Professor Excels At Combining Scholarship With Culture
It is often said that you can truly be good at only one thing. If that is true, Dr. Greg Stevenson is a walking contradiction. Last semester, he taught a class on fantasy, myth and horror, despite the fact that his specialty is Revelation. Stevenson, a professor of religion who started teaching at Rochester College in 1999, is a respected biblical scholar and author.
“Not only is he a first-rate scholar, he’s also an excellent teacher,” said Dr. Mark Love, dean of the School of Theology and Ministry. “Those two things don’t always come in the same package. His varied interests also make him a valuable contributor to our department. He can speak with equal authority on ancient Ephesus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the music of U2. While I usually have grave suspicions of die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans, Greg is one of the most humble and unassuming guys you would ever want to know. This makes him an ideal colleague.”
Dr. John Barton, RC provost, spoke about Stevenson’s contributions to the college. “Greg Stevenson combines world-class scholarship, personal integrity and humility, and popular and accessible teaching. He is such a valuable asset to Rochester College and epitomizes what we strive to be.”
While an undergrad at Harding University, Stevenson discovered a passion for teaching, going on to earn his master’s degree at Harding School of Theology and his Ph.D in New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University.
“I have always had strong interests in literature and in history and I really liked the way those two disciplines intersect in NT studies,” Stevenson said. “Although I love the literature of the Old Testament, there’s just an artistic power to the story of Jesus as related in the New Testament that intrigues me, and the cultural worlds of the Greco-Roman and Jewish societies of the first century were captivating to me.”
Stevenson’s main areas of focus are New Testament backgrounds, Revelation, and religion and popular culture. This intriguing combination makes his classes especially interesting.
“He is a fantastic professor because he is able to relate many concepts, Biblical and otherwise, back to popular culture such as movies and music. He’s also interesting, funny, and knows a ton about a lot of topics,” said Sarah Roper, a junior English major from Warren, Mich.
When Stevenson is not in the classroom, he has been spending a lot of time “getting up close and personal with the book of Revelation.”
Stevenson is putting the finishing touches on an essay on the theme of apocalyptic warfare in several recent television shows that will be published this year in a book titled “Small Screen Revelations: Apocalyptic and Prophecy in Contemporary Television.” He also is completing the final revisions of his newest book on Revelation, which should be released in April, called “A Slaughtered Lamb: Revelation and the Apocalyptic Response to Evil and Suffering.”