Curriculum Vitae


Wofford College

429 N. Church St.

Spartanburg, SC 29303

864-597-4560

mathewsondb@wofford.edu


ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT


     Associate Professor of Religion, 2012-present

             Wofford College


     Assistant Professor of Religion, 2005-2012

             Wofford College


      Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, 2004-2005

              Wofford College


EDUCATION


      Ph.D., with distinction, Emory University, 2004

               Area:  Hebrew Bible, with a sub-specialty in Comparative Literature

               Dissertation Title: “Death and Desymbolization in the Book of Job” (Director: Dr. Carol A. Newsom)


      M.T.S., summa cum laude, Duke University Divinity School, 1998

               Thesis Title: “Iser and Jonah: A Good Mix? A Critical Examination and Application of Wolfgang Iser’s

               Literary Theory” (Director: Dr. James L. Crenshaw)


      B.A., summa cum laude, Messiah College, 1995

                  Major: Biblical and Religious Studies


FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS AND AWARDS


     Professional Development Leave, Wofford College, 2013-2014

     Summer Research Grant, Wofford College, 2008, 2009, 2011

     Brittain Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006 (declined)

     Brittain Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005 (declined)

     Center for Humanistic Inquiry Dissertation Fellowship, Emory University, 2003-04

     Dean’s Teaching Fellowship, Emory University, 2003 (declined)

     Graduate School Fellowship, Emory University, 1999-2003

     Herbert Lockwood Willett Fellowship, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University (1998-99)

     Interpretation Award for Academic Excellence, Duke University Divinity School, 1998

     Lewis Clarence Kerner Scholarship, Duke University Divinity School, 1997-98

     Dorot Travel Grant, Dorot Foundation, 1997 (declined)

     Dean’s Scholarship, Duke University Divinity School, 1996-97

     Continuing Dean’s Scholarship, Messiah College, 1993-95


PUBLICATIONS


     Book:

     Death and Survival in the Book of Job: Desymbolization and Traumatic Experience. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old

          Testament Studies 450. New York: T&T Clark, 2006


      Book chapters, articles, essays, reviews, films:

     "Religion and 'Rasslin: A Documentary Short.'" Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture. 3 June, 2014.


     "Sacred Spinebusters, Transcendent Toe Holds: The Confluence of Religion and Professional Wrestling, Part

          Two." Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture. 29 May, 2014.


   《诺亚方舟》,保守派为何愤怒? Co-Authored with Shuang Liang. Religion Dispatches. 8 May, 2014.


     "Sacred Spinebusters, Transcendent Toe Holds: The Confluence of Religion and Professional Wrestling, Part

          One." Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture. 10 April, 2014.


     "Noah, Cosmos Controversies Not About Biblical Literalism." Religion Dispatches. 7 April, 2014.


     “Review of Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America by Crawford  

          Gribben.” Nova Religio 17.1 (2013): 116-117.


     “So You’ve Decided to Run for Senate Against a Pro Wrestling Mogul: Hittin’ ‘Em Where It Hurts: Linda

          McMahon, Religion, and the Professional Wrestling of Politics. Religion Dispatches. 28 Sept, 2011


     “By His Wounds We Have Already Been Entertained: Tiger Woods, The Masters, and the Ritual of Celebrity

          Disgrace.” Co-Authored with Trina Jones. Religion Dispatches. 15 April, 2010.


     “End Times Entertainment: The Left Behind Series, Evangelicals, and Death Pornography.” Journal of

          Contemporary Religion. 24:3 (2009): 319 — 337.


     “Rasslin’ with Science and Religion.” Co-Authored with Byron McCane. Religion Dispatches. 28 Dec, 2009.


     “Are Muslims Really Given a Pass by ‘Elite Opinion Makers’?Religion Dispatches. 12 Nov, 2009.


     “The Man of Science Vs. The Man of Faith: Richard Dawkins Spars with Stephen Colbert.” Religion Dispatches.

          12 Oct, 2009.


     “Muslims Murder; Christians Don’t: What Went Wrong in Analysis of Tiller’s Executioner.” Religion Dispatches. 5

          June, 2009.


