Fall 2020

Section 0987 of HUMAN8
Comparative Mythology -- : Aug 18 - Dec 11 2020
This class is offered fully online. There are mandatory class meetings once a week on Tuesday from 9:00-10:00am. After registering for this class, sign-in to Canvas for additional details.

Section 0989 of RELS15
Islam -- : Aug 18 - Dec 11 2020
This class is offered fully online. There are mandatory class meetings once a week on Tuesday from 2:00-3:00pm. After registering for this class, sign-in to Canvas for additional details.

Section 2004 of HUMAN8
Comparative Mythology -- : Aug 20 - Dec 11 2020
This class is offered fully online. There are mandatory class meetings once a week on Thursday from 11:00-12:00pm. After registering for this class, sign-in to Canvas for additional details.

Section 4340 of RELS6.66
History of Satan -- : Aug 19 - Dec 11 2020
This class is offered fully online. There are mandatory class meetings once a week on Wednesday from 11:00-12:00pm. After registering for this class, sign-in to Canvas for additional details.

As Academic Senate President, I have 80% reassigned time, and therefore teach 1 class. For the fall semester, 2016, I will be teaching History of God (RELS 3), M/W 9:00-10:30 am. My afternoons will largely be spent in meetings. Best times to get ahold of me are mornings.

Special Events: I will be giving a noon lecture in the Arts and Lectures series at noon on October 17 on Same-Sex Relationships and Transgender in the Bible and Other ancient Sacred Literature.

I will also be teaching RELS 1, in partnership with Joel Neuberg, who will teach NRM 12, in Capetown South Africa in the Summer Term of 2017.

1980 Certificate in Religious Studies, King's Temple Academy, Seattle, WA
1981 Certificate in Graphic Arts, Washington Technical Institute, Seattle, WA
1986 B.A. Northwest University, Kirkland, WA, Summa Cum Laude
Major: Religion and Philosophy; Minor: Greek
1989 M.A. Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, Summa Cum Laude
Field: Theology; Emphasis: Biblical Languages and Exegesis
1994 Ph.D. (A.B.D.) Graduate Theological Union/UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Major: Hebrew Bible Minor: New Testament Minor: Hellenistic Jewish Philosophy

2015 Online Certification as Cycling Instructor, American Sports and Fitness Association

Languages (besides English). Primary: Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic; Rusty: German and French;
I have also taken courses in and can read Classical Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ugaritic and I'm currently studying Classical Arabic

Academic Experience

2001-Present Regular Faculty in the Philosophy, Humanities and Religion Department
Instructor of Religion and Humanities, also
Modern and Classical Language Department; Instructor of Classical Hebrew and Greek
Coordinator for the Religious Studies Major, Santa Rosa Junior College.

Courses: HUMAN 8: Comparative Mythology;
RELS 1: Intro to Religion; RELS 3: History of God; RELS 6.66: History of Satan;
RELS 15: Islam; RELS 21: Hebrew Bible; RELS 22: Early Christian Literature;
RELS 32: Religion in America; HEBREW 1; HEBREW 2; Advanced Hebrew and Attic Greek as
Independent Study

1992-2001 Adjunct Instructor of Religious Studies, SRJC
Part-Time Teacher and Guest Lecturer in Religious Studies and Theatre Arts
in various Sonoma and Napa County Schools and Conservatories

1999-2000 Adjunct Instructor, Department of English; Instructor of Drama, Pacific Union College
Guest Lecturer, Acting, Napa Vally College

1999-2002 VIP Wine Tour Guide and Lecturer on Greek Mythology, Clos Pegase, Calistoga, CA

1989-1991 Teaching and Research Assistant, Center for Jewish Studies, and UC Berkeley
1989-1991 Teaching Assistant, Old Testament, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

1987-1989 Instructor, Elementary and Intermediate Greek, Fuller Theological Seminary
1988-1989 Instructor, Elementary Biblical Hebrew, Fuller Theological Seminary

