Dr. Paul Brian Thomas

Professor of Religious Studies

PBT-CHBS-beards copy

Hemphill Hall 4209

Ph.D. University of Missouri - Kansas City

Teaching interests: Without a doubt, my teaching interests are rather eclectic. My biblical studies repertoire at Radford University includes Exploring the Old Testament and Exploring the New Testament. Both of these courses are thematic in nature and include discussion of topics like family, gender, power, body image, sex, and social class (among many others) as they are represented in the Bible. You don't want to miss my topics courses, which have included The Bible and Cultural Criticism and the Cultural Significance of Monsters. The Bible and Cultural Criticism course explores representations of the Bible in popular culture as well as examining the appropriation strategies of various readers. The Cultural Significance of Monsters is a trip down American history through the lens of the monsters we create. Want to know what Frankenstein had to do with the African slave trade? Do you wonder about the connection between zombies and 9/11? Then this is the course for you.

I also teach Sacred Texts of the West, which includes (in one semester) a brief survey of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. I also have a good time exploring a variety of religions in Survey of World Religions (including Hinduism and Buddhism) while in Introduction to Religion I really enjoy challenging students’ preconceived understanding of religion.

Research interests: My research interests focus on how people use and read the Bible. This allows me to write about really cool stuff! My book, Storytelling the Bible at the Creation Museum, Ark Encounter, and Museum of the Bible (Bloomsbury, 2020), looks at how the Bible is used by young-Earth creationists at the Kentucky Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, and the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. My previous work considered how Genesis 6:1-4 factored into certain year 2012 apocalyptic scenarios. I also served as guest editor for a special issue of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions devoted to ETI-religions (commonly known as UFO cults). My contribution to this issue, "Revisionism in ET-Inspired Religions" examined how ETI Religions appropriate biblical themes.