      “Images of Disaster: Survival and the Impossible in the Artwork of Samuel Bak and the Book of Job.”

           Representing the Irreparable: the Shoah, the Bible, and the Art of Samuel Bak. Ed. Danna Nolan Fewell,

            Gary A. Phillips, and Yvonne Sherwood. Syracuse: Syracuse U P, 2008. 150-63.


     “Between Testimony and Interpretation: The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust, Jewish Theological Reflection.

          Studies in the Literary Imagination. 41.2 (2008): 17-40.


       “A Critical Binarism: Source Criticism and Deconstructive Criticism.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

          98 (2002): 3-28.


     Works in progress

     Articles on Christian professional wrestling and independent professional wrestling in poor white southern

          culture.


     Book on religion and professional wrestling in poor white southern culture.



CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS















































































TEACHING IN ACADEMIC SETTINGS  

Wofford College

     Introductory-level courses:





     Seminars:









     Independent Studies:





  

  Interim Courses:







Independent Interims:

        Evangelicals in the South and Northwest


Candler School of Theology, Emory University

     Course: Readings in Old Testament Hebrew


Columbia Theological Seminary

     Course: Judges


Ekuphileni Bible Institute (Zimbabwe)

     Courses:

          New Testament

          Revelation

          Theology

          World Religions


GUEST LECTURES & SEMINARS


“Jewish Groups/Streams/Denominations,” Religion, Philosophy & Identity Learning Community, 2008

“Shifting Spirituality in American Society,” Religion in America Seminar, Wofford College, 2008

“Jewish Scriptures,” Comparative Sacred Texts, Wofford College, 2007

“Apocalypticism in Hollywood Film,” Religion in America Seminar, Wofford College, 2006

“The Book of Job,” Biblical Literature, Emory University, 2003

“God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Western Religions, Emory University, 2002

“Theodicy in the Book of Job,” Evil: Philosophical-Literary Approaches, Emory University, 2003

“The Book of Jonah as Postmodern Pastiche,” Introduction to Old Testament 2, Candler School of Theology, 2000

“Downward Spiral in The Book of Judges,” Introduction to Old Testament 1, Candler School of Theology, 1999


TEACHING FOR WIDER PUBLICS  (SELECTED)


Organizer and Moderator, “Race to the White House: Post-Debate Analysis,” Wofford College, 2011.

Panelist for “Religion on Trial: A Panel Discussion with State and Federal Judges,” Wofford College, 2010.

Torture Roundtable Discussion, Wofford Radio, 2009

“The Three Rs: Readings, Writing, and Rasslin’,” Talk20 presentation at Hubbub, Spartanburg, 2009

“Ancient Israelite Sacrificial System,” Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA, 2005.

“Until That Day: Lively Conversations about Deathly Themes,” Lay Institute for Faith and Life, Columbia Theological

     Seminary, 2004.

“Ancient Israelite Sacrificial System,” Virginia-Highlands Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA, 2003.



MEDIA FEATURES


Meredith Somers, "Hollywood finally comes to Jesus." Washington Times, 26 June, 2014.


Re:Thinking Education: The crucial role of the liberal arts in higher education,” interview on ETV Radio’s show, “Speaking of Schools,” 4 Mar 2013.


Jamarcus Gaston, “January Smackdown: Wofford College students take unique course.” “Scene On 7,” WSPA feature, 24 Jan, 2013.


Felicia Kitzmiller, “Wofford initiative examines value of liberal arts degree, find college preparing students well.” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 14 Oct, 2012.


Will Jones, “Upstate Christian singles seek spouses.” Fox Carolina evening news feature, 19 May, 2012.


Images: Upstate students take clown course.” WYFF.com, 27 Jan 2012.


Andrew Doughman, “SC evangelicals surprise in GOP primary.” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 28 Jan, 2012.


Lucy Madison, “What do South Carolina Voters Want?” CBS News, 19 Jan, 2012.


