Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

424 Warde
319-363-1323 ext. 2019

BA  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
MA  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
MA  Marquette University
PhD  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Thomas Wetzel, Ph.D., joined Mount Mercy in 2012. He previously served as an instructor of theology and biblical studies at Catholic Theological Union, where he also assisted with the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program of the Diocese of Gary. In the areas of religious studies, he has taught at Loyola University in Chicago and Marquette University, as well as served an editorial assistant and book manuscript editor for the Harvard Theological Review and Harvard Theological Press. He also has taught in the English departments of Concordia University Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

His research interests includes violence and pacifism in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, interpretation of prophetic biblical literature, Jewish-Christian dialogue, liturgy and its impact on the interpretation of scripture, ecclesiology, biblical Christology, and the theology and narrative voice of Flannery O’Connor.

Wetzel’s recent articles and conference papers include “The Kingdom of Heaven Suffering Violence: Hauerwas contra O’Connor on the Nature of God’s Kingdom;” “Beyond Human Understanding: Confusion and the Call in Winesburg, Ohio;” “The Divine Warrior in Hiding: Re-Creation in the Book of Esther;” “A ‘Graveyard’ of the Midwest: Unearthing Søren Kierkegaard’s Influence in Midwestern Immigrant Communities;” and “He Loved Rachel More than Leah: Genesis 26 and 34 as Covenantal Reminders.”

He was awarded the Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship from Harvard Divinity School in 2011, the Ten Outstanding Young People of Illinois award from the Illinois Jaycees in 2002, a faculty research grant from Concordia University in 2000-01, and was awarded the Midwestern Heritage Essay award from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature in 1997 and 1999 (making him the only two-time winner in the society’s history), among others.

In the academic arena, Wetzel has served in a variety of capacities, including on various Master’s Degree Examination Committees for Catholic Theological Union and the Honors Program Oversight Council and Student Life Policies Committee at Concordia University.

He is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, and Phi Beta Kappa.