Religious Studies Faculty

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Faculty Emeriti

William Barnett
Professor Emeritus
B.A., Wabash College; M.Div., Southern Methodist University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Chicago
[email protected]

Kathleen Nash
Professor Emerita
B.A., The University of Dallas; M.A., St. Louis University; Ph.D., The Catholic University of America

Nancy Ring
Professor Emerita (1979)
Ph.D., Marquette University

Adjunct Professors

Gerard F. Beritela

B.A., St. John Fisher College; M.Div., Nashotah House; Ph.D., Syracuse University
Grewen Hall 206, [email protected]

Gerard F. Beritela has been teaching at Le Moyne since 1994. His degrees include a B.A. summa cum laude from St. John Fisher College; an M.Div. from Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin; and the Ph.D. in Religion from Syracuse University. In 2014 he was a recipient of Le Moyne College’s Bene Merenti Award. It was at Syracuse University that he developed a passionate interest in Hinduism and other Religions of Asia. His doctoral dissertation entitled Guru Love: On the Tropes of Eroticism in the Spiritual Relationship between Master and Disciple reflects his fascination with the interplay between the erotic and the spiritual within Eastern and Western mystical traditions. His published essay “Super-Girls and Mild Mannered Men: Gender Trouble in Metropolis” reflects the side of his character that delights in playful, yet scholarly, engagement with Popular Culture and questions of gender and sexuality. Originally hired to teach the required REL 200 course, Gerry branched out into teaching and developing courses on The Religions of Asia, Religious Meaning and Popular Culture, and two different courses on Interfaith Dialogue. In addition to his work as a professor, he is also a Priest in the Episcopal Church and ministers to two local congregations: Church of the Saviour, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

James Alan Krisher

A.B., Syracuse University; M.A., Boston College
Grewen Hall 218, [email protected]

Jim Krisher received his B.A. in religion from Syracuse University, and his M.A. in theology, specializing in scripture, from Boston College. He also did further graduate study in Christian spirituality and spiritual direction at Creighton University in Omaha. He has been an adjunct in the Religious Studies Department at Le Moyne since 1984, teaching courses in New Testament and Christian spirituality. He is the founder and director of the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse, where he oversees a wide variety of services and ministries, gives classes, retreats and workshops, spiritual direction and training to spiritual directors. In 2009 he received the Le Moyne award for “Outstanding Part-time Teacher of the Year.” He also serves as an instructor of first year Jesuit novices at St. Andrew Hall novitiate in Syracuse.

Jim has written numerous articles on scripture and spirituality, and is the author of two books in Christian spirituality for general readership.

J. Mark Lawson

B.A., Hendrix College; M.Div., Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Grewen Hall 206, [email protected]

J. Mark Lawson is an ordained minister who serves as pastor of the United Church of Christ in Bayberry, Liverpool, New York. He is also a biblical scholar with particular interest in the New Testament and how it reflects the theological and social development of early Christian communities. At Le Moyne, he has taught Christian Beginnings, Theology and Suffering, Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation, Introduction to the New Testament, Letters of Paul, American Religion, and The Theological Venture. In 2008, he was honored as Le Moyne’s Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member of the Year. He designed, instituted, and continues to teach in the New York School of Ministry (NYSOM), a theological training program for laypeople seeking to practice licensed ministry in the local church. NYSOM also includes an alternative track to ordination for second-career ministers in the United Church of Christ. In addition to serving as a pastor and teacher, he is a part-time Spiritual Director for the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse.

Shawn C. Loner

B.A., Boston University; M.A., Miami University; Ph.D. candidate, Syracuse University
Grewen Hall 215, [email protected]

Shawn Loner has been teaching at Le Moyne College since Fall 2011. His research focuses on the phenomena of New Religious Movements in America, particularly modern Pagan movements and the use of mythology in constructing new religions, personal identity, and community. His teaching interests include: Introduction to the Study of Religion/World Religions, New Religious Movements, Religion and Marginality, Folk and Popular Religion, Apocalypticism and Millennialism, Religion and Popular Culture, the Ancient Near East and the History of the Bible, Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion and Mythology, Comparative Religion, Comparative Mythology, and Folklore.  At Le Moyne, he has taught the following courses: COR 400B/REL 420: The Future of Being Human, HON 215: The Meaning of Monsters (Integral Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar II), REL 326: Religion and Popular Culture, HON 112: Religion on the Fringes (Integral Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar I), REL 410:The End is Nigh! Understanding the Apocalyptic Worldview, COR 100: Gods, Dragons, and Fools: Exploring the Landscape of World Mythology, REL 200: Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation, REL 365: Islam, REL 314/PSC 314: Church and State, and REL 409: Cults and Cultural Conflicts. His article, “Be-Witching Scripture: The Book of Shadows as Scripture within Wicca/Neo-Pagan Witchcraft,” was published in Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts & Contemporary Worlds (vol. 2.2-3) and reprinted in Iconic Books and Texts (Equinox Publishing, May 2013).

Terry Hawley Reeder
B.A., Nazareth College; M.A., St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry; Ph.D. candidate, Syracuse University
Grewen Hall 206, [email protected]

Erica Olson-Bang

B.A., Claremont McKenna College; M.A.T.S., Bethel University; Ph.D., Fordham University
Grewen Hall 206, [email protected]

Erica Olson-Bang holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Fordham University (2012). She was Assistant Professor for 5 years at the College of New Rochelle (2012–2017) before relocating to this area. Her academic interests include women and religion, religion and ethics, theology and the environment, and interreligious theologies. Her research and teaching uses an interreligious theological lens (that is grounded in Christianity, and looks to other religious traditions for insight) to examine theological concepts and their ethical implications. Erica’s background is in Christianity (evangelicalism and Episcopalianism), and she is currently a member of Temple Concord, the local Reformed synagogue, with her Jewish husband and kids. She lives in Syracuse with her husband, two elementary-school aged daughters, a big pitbull named Wilbur, and an elderly cat, Eleanor. Her personal interests include: attending Trail School with her daughters, camping in the Adirondacks, quilting and crafting, learning about neurodiversity and autism, native wildlife and gardening, and cooking and food.