Paul Harris, “GOP candidates keep the faith in fight for evangelical vote in South Carolina.” The Guardian, 13 Jan, 2012.


Matt Negrin, “Psalm before the storm as SC evangelicals get set.” ABC News. 11 Jan, 2012.


Will Jones, “Megachurches Vs Smaller Churches.” Fox Carolina evening news feature, Feb, 2011.


Jeff Moreau, “January Smackdown” Fox Carolina evening news feature, 18 Feb, 2008.


Jeremy Jones, “Wofford students learn ups and downs of professional wrestling.” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 29 Jan, 2008.


Mesha Y. Williams, “‘Death and Dying’ intrigues Wofford Students.” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 21 Nov, 2005.



SERVICE IN THE ACADEMY

     

     Editorial Board, Annotated Bibliography for Professional Wrestling, 2014-

     Representative (of www.ReligionDispatches.org), bloggingheads.tv, 2010

     Referee, Journal of Biblical Literature, 2000-04


Wofford College


     Lead Facilitator, General Education Reform Steering Committee, 2015-


     Member, Faculty Development Committee, 2014-present


     Member, Religious and Spiritual Life Committee, 2013-present


     Co-Coordinator (with Anne Rodrick), “Re:Thinking Education: A yearlong conversation about the liberal arts,

          higher education, and Wofford College,” 2012-13.


     Task Group Chair, Interfaith Youth Core-Wofford College Partnership, 2011-12


     Member of Working Group, Interfaith Youth Core-Wofford College Partnership, 2011-12


     Member, Orientation Committee, 2011-2013


     Participant, Wofford College Religion Department Retreat, 2010


     Wofford Representative, Planning Session of the 2010 Association of American Colleges & Universities, 2009


     Freshman Mentor, 2009


     Member, Department of Religion Faculty Search Committee, 2008-09


     Member, Fun Funds Committee, 2008-2010


     Participant, Environmental Studies Planning Session, 2008


     Member, Environmental Studies Taskforce, 2008


     Senior Thesis Advisor (Ethan Kilby & Paul Daniels, 2012; Nathan Folks & Amanda Phillips, 2011; Kristian Roof,

          2011; Meredith Dark, 2009; Josh Harris & Meagan Lankford, 2008; Jason DeKoster, 2007)


     Student Advisor, 2007-09, 2010-2013


     Member, Athletics Committee, 2007-2010 (Chair, 2009-10)


     African/African-American Studies Concentration Capstone Project Committee Member (Larry Wise), 2007


     Honors Thesis Committee Member (Nathaniel Coburn), 2006


Emory University


     Student speaker, Recruitment Weekend, Emory Graduate Division of Religion, 2004


     Student coordinator, Recruitment Weekend, Emory Graduate Division of Religion, Hebrew Bible Program, 2004


     Reader for Carol A. Newsom for The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations (Oxford, 2003)


     Research assistant to Martin Buss, 2002


     Teaching associate to William Gilders (Western Religions), 2002


     Teaching assistant to William Gilders (Biblical Literature), 2001


     Teaching assistant to Carol Newsom (Introduction to the Old Testament, 1 & 2), 1999-2000


Texas Christian University


     Research assistant to David Balch, 1998-99


Duke University


     Tutor in Biblical Hebrew, 1998


Messiah College


     Teaching assistant to Jay McDermond (Johannine Literature; New Testament Literature), 1994-95



PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


International Faculty Development Seminar, "Learning While Leading: Supporting Intercultural Learning Development Through Study Away," CIEE Madrid, 2015


Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement and Conference, Wake Forest University, 2014


High Impact Curriculum Fellows summer book conversation, Wofford College, 2014


Faculty Development Workshop, “Religious Pluralism 101: Engaging Worldview Identity at Wofford,” Wofford College, 2013


Faculty Development Workshop, “Designing Effective Writing Assignments,” “Responding to Student Writing,” “Teaching Revision,” and “Designing and Using Peer Review,” Wofford College, 2011