1987-1989 Teaching Assistant, Old Testament, Fuller Seminary

A native of Seattle, I discontinued a career as a professional actor (I got my Equity Card at age 15) to pursue higher education in Religious Studies. Having completed two certificate programs and a BA in Seattle area institutions, I came to California for graduate school. I did my MA in Pasadena at Fuller Theological Seminary, where I also began my teaching career, first as a teaching assistant and tutor, then as an instructor of Greek and Hebrew. In 1989 I came to the Bay Area for a PhD program at Berkeley. I lived in Berkeley for two years taking seminars in Bible, Languages, Archaeology and Rhetoric, culminating in my completion of doctoral exams in five languages (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, German, and French), and General Comprehensive Exams in Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Deuterocanonical literature. During this time I also was a Research Assistant for the Center for Jewish Studies, and a Hebrew Bible TA, and I began teaching one course per semester way up north in Santa Rosa JC. I moved to Santa Rosa in 1991 as a full-time sabbatical replacement (a temporary one-year appointment). I stayed in Santa Rosa after the year was over, completed my PhD work (1994) and taught as an adjunct here and a few other places as well. I was hired as a full time regular faculty member in 2001. My primary passions are ancient religious literature, the arts-- primarily the theatre, and encountering the natural world. In addition to teaching Religion Studies, Myth and ancient Hebrew at the college, I also teach, direct and act in local theatres, go backpacking whenever I can and ride a bicycle for transportation.

Professional Areas of Interest

I am captivated by almost any area of ancient languages, religion, mythology, history and philosophy. The primary focus of my graduate education is the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and its various historical contexts, ancient Near Eastern as well as Greco-Roman; secondarily the New Testament and Early Christianity; thirdly Islamic literature. My main current interest is mythopoesis (myth-making), its psycho-social function, and religious institutionalization: where do myths (stories of the gods/goddesses) come from? What forces and impulses shape the making of myths? How do myths work in societies? How are myths canonized and interpreted by later generations of people who inherit them as sacred but live in a different "world" than those who formed them?

Professional Involvement and Community Service

My College Service includes:

Being the Academic Senate President, as well as serving on numerous committees, especially co-chairing the 2030 Plan Steering Committee and serving as a member of the Sustainability Sub-Committee

My Community Service includes speaking for many different kinds of occasions.

Below is a small sampling; I typically do several such speaking engagements every year. 

SRJC Reads (I Am Malala), September 2015.

WOLM (A River Runs Through It), October, 2014
Spoke at the Cultural Awareness Series put on by The Black Student Union, May 8, 2013
Spoke at the new JC Salon, May 7, 2013
Spoke at The Petaluma Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Sunday morning, April 28.
Gave 2 Lectures on Islam at Spring Lake Village, Jan and Feb, 2013

Other events in the past few years:

Speaking on Campus:
"Peace and Violence in Judaism, Christianity and Islam" (every semester) in Phil 10
"Atheism, Past and Present" Arts and Lectures, February 22, 2010
"Women in the Hebrew Bible and The Qur'an" Guest Lecture in Human 21, Nov 24, 2008.
Debate With Anthony LeDonne: "Was Jesus Uniquely The Son of God" Dec 5, 2007
"Evolution, Creation, Intelligent Design: What Exactly Is The Controversy?"
With Lynda Williams (Physics) and Bob Rubin (Biology) Feb. 24, 2006.
Pannel Discussion on the Death Penalty in connection with SRJC Theatre Department's production of "Dead Man Walking" Jan 28, 2006.
"Jesus and The Buddha: Were They Green?"
Lecture (w/Carla Grady) to the Environmental Forum April, 2004

Speaking Off Campus: Academic Lectures (unless otherwise noted)
"The History of Satan" Sonoma State University Student Union, November 19, 2008.
"Does God Exist" a Debate with Pastor Mark Almlie, The Presbyterian Church on Briden, April, 2008.
"Does God Exist? The New Atheist Literature." Sonoma State Student Union, March 19, 2008
"A Sordid History of Monotheism" the Stanford Women's Club of San Francisco, Nov. 5 at Ft. Mason.
"Intelligent Design" for the Oakmont Symposium, November 12, 2006
"Biblical Creation Myths and Depth Psychology" SSU Graduate Seminar, March 11, 2006
Guest lecturer at the Oakmont Symposium regularly since 2000, at the Petaluma Rotary Club since 1999 and also regularly lecture at Spring Lake Village.
Lecture: "Introduction to Gnosticism" Sonoma State University, 5/5/04

Speaking Off Campus: Churches and Synagogues

Guest Speaker for Torah Study, Congregation Ner Shalom, 10/29/05
Sermon on Biblical Archaeology, Congregation Shomrei Torah, 11/04
Sermon and Workshop on Eastern/Western Religions, SR Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4/6/03
Sermon (through interpreter), at a Presbyterian Church in Santa Clara, Cuba, 2/03


Since the age of 9, a few years ago now, I have been an actor, and all around theatre artist. My training and experience in the theatre contributes both to my teaching style and to my depth in the discipline area of "Humanities." I trained in Theatre Conservatories in Seattle, once belonged to Actor's Equity (the Stage Actors Union), and have acted in well over a hundred community, regional, and professional stage productions. I have also worked backstage in various capacities and directed about a dozen productions. In addition, I have taught theatre history and acting at the elementary, high school, and college level, and acted in film and TV. For example, I appeared 5 times on "J.P. Patches", a Seattle Children's show, played Houdini in a History Channel piece on psychics, and was a featured extra in the 2008 film "Bottle Shock."


Office Hours: Fall 2016

Mon and Wed 10:30-12:00 or by appointment.


Presentations and Publications

Syllabus of Satan: A Text With Readings. LAD, 2015

"Sacred Text, Secular Classroom: Theory and Practice of Teaching Religion in a Public Institution."
A short article at http://online.santarosa.edu/presentation/?9513

"A Little Essay on Morality and God." http://atheistskeptic.blogspot.com

Comparative Mythology: The Ancient Near East. LAD. 3rd Ed. 2010. A textbook containing selections of Ancient Near Eastern creation and flood myths including my own translation and notes of Ancient Greek, Hebrew and Ugaritic texts.

"B'Reshit 1-3: A New Translation of Genesis 1-3 with Introduction, Notes and Commentary." Class Reader, SRJC, 2008.

"Is The God of the Bible Ever Universal?" Universalist Friends. Num. 43:Feb. 2006, pp. 7-16.
This article has been reprinted in a book: Universalism and Religions. Ed. Patricia Williams. Quaker Universalist Press, 2007.

"The Worst Thing About ID." The Oakleaf, Jan. 18, 2006, p. 8.

"Structural Clues to the Epistemology and Ethics of Qohelet (Ecclesiastes)" (a paper presented to the GTU doctoral faculty 1994)

"Pedagogical Irony in Aristophanes and Biblical Wisdom Literature" (a paper presented to the Society of Biblical Literature, 1993)

"Justifying the Ways of Yahweh" (a paper presented to the Society of Biblical Literature, 1992)

"Building an Old Testament Library", The Catalyst, 1992

"Philosophical and Religious Syncretism in the Wisdom of Solomon" (a paper presented to Fuller Seminary faculty, 1988)


Honors and Awards

Tauzer Lecturer, 2011
A Lectureship in recognition of Teaching Excellence. The Lecture is given to the Faculty, Administration, and Staff of the College in the Spring Semester on PDA.

SRJC Academic Senate President's Award For Outstanding Contributions in Leadership, 2010
Recognizing meaningful service to the District.

NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence, 2005

Voted Best Comic Actor in Sonoma County by John Beck of the Press Democrat for the role of Albert Einstein in Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile (June, 2000).

Summa Cum Laude, Fuller Seminary, 1989

William Sandford LaSor award for excellence in Old Testament and Semitics, 1988
Selected by Old Testament and Semitic Language Faculty, Fuller Seminary

Summa Cum Laude, Northwest College, 1986
Highest GPA in Major and in Graduating class (4.0)

Delta Epsilon Chi, 1986
Selected by Faculty; Christian Academic Honor Society recognizing 'distinguished scholastic
achievement and approval of Christian character'