Religious Studies

Meet the Faculty

Robert L. Humphrey

Instructor

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Foundation
M.A., University of Windsor
B.A., Stonehill College
Phone: (603) 897-8485; Email: rhumphrey@rivier.edu

Specialties

  • Biblical Studies
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Biblical Archaeology
  • World Religions
  • Mythology

Background
In college, I majored in Philosophy because I was interested in the “big questions” of life. What is the purpose of life? What is the good life, and how do you live it? Following college, I entered a small contemplative monastery and found myself immersed in Scripture, and, to my surprise, also learning about other religions. The Prior was reading the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, with the novices and one of the monks was leaving to study Zen meditation in Japan. It was natural then, that after leaving monastic life, I would do graduate work in Biblical Studies and World Religions and eventually, after many years as a religious educator, teach those subjects in college. Besides my family, brewing good beer and cultivating a garden, my greatest joy is in the discoveries of my students and the learning that they share with me.

Academic Philosophy
My academic philosophy is expressed in two sayings, one by the Buddha and one by Jesus. When the Buddha was asked who or what he was, he replied “I am awake.” At its simplest and most basic level, education is the process of awakening to that which is around us. And this, students must do for themselves. When Jesus healed people, he often told them “Your own faith has made you well.” As a teacher, I have come to realize the truth of this more and more over the years. So, in my courses, I try to provide a context and encouragement so that learning/awakening may happen, but in the final analysis students must do this for themselves.

Recent Publications

Narrative Structure and Message in Mark: A Rhetorical Analysis.
Review of Brueggemann, Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah.
Review of Meyer, Judas: The Definitive Collection of Gospels and Legends About the Infamous Apostle of Jesus.
Waiting for Elijah: Mark 15.35-36. (article in preparation)