Benjamin B DeVan
  • Male
  • Durham, NC
  • United States
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Profile Information

Religion / Faith
Ecumenical Christian
I have attended the Parliament of Religions:
Local Religious Community / Interfaith Affiliation:
I have come to PeaceNext looking for:
networking, interreligious advocacy, interreligious exploration, intrareligious reflection, friendship
I am inspired by:
Corrie Ten Boom, Martin Luther King, Jr., Les Miserables, The Ramayana, Mahmoud Ayoub, Mahmoud Taha, Viktor Frankl, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, Madeleine L’Engle, Brennan Manning, Jon Levenson, Ruth Padilla Deborst, Miriam Adeney, Tawfik Hamid, Nabeel Jabbour, Joel Rosenberg, Joni Eareckson Tada, Sojourner Truth, Carl Medearis, Irshad Manji, Shusaka Endo, The International Justice Mission, Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, Philip Jenkins’ The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Clark Pinnock's A Wideness in God’s Mercy, A+ Nonbelievers Giving Aid, Compassion International, World Relief, World Vision, Christians for Biblical Equality, The Zondervan NIV Study Bible, The Cotton Patch Gospel
My favorite spiritual places:
"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we will harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire." -- Pierre Tielhard de Chardin
Interreligious causes I care about:
Christian-Muslim / Muslim-Christian Relations, The New Atheism, Evangelical Christianity
Changes I am working toward in my community:
Work in Progress!
About Me:
Benjamin B. DeVan has taught religion, philosophy, and African American literature at North Carolina Central University, Peace College, and a January term mini-course at MIT titled, "Religion: Bringing the World Together, or Tearing the World Apart?" He completed his MA in Counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary, his MDiv at Duke University, a ThM at Harvard in World Religions with a thesis on evangelical Christians and Islam, and is now a doctoral candidate at Durham University, UK, writing a dissertation on the New Atheism.

Benjamin B DeVan's Blog

New Atheists on Genesis 1-11 and 19

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 4:01am 1 Comment

Abstract: The New Atheists have repeatedly denounced the Bible as dangerously false, suppressive to scientific inquiry, and promoting problematic or even abhorrent moral values. The Genesis 1-11 and 19 narratives on the Creation, the Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah are among their favorite targets. Is it possible to read these texts more rigorously, responsibly, and charitably than the New Atheists have done?  I think so, and discuss some possibilities here.

This summer…


The Loser Letters?

Posted on February 2, 2012 at 6:01am 0 Comments

After a post-master's teaching stint which included three years at an all-women's college in North Carolina, I returned to the classroom as a student for a Th.M. with a thesis on Evangelicals and Muslims, and a Ph.D. dissertation on the "New Atheists." One of the funnest (er...most fun) books I have read so far for dissertation prep is Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters, which I recently reviewed "In Brief" for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary…


Landscapes or Sandscapes? New Atheist Grounds for Morality

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 1:24pm 0 Comments

I like atheists. I don't like the definite assertion of atheism, since as a believer in God I believe it is false.  But I often like atheists.  Atheists challenge me to think more deeply on myriad issues, including my faith.  Many atheists are gracious with a winsome sense of humor, and act as a prophetic and frank voice to religious believers.  Atheists are my colleagues, fellow nurturers of creative spirit, friends (and perhaps family?) who frequently display the effervescent…


A History of Islam in America?

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 5:01am 0 Comments

This piece originally appeared in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50:2 (June, 2011), pp. 427-428.

What do qualitative research, legal testimony, and sunlight shot through stained glass have in common? All of these benefit from, even demand, insider perspectives. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is an American Muslim, a two-time Harvard graduate, and a Reed College Professor of Religion and Humanities supplying a historian’s insider account of Muslim and non-Muslim…


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