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David Weddle

My recent book Miracles: Wonder and Meaning in World Religions (New York University Press, 2010) explores popular enthusiasm for miracles, official regulation of miracle claims, and religious objections to miracles, drawing on examples from Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic traditions. I interpret miracle stories as signs of what each tradition holds as "transcendent," opening human life to radically new possibilities and keeping alive a sense of hope and wonder. If a religion offers no miraculous signs, is it worth the bother?

My current project focuses on "the bother" religion entails in the form of sacrifice, from ascetic self-denial to offerings of animals. Like miracles, sacrifices are nearly universal in religious traditions. But why is religion so costly? Why is access to the sacred through a "straight and narrow gate"?


Philosophy of Religion
Religion in America
Religious Ethics
Theory and Method of Religious Studies
Topics in Comparative Religion: Miracles, Sacrifice

Regular Classes

RE 130 Christianity
RE 191 Religions in America
RE 200 Topics: Miracles
RE 202 Religious Ethics
RE 231 Philosophy of Religion
RE 302 Seminar in Theory and Method
RE 331 The Idea of God (writing intensive)
RE 332 The Question of Faith
RE 405 Thesis Preparation
RE 406 Senior Thesis


    Ph.D., Harvard University, 1973
    M.A., Harvard University, 1970
    A.B., Hope College, 1966
    B.R.E., Grace Bible College, 1964

    Papers & Publications