, Dr. Lee was the founding director of the (Lilly supported) Niebuhr Center (2002-07), its ‘Callings for the Common Good’ program, and co-leads Elmhurst’s international service-learning course to South Africa. Dr. Lee is the author of The Singers of Lamentations: Cities under Siege, from Ur to Jerusalem to Sarajevo (Brill, 2002), an exegetical and cross-cultural work, and collaborated with poets worldwide for her book, Lyrics of Lament: from Tragedy to Transformation (Fortress, 2010), a survey of lament across cultures today and in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur’an.  She also has edited Between Despair and Lamentation, a war poetry anthology by Bosnian-Croat Borislav Arapovic. She has been an invited contributor to the following volumes: the international, multilingual Encyclopaedia of Exegesis and Cultural History: Women and the Bible (SBL/Brill, 2013); Dictionary of the Bible and Western Culture: A Handbook for Students (Sheffield, 2012); Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible (2011); NRSV Discipleship Study Bible (Westminster, 2008); Uprooting and Planting (T&T Clark, 2007); Troubling Jeremiah (Sheffield, 1999); God in the Fray (Fortress, 1998, a festschrift for Walter Brueggemann, her teacher); and a volume forthcoming (Sheffield/Phoenix). Her poem, “To Lament a Nation’s Lost Soul,” appeared in Prayers for the New Social Awakening (Westminster, 2008). Dr. Lee received a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, did doctoral work at Emory University, a Th.M. at Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and an M.Div. at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.


Mladen Turk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Niebuhr Distinguished Chair
Dr. Turk’s area of specialization is religion and science with special focus on scientific theories of religion and methodology of the study of religion, but teaches broadly in the areas of history of Christianity in 19th and 20th century and religious traditions of South Asia. Dr. Turk studied philosophy, ethnology, Indology and theology in Zagreb, Croatia; philosophy of religion at University of Bergen, Norway; and religion and science at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Zygon Center for Religion and Science. He leads students overseas for month long courses to study religions of India. He has published a textbook in philosophy, Logic: Exercises and Solutions, 2nd edition (1995) and recently published a book Being Religious: Cognitive and Evolutionary Theories in Historical Perspective available from Pickwick Publications. In Being Religious Mladen expounds understanding of religion as a complex interplay of various capacities arising from and influencing our biological and cultural makeup. Our religious behaviors can influence our relationship towards each other and towards our environment in significant ways. He shows how some aspects of complex religious behaviors can be understood better in light of human cognition and evolutionary biology. Mladen is a past president of The American Theological Society (Midwest Division) and a board member of Center for Advanced Studies in Religion and Science (CASIRAS).



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