Area of Study
Email Address
Benedict Hall 208

Stephenson Humphries-Brooks' teaching and research interests include literary and social-historical criticism of the Gospels, religion in film, early Christian mysticism, and theories and methods for the study of religion. His most recent book, Cinematic Savior: Hollywood's Making of the American Christ, examines how the life of Jesus has been portrayed in mainstream films.

His current book project, Raging Gods – which is also a class — discusses the contributions of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese to the religious culture in American film. He received a doctorate in religion from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary, with a specialization in New Testament studies.

Recent Courses Taught

Religion in Film
Jesus and the Gospels
Raging Gods: Scorsese and Coppola's Religious Films

Research Interests

  • Religion in film
  • Film theory
  • Mysticism
  • Hermeneutics
  • Undergraduate pedagogy
  • The Gospel of Matthew
  • Bible as literature
  • Literary critical theory
  • Social history and sociology of early Christian communities


  • Visiting Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford University, spring 2002
  • NEH Summer Seminar: The Bible as Literature, Yale University, 1991
  • Margaret Bundy-Scott Fellowship, Hamilton College, 1989-90
  • Columbia University President's Fellow, 1979
  • Union Theological Seminary Fellowship, 1978, 1982
  • Luther Rice Scholar, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1975
  • Phi Epsilon Honor Society, William Jewell College, 1975
  • William Jewell College Scholar to Oxford University, 1974
  • William Jewell College Merit Scholar, 1972-1975

Selected Publications

  • Cinematic Savior. Hollywood's Making of the American Christ, Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2006.
  • The Body and the Blood of Eternal UnDeath,” The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Vol. VI, spring, 2004.
  • “Of Inquiry-Coaching in the Liberal Arts Classroom,” The International Journal of Learning, Proceedings of the Learning Conference. Vol. 10, 2003.  http://LearningConference.Publisher-Site.com.
  • “The Canaanite Women in Matthew.” Pp. 138-156 in The Feminist Companion to Matthew and Mark. Ed. A. J. Levine. Sheffield Academic, 2001.
  • “Matthew,” Pp. 939-74 in The Mercer One-Volume Commentary on the Bible. Ed. Watson Mills. Mercer University Press. 1995. Republished in The Gospels. Vol. 6. Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Ed. Watson Mills, 1996.
  • “Spatial Form and Plot Disruption in the Gospel of Matthew.” Essays in Literature 20 (1993) 54-69.
  • “Indicators of Social Organization and Status in Matthew's Gospel.” Pp. 31-49 in Society of Biblical Literature 1991 Seminar Papers. Ed. Eugene H. Lovering. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press. 1991.
  • “Mishnah,” “Haggadah,” Halakah,” “Talmud,” “Targum,” “Tosephta.” Holman Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tenn.: Holman Bible Publishers. 1991.
  • “Apocalyptic Paraenesis in Matt 6.19-34,” Pp. 95-112 in Apocalyptic in the New Testament: Essays in Honor of J. Louis Martyn. Marion L. Soards and Joel M. Marcus, eds. JSNTSupp. 24 Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989.
  • Matthew's Community. The Evidence of His Special Sayings Material.  JSNTSupp 16. Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1987.
  • Heidi M. Ravven, Sharon Humphries Brooks, Stephenson H. Brooks, “A Response [to Robert Coles],” Journal of the Associates for Religion and Intellectual Life. 3 (Fall, 1985) 40-46.

National Media

  • Author, op-ed article, “Movies fail to tell the whole story,” Albany Times Union, Sept. 23, 2006.
  • “New Jesus Film Puts Race into Religion,” CNN, Oct. 30, 2006.
  • “Will ‘Code’ of Silence Pay Off?” GuideLive.com, May 18, 2006.
  • “'The Book of Daniel' Another Battleground in the Culture War Over Jesus?” CollegeNews.org, Jan. 5, 2006.
  • “Hollywood Gearing Films to Traditionally Christian Audiences,” Newswise Pop Culture News, Dec. 6, 2005.
  • “Hollywood Rediscovers Christians,” CollegeNews, Dec. 7, 2005.
  • “‘The Passion’ Shows a Feminine Side,” Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2004.
  • “Jesus on the Silver Screen,” Agence France Presse, Feb. 28, 2004.
  • “Add the Hunk to a Long Line of Images of Our Lord Jesus,” Fairfax Digital, Feb. 24, 2004.
  • “Jesus as Triumphant Action Hero?” CollegeNews.org, Feb. 24, 2004.
  • “‘Awwww, Truly This Man was the Son of God,’” Mail & Guardian online, Feb. 22, 2004.
  • “Jesus Christ, Movie Star,” Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas, Feb. 21, 2004.
  • “What Did Jesus Really Look Like?” The New York Times, Feb. 21, 2004.
  • “Film-Makers Use Bible As Their Screenplay,” FOXNEWS.com, Oct. 9, 2000.
  • “Miniseries on Jesus includes 'liberties and embellishments,'“ The Layman Online, May 11, 2000.
  • “The Hollywood Gospels,” The New York Times, March 31, 1999.

College Service

  • Chair, Department of Religious Studies, 1994-2000, 2014-present; acting chair, fall 2001, 2009-10
  • Director, Cinema and New Media Studies, 2011-13
  • Steering Committee, Cinema and Media Studies, 2013-present
  • Senior Fellows program director, 2008-12
  • Emerson Fellowship advisor
  • Committee on Information and Technology, chair, 2006-07; 2004-07
  • Committee on Academic Policy, Subcommittee on Mission and Curricular Models, 1996-97; chair, 1997
  • Staff Grievance Committee, 1996-present
  • Faculty counsel to Appeals Committee, Tenure Appeal, spring 1996
  • Workshop for Department Chairs in Religion, AAR/SBL Association of Department Chairs in Religion, 1995, 1996
  • Feminist Hermeneutics Task Force, Catholic Biblical Association, 1989-99
  • Matthew Group, Society of Biblical Literature, 1985-2000
  • Program Committee, concentration in ancient Mediterranean Civilization, Hamilton College, 1986-92
  • Sexual Harassment Grievance Board, 1989-93; chair, 1992-93
  • Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, Hamilton College, 1987-91
  • Board of Advisors (first and second year students), Hamilton College, 1984-1987, 1988-present
  • Committee on Academic Standing, 1988-89
  • Writing Across the Curriculum Seminar, Hamilton College, August 1987

Professional Affiliations

  • Referee for Men and Masculinities
  • Referee for Blackwell’s Publishers in religion in film
  • Referee for Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
  • Referee for The Learning Conference, 2003

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary
M.Phil., Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary
M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
A.B., William Jewell College

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