Associate Professor, Department Chair
PhD, Duke University, History of Christianity (Early)
M Div, Yale University
Areas of expertise/research interests
- History of Christianity
- Christian scriptures
- Religion and film
current research and projects
Dr. Robbins teaches courses in this history, literature and languages of early Christianity. Regular offerings include a survey of the writings of the Christian New Testament, an introductory course on the history of Christianity, readings in early Christian classics, and a seminar on the development and transmission of the Christian Bible. Additionally, the study of film is a passion of Dr. Robbins. His "Jesus on the Silver Screen" course is one of the Department's most popular. His recent research projects are related to the history of the interpretation of Genesis, religion and science in dialogue, and the "new atheism." He is currently at work on a book-length project entitled, Adam &Eve at the Movies: Cinematic Transformations of Genesis 1-11. Forthcoming articles and chapters will be published in Studia Patristica (Peeters Press, Leuven), Feasting on the Gospels (Westminster John Knox Press), Encyclopedia for Sciences and Religions (Springer), and Religion and American Cultures: Multicultural American Traditions and Popular Religious Expressions (ABC-CLIO).
Dr. Robbins has served on the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver since 1988. He is the recipient of the Burlington-Northern Award for Teaching Excellence (1990) and the Joint Ph.D. Program Student Association (University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology) Outstanding Teacher Award (2010). He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. Dr. Robbins is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Department of Religious Studies and the School of Music (now, the Jacobs School of Music) at Indiana University. At Yale Divinity School he received the Hooker-Dwight Fellowship for Advanced Study, and studied in the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University as a Gurney Harris Kearns Fellow and as a Danforth Foundation Fellow. In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities at DU, Professor Robbins serves on the Board of Directors of the Saint Martin's Chamber Choir, a fully-professional choir in its 19th season with eleven acclaimed CD recordings to its credit, on the board of Trustees of Saint Elizabeth's School, a K-8, private Episcopal School with an intentionally inclusive student body that reflects the socio-economic diversity of the great Denver metropolitan community, and is Vice President and Chair of the Membership Committee of Board of Directors of the Society for Values in Higher Education. Since 2003, he has directed the Anglican Studies Program at the Iliff School of Theology, and is Honorary Canon Theologian at Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral. In addition to Phi Beta Kappa and the Society for Values in Higher Education, he is a member of the North American Patristics Society, the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). In 2013-14, he will serve as Co-Vice President and Co-Program Chair, with Professor Andrea Stanton, of the Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Region of the AAR/SBL.
His published work includes Exploring the New Testament (Prentice Hall, 1986), Intrigue in the Garden: Genesis 1-3 in the History of Exegesis (Mellen, 1988), numerous entries in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, articles in Studia Patristica, The Journal of Religion and Film, The Journal of Religion and Society, and contributions to the Feasting on the Word and Feasting on the Gospels commentary series (Westminster John Knox Press).