Mark Whitters

A photo of Mark Whitters

Full-Time Lecturer

History and Philosophy; Program of Jewish Studies

701E Pray Harrold


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Catholic University of America
  • MA, University of Minnesota
  • MA, The University of Michigan
  • BA, Grinnell College

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Whitters has written 20 articles for juried publications such as Harvard Theological ReviewIrish Theological QuarterlyCatholic Biblical QuarterlyJournal for the Study of JudaismJournal for the Study of the Pseudepigraphia, and Journal of Biblical LiteraturePast research topics were in the area of cognate literature for the Jewish and Christian scriptures, but more recently his focus has been on the literary contexts surrounding the Qur’an and early Islam. He has given many papers in the US and abroad on topics of philology, religious studies, the ancient world, and the Middle East.  He has served as president of the Midwest Society of Biblical Literature, a scholarly guild with 1200 members in eight states and Ontario. Lately he has been active in new strategies to enhance student engagement in the classroom through educational gaming. He often brings students to make presentations at national and regional pedagogical meetings. In 2017 and 2019 he authored two books that capitalize on a new pedagogy called “Reacting.” He now serves as a liaison for EMU and the national Reacting movement.

Whitters has traveled throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern world for extensive periods of time, and has passed proficiency exams in modern Hebrew and standard Arabic. He lives in Detroit where he is involved with interracial dialogue and urban youth programs. He is secretary and board member for YouthWorks-Detroit, a neighborhood education and charitable program, and actively incorporates social outreach into his classes. He has recently produced the first season of a podcast series on urban issues and the need for dialogue called "Reconnecting the Threads."


  • RLST 100 The Comparative Study of Religion
  • HIST 101 Western Civilization to 1648
  • HIST 102 Western Civilization, 1648 to World War II
  • HIST 109 World History to 1500
  • HIST 160 Reacting to the Past
  • HIST 203 Global History of Islam
  • HIST 204 Introduction to the History of Judaism
  • RLST / HIST 304 Early Judaism

Publications and Presentations

  • Memoirs of How It All Began: A Performance of the Gospel of Luke (Portland, OR: Cascade Books, 2019).
  • “Story-Telling about ‘The Seven’ among Christians, Jews, and Muslims,” Conversations with the Biblical World 37 (2018) 108 – 27.
  • “The Persianized Liturgy of Neh 8:1-8,” Journal of Biblical Literature 136 (2017) 63 – 84.
  • Memoirs of an Unfinished Tale: A Performance of Acts of the Apostles (Portland, OR: Cascade Books, 2017).
  • “Afterword: Gaza and Israel—A Year Later,” Commonweal (Epilogue, Sept. 25, 2016).
  • With Stephen Clark. “The Patristic Origin of ‘Mutual Subordination.’” Nova et Vetera 14 (2016): 821-844.
  • “Baruch as Ezra in ‘Second Baruch.’” Journal of Biblical Literature 132 (2013) 569-84.
  • “The Source for the Qur’ānic Story of the Companions of the Cave (Sūrah 18),” in Cornelia B. Horn, ed., Bible, Qur’ān, and Their Interpretations: Syriac Perspectives I (Warwick, RI: Abelian Academic, 2013) 167 – 88.
  • The Ancient World, Vol. 1, World History Encyclopedia (7 vols.; Facts on File, 2008).
  • The Epistle of Second Baruch: Form and Message, JSP Supplemental Series 42 (Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003). 

Grants, Honors and Awards

  • “Scholar of the Year,” Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.
  • Scholarship, Orientalis Lumen Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue (Istanbul), 2004.
  • Lecturer of the Year, EMU, 2010-2011.
  • Liggitt Teaching & Learning Partnership Award, 2019
  • Dale Rice Award for Academic Service-Learning, 2018.