Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 43



333 Carpenter Hall

Office Hours
by appointment

Michael Birkel

Professor of Religion


  • Religion
  • Jewish Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Quaker Studies
  • Middle East Studies


  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.A., Earlham School of Religion
  • B.A., Wilmington College

Selected Courses

  • Hebrew Scriptures: the text and context of the Jewish Bible (the Christian Old Testament)
  • Friends Colloquium: readings in Quaker topics (theme varies from year to year)
  • Islam
  • Islam and Film 
  • Spiritual But Not Religious
  • Torah, Gospel, and Qur’an

I often lead Ford/Knight projects. Recent topics include:

  • Contemporary Issues in Muslim Thought
  • Quaker Mystic Rufus Jones
  • Religion and Humor

My Ford/Knight Project for 2014-15 is Religion and Doctor Who.


Michael Birkel teaches courses related to all of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. He is widely published, particularly on topics related to Quaker thought. Michael has collaborated on several research projects with students.

He describes Earlham students as, “inquisitive, interested in knowing things because knowing things is interesting, concerned to make the world better, ethically engaged, bright, cooperative.”

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Religion
Friends Historical Association

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