Michael VanZandt Collins

  • Ph.D. Student/Comparative Theology
  • Boston College
  • Twitter: @VZCollins

After graduating in 2005 with a Masters from Boston College in social ethics, I worked for several years teaching religion in an urban Catholic school, where most of the students were not Catholic. That experience was foundational for me realizing that these conversations with religious traditions have a tendency to become so insular that I began doing more work on interfaith relations and within the plurality of religions, first as a community and a political organizer, working with nonprofits and grassroots organizations, and then upon entering a Master's program at Harvard in Islamic Studies. Now I am working at Boston College on my doctorate concentrating on ecological ethics between the traditions of Islam and Christianity with a focus on medieval classical sources and drawing upon the humanities that beyond strictly theological texts (these will include the visual arts as well as music and poetry). I am also endlessly fascinated with Qur'anic studies and feel that it can be arranged comparatively with methods and lessons from Joyce Studies. My wife is also an expert in electronic health medical records, and I know that her expertise will be beneficial once I can begin getting a better preparedness to delve into the Digital Humanities.