Undergraduate Programs

Dr. Brian P. Bennett

Dr. Brian P. Bennett

Professor & Chair of Religious Studies

(716) 286-8454


Originally from California, Dr. Bennett earned his B.A. summa cum laude from Princeton and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has been at NU since 2001, having previously taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Bennett's research combines aspects of comparative religion and sociolinguistics. His first book, Religion and Language in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge 2011; paperback edition 2016), explores the revival of the Church Slavonic language after Communism, ranging from liturgy to typography to conspiracy theory. His second, Sacred Languages of the World: An Introduction (Wiley 2018), is designed for students and the general reader. It offers a broad conspectual view of current beliefs, practices, teaching methods, sectarian controversies, and technological innovations pertaining to ancient religious codes like Latin, Pali, Classical Arabic, Sanskrit, and Coptic.

Dr. Bennett has presented his research at conferences in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Hong Kong, Limerick, Lisbon, London, Moscow, Murcia, and Vienna.

Dr. Bennett's regular courses include:

  • Introduction to Religion
  • World Religions
  • Comparative Religion
  • Religion/Language/Music

He also does special topic courses such as:

  • Cults
  • Religion and Conspiracy Theory
  • Religion and Revolution in Russia