Teagle Seminar on Secularity, Wofford College, 2010


Faculty Development Workshop, “Integrating Scholarship, Service and Teaching,” Wofford College, 2010


Moodle Seminar, Wofford College, 2009


Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar, Wofford College, 2008


Introduction to Emma Seminar, Wofford College, 2008


Participant, “Feminism, Sexuality, and the Return of Religion” Conference, Syracuse University, 2007


Improving Student Writing Seminar, Wofford College, 2007


NITLE discussion, Wofford College, 2007


WOFFORD COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT


Co-organizer for various Re:Thinking Education events throughout the 2012-13 academic year, including the following (the full list can be found here):




























Co-organizer, "Pyramid of Power" charity game show, 2015


Faculty Panel, Hospitality Day, 2014


Faculty Presentation to high school counsellors, 2012


Faculty Participant, Zeta Tau Alpha’s Halloween Goes Pink Charity Yogurt Eating Contest, 2009


Participant, Civic Engagement Seminar, 2013


Organizer and Moderator, “Race to the White House: Post-Debate Analysis,” 2011


Faculty representative, Admission’s Office event in Columbia, SC, 2011


Co-organizer, “Religion on Trial: A Panel Discussion with State and Federal Judges,” 2010


Faculty Participant, Zeta Tau Alpha’s Halloween Goes Pink Charity Yogurt Eating Contest, 2009


Participant, Wofford Faculty Writing Group, 2009-present


Interviewer, Scholars Day, 2009-2012


President of Beer-tenders, Homecoming, 2009, 2011, 2014


Beer-tender, Homecoming, 2005-2009, 2011-present


Faculty participant, Delta Delta Delta “Smooch the Pooch” Fundraiser, 2009


Co-organizer, Buddhist meditation at Wofford with Venerable Bhikkhuni Suddhama, 2005-11


Faculty Sponsor, Wofford Lacrosse Club, 2009-present


Co-organizer, Wofford Series of Poker, Charity Poker Tournament, 2009


Participant, Presidential Seminar, 2006, 2008, 2011


Judge, sorority lip-synching contest & fraternity cook-off, 2008


Co-organizer & ring announcer, January Smackdown Wrestling Extravaganza, 2008, 2013


Co-organizer, Faculty vs. Senior football players charity football game, 2007


Participant, Faculty vs. Senior football players charity football game, 2006, 2007


Co-organizer, El Pus hip hop concert, 2006


Organizer, Faculty/Staff intramural teams (terrier tag, soccer, dodgeball, basketball, softball), 2005-2012


ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES


American Academy of Religion (1999-present)

Popular Culture Association (2012-present)

American Culture Association (2012-present)

Society of Biblical Literature (1999-2007)



LANGUAGES STUDIED


Modern:

     German (reading)

     French


Ancient:

     Akkadian

     Aramaic

     Greek (Koine)

     Hebrew (Classical)

     Syriac

     Ugaritic



OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:


Professional Wrestler (licensed by the South Carolina State Athletic Commission, Department

     of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, 2013)




"Scary, Foreign, Crazy, Stupid, Silly, Loathsome Killjoys: A Half-Century of Religious Gimmicks in Mainstream Professional Wrestling." National Meeting of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, 2015.


"Dropkickin' the Devil in Dixie (with Durkheim): Professional Wrestling and the Celebration of Poor White Southern Culture." Wofford College’s Faculty Talks, 2015.


"Atomic Elbows and Altar Calls: Christian Professional Wrestling in Poor White Southern Culture." Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 2014.


"Dropkickin' the Devil in Dixie: Professional Wrestling in Poor White Southern Culture." National Meeting of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, 2014.


"Bodyslammed by Jesus: Christian Professional Wrestling in the South." Wingate University, 2014.


“From Professor to Professional Wrestler: Studying Wrestling in the Classroom and in the Wrestling Ring.” National Meeting of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, 2013.


“Spinebusters, Superkicks, and Salvation: The Hyperreality of Christian Professional Wrestling.” National Meeting of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, 2012.


“Muscled, Mean, and Sometimes Moral: Professional Wrestling and the Embodiment of Cultural-Ethical Tensions.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 2011.


“Smackdown for Jesus: Christian Professional Wrestling and the Play of the Real.” Wofford College’s Faculty Talks, 2010.


“Smackdown for Jesus: Christian Professional Wrestling and the Play of the Real.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 2010.


“Religion on Trial: A Panel Discussion with State and Federal Judges,” Wofford College, 2010.


“Entertaining Violence: Religion, Wrestling, and the Inter-Relation of Teaching and Research,” Poster Presentation, “Integrating Scholarship, Service and Teaching,” Faculty Development Workshop, Wofford College, 2010


“The House that Tiger Wrecked: Race, Class, Gender and the State of the Masters,” Wofford College, 2010 (co-authored with Trina Jones)


“Rasslin’ with Science and Religion,” Wofford College, 2009 (co-authored with Bryon McCane).


“Rasslin’ with Science and Religion,” Wofford College's Faculty Talks, 2009 (co-authored with Bryon McCane).


“The Sanitized Apocalypse: Left Behind, Rated PG-13,” Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion, 2008.


“Teaching with the iPod,” Wabash Institute Roundtable, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 2007.


“Sex, Death and the Apocalypse: Evangelicals and Pornographic Entertainment," Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.


"Sex, Death and the Apocalypse: Evangelicals and Pornographic Entertainment," Wofford College's Faculty Talks, 2006.


“Survival and the Impossible in the Work of Samuel Bak and the Book of Job,” joint session of the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.


“The Signifying Corpse: Photographic and Textual Images of the Dead, Disfigured Body,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.


“Death in the Book of Job: A Psychohistorical Approach,” Center for Humanistic Inquiry’s Luncheon Series, Emory University, 2004.


“Symbolic Systems, Death, and Desymbolization in the Writings of Robert Jay Lifton and in the Prologue to the Book of Job,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.


“Death and Desymbolization in the Prologue to the Book of Job,” Graduate Division of Religion Student Colloquium, Emory University, 2003.


“A Critical Binarism: Source Criticism and Deconstructive Criticism,” Hebrew Bible Colloquium, Emory University, 2001.


Religions of the World

Religions of the World II: The Newer Traditions

The Christian Faith


American Evangelicalism

Cults, Sects, and New Religious Movements

Death and Dying

Religion and Law

Religion and Pop Culture

Religious Extremism

Theories of Religion

Current Religious Issues

Islamism and Democracy (co-directed with Trina Jones and Bill DeMars)

Religion in the South

The Religious Worlds of Everyday People

Come on Down! How to Win on "The Price Is Right"

I’m All In: How to Play (and Win at) Poker (co-taught with Matt Cathey)

January Smackdown: A Cultural History of Professional Wrestling (co-taught with Matt Cathey)

The Circus Interim (co-taught with Amy Sweitzer)

The History and Politics of Hip Hop (co-taught with Jim Neighbors)


David Warren (President of NAICU) public lecture, “Child of the Manhattan Atomic Project: Life Chances, Life Choices, and the Liberal Arts”


Andrew Delbanco (Columbia University) roundtable discussion and public lecture, “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be”


Beverly Daniel Tatum (President of Spelman College) public lecture, “The Liberal Arts and Diversity: Wofford’s Desegregation Decade”


“Wofford’s Desegregation Decade Roundtable Discussion,” featuring students, administrators, and residents of Spartanburg who were on campus during the era in which Wofford desegregated


John Kuykendall (ex-President of Davidson College), Robert Knott (ex-President of Catawba College and Tusculum College), and Charlie Reed (emeritus Professor of Queen’s University) panel discussion, “Back to the Future: The Radical Liberal Arts College”


Todd Breyfogle (seminars director, Aspen Institute), “Liberal Education in a Global Context: A Seminar for Students”


On- and off-campus, and online book club meetings of Tobias Wolff’s Old School and Andrew Delbanco’s College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be


Editor of the R:TE Blog and the Alumni Blog