Katherine Janiec Jones (Trina) joined Wofford’s faculty in the fall of 2006. Her current research interests revolve around (1) cross-cultural philosophy of religion (focusing on Indian Mahayana Buddhism in particular) and (2) the nature, scope, and desiderata of a liberal arts education.  She has delivered scholarly papers in both areas, with titles such as “The Religious ‘Other’ and the Goals of the Liberal Arts”, “The Introductory Course in Religious Studies: Whither and Why?”, and “True Confessions of a Participant-Observer: Buddhist Philosophy as a Comparative Enterprise.”

In 2005, Jones was invited to participate in a study on teaching introductory courses in theology and religion at the collegiate level.  The study was led by Barbara Walvoord and co-sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and the University of Notre Dame.  The data from the study were published in a book entitled Teaching and Learning in College Introductory Religion Courses (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).  The information pertaining to Professor Jones’ Introduction to Religion course (now called REL 204 at Wofford) is featured as a case study in the book. 

Jones has led (or helped lead) workshops and consultations regarding teaching courses in religious studies at the following conferences and institutions:

ϖThe Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) meeting in Atlanta (March 2008)

ϖThe Southwest Commission on Religious Studies (SWCRS) meeting in Dallas (March 2008)

ϖThe Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver (June 2008)

ϖWinston-Salem State University (December 2008)

ϖVirginia Tech (March 2009)

ϖAgnes Scott College (workshop to be held in fall of 2009)

            Jones grew up in Spartanburg and graduated from Spartanburg High School.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Chicago.  She served as an assistant professor of religion at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky before coming to Wofford.


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