Dr. Andrew M. Wender

Dr. Andrew M. Wender
Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Religion, Culture and Society Program
History and Political Science
Office: Cle D278

BA (Western Washington), JD (Seattle), PhD (UVic)

Area of expertise

Middle Eastern History, World History, Religion and Law

Office hours

Spring 2024: Friday 11:15 am - 1:15 pm or by appointment


I am an Associate Teaching Professor in the Departments of History and Political Science, and Director of the Religion, Culture and Society Program; I have taught at UVic since 2001.  I hold an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Victoria, which I completed while a Fellow at UVic's Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (CSRS); my Ph.D. investigated how modern, secular law's tendency to transform