Religion & Philosophy Faculty

Dr. Brent Adkins
Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago

Office phone:(540) 378-5152
West 321
Office Hours: 12:00 - 1:00, Mon, Wed, Fri

Dr. Adkins is an Associate Professor of Philosophy. His primary interests are 19th and 20th Century European philosophy, Modern Philosophy, and politics. His most recent books are Death and Desire in Hegel, Heidegger and Deleuze (2007) and True Freedom: Spinoza's Practical Philosophy (2009), and with Paul Hinlicky Rethinking Philosophy & Theology with Deleuze: A New Cartography (2013). He is currently writing Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus: A Reader's Guide and Critical Introduction (2015).

Dr. Robert Benne
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Office phone: (540) 375-2378
West 324
Office Hours: contact for appointment

Dr. Benne is the founder of the Center for Religion and Society. He came to Roanoke from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1982. He is a leading figure in Lutheran ethics and social thought. A selection of his publications illustrates his interests: The Ethic of Democratic Capitalism: A Moral Reassessment; Ordinary Saints: An Introduction to the Christian Life; The Paradoxical Vision: A Public Theology for the Twenty-first Century; Seeing is Believing: Vision of Life Through Film. He is currently working on a study of higher education in Lutheran and other Christian denominations.

Dr. Paul Hinlicky
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary

Office phone: (540) 375-2454
West 305
Office Hours: 11:00am - 12:00pm, Mon, Wed, Fri
Website: Dr. Hinlicky's page

Dr. Hinlicky came to Roanoke College after six years of service in post-communist Slovakia as a missionary professor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, of which he is an ordained minister. His background is in classical theology and modern continental philosophy. Committed to the tradition of Lutheran confessional theology, he is interested in developing an ecumenically-oriented Christian systematic theology and ethics. He is concerned to meet varied contemporary challenges, preeminently the scientific view of the history of the cosmos, the dangers of cultural nihilism, and the disunity of the churches.

Dr. Marwood Larson-Harris
Ph.D., Boston University

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion
Office phone: (540) 375-2083
West 318
Office Hours: 2:20 - 3:20pm Mon, Wed and 1:10 - 2:40pm Tue
Website: Dr. Larson-Harris' page

Dr. Larson-Harris is a Teaching Associate of Religion. He teaches Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Native American Religions, and Religion and Literature. His interests are in the ways that religious ideas shape literary and artistic culture, as well as how ancient Native American traditions continue to shape modern Native experience. He is currently working on a study of the Zen Oxherding Pictures and a book on Buddhism and Film.

Dr. Gerald McDermott
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Office phone: (540) 375-2375
West 309
Office Hours: 9:00 - 10:00am, Mon, Wed, Fri
Website: Dr. McDermott's page


Dr. McDermott started teaching at Roanoke College in 1989.
He teaches courses in American religion, history of world Christianity, Jonathan Edwards, and the theology of the religions. His scholarship has been devoted to the relationship of faith and serious illness, how Christians should think about the world religions, the American theologian Jonathan Edwards, Mormonism, and other theological issues. The author of thirteen books, his most recent are A Trinitarian Theology of Religions (Oxford University Press, 2014), The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology (October, 2010), Understanding Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press, 2009), and The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide (Intervarsity, February 2010), and World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction (Thomas Nelson, 2011).

Dr. James Peterson
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Office phone: (540) 375-4919
West 307
Office Hours: 1:30 - 2:30pm Tue
Website: Dr. Peterson's page

Dr. Peterson holds the Schumann Chair in Christian Ethics and is the Director of the Benne Center for Religion & Society. An ordained minister who has been a research fellow in molecular and clinical genetics, his most recent book, Changing Human Nature (Eerdmans 2010), examines the ethics of genetic intervention and has spurred invitations to lecture at universities from the University of British Columbia to Harvard to Oxford. Peterson is also the bioethicist for LewisGale Hospital, an adjunct professor for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, editor-in-chief of the academic journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, and an elected member of the International Society for Science and Religion at Cambridge University.

Dr. Monica Vilhauer
Ph.D., New School for Social Research

Office phone: (540) 375-2458
West 317
Office Hours: 4:00 - 5:30pm, Mon and Wed

Dr. Vilhauer is Associate Professor of Philosophy. Her primary interests are in ethics, social-political philosophy, feminist philosophy, ancient philosophy, and 19th and 20th Century European philosophy. She is the author of the book Gadamer's Ethics of Play: Hermeneutics and the Other (Lexington Books, 2010), and she is currently working on a new book project on Plato and desire.

Dr. Ned Wisnefske
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Office phone: (540) 375-2372
West 301
Email: .
Office Hours: 9:30 - 10:30am Tue, Thu and 2:30 - 3:30pm Fri

Dr. Wisnefske came to Roanoke College in 1985 after teaching at Luther Seminary. His background is in modern theology and philosophy. Currently he is exploring the idea that there is a domain of moral truth common to all persons. If so, it can provide common ground between believers and non-believers, and common convictions for people from divergent backgrounds and different disciplines.

Dr. Hans Zorn
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office phone: (540) 375-2024
West 315
Email: .
Office Hours: 2:20-3:20 Mon and 3:00-4:00pm Tue, Thu

Dr. Zorn is Professor of Philosophy, has taught previously at the University of Toledo, the University of Notre Dame, and Valparaiso University. His primary areas of interest are the philosophy of religion, ancient and medieval philosophy, and metaphysics. He is particularly interested in the ways in which philosophers attempt to push the limits of thought to encompass what cannot be said.

Dr. Ned Wisnefske dedicates new book to Roanoke College campus community

Dr. Ned Wisnefske dedicates new book to Roanoke College campus community

Dr. Ned Wisnefske, Schumann Professor of Lutheran Theology, recently released a new book. He dedicated God Hides: A Critique of Religion and a Primer for Faith "to all those at Roanoke College who have made it a good place to learn."

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