Faculty Directory

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 elements of comparative religion and sociolinguistics. His book, Religion and Language in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge 2011; paperback edition 2016), explores the revitalization of the historic Church Slavonic language after Communism. His next project, Sacred Languages of the World: An Introduction (Wiley Blackwell 2018), is designed for students and the general reader. It surveys the beliefs, practices, teaching methods, artistic traditions, sectarian controversies, and technological innovations relating to ancient codes like Latin, Pali, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Coptic. 

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