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Michael H Barnes

Professor Emeritus


College of Arts and Sciences: Religious Studies


Email: Michael H Barnes
Phone: 937-229-2034


  • Ph.D., Marquette University, 1976
  • Ph.L., 1962
  • B.A., St. Louis University, 1961


I was raised in Northern Minnesota on the Mesabi Iron Range. As a child, I attended 4 different grade schools and 4 different high schools while my family moved around. I have now resided in Dayton for 34 years. My career path has taken me from a short-term Jesuit with majors in psychology and philosophy, to a math educator, and to a Marquette theology graduate student. I finally became a quasi-rationalist pragmatist.

Faculty Perspective

"To do this job well, both teaching and research in particular, always takes more than 50 hours a week, and additional hours when there are exams or papers to be evaluated and commented on. Except for grading, this is a joy. Imagine getting paid to teach to do research! The extra fun comes with interdisciplinary work."

Research Interests

  • Religion and science
  • The evolution of culture and religion
  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Evolutionary psychology and its implications for religion and morality

Selected Publications

In the Presence of Mystery. XXIII Publications, 3rd edition, 2002. An introductory text for the study of religion.

Stages of Thought: The Co-Evolution of Religious Thought and Science. Oxford UP, 2000. A study of long-term evolution of cognitive methods.