B.S. in secondary education and English, University of Maryland
M.A. in biblical studies, Providence College
D.Min. in theological studies, Andover-Newton Theological School
I am primarily a biblical scholar (Hebrew Bible) with a particular interest in the history and religion of pre-exilic Israel. I am also keenly interested in ancient Near Eastern archaeology and have excavated various sites in Israel. I am currently working with UNC Charlotte on the excavations at Mt. Zion, Jerusalem. My current research projects include an archaeological exploration of women during biblical antiquity and the contemporary problem of biblical illiteracy. For more information about my books, documentaries and research projects, see www.tjwray.com.
Most of the courses I teach have to do with the Bible or world religions. As a biblical scholar, I know that the Bible influences nearly every corner of Western civilization. It impacts the moral and ethical precepts of contemporary democracies, anchoring fields as diverse as law, politics, medicine, education and business. The Bible's remarkable stories, memorable characters and eternal truths are immortalized in countless paintings, stories, songs, poetry and film. And, of course, the Bible is the centerpiece of Judeo-Christian religious faith, ritual and worship. In my Bible courses, I strive to empower my students to read, interpret and understand the historical context of the Bible, but also to appreciate the timeless lessons it imparts. In this way, courses in the Bible speak directly to Salve Regina's mission, which seeks to impart and expand knowledge, develop skills and cultivate enduring values.
Just as no formal education is complete without some basic understanding of the Bible, a general knowledge of world religions is also vitally important to one's overall education. Religious beliefs and practices impact and influence the way in which various cultures live, conduct business, form policies, educate their young, and care for the sick. Understanding different religions helps to build tolerance, respect and collaboration. At Salve Regina, we examine other religions "in dialogue" with Christianity, an approach that is unique, accessible and useful for all students, regardless of major. The University mission recognizes all people as stewards of God's creation and welcomes people of all beliefs. It thus seems fitting that students take a course in this important area of religious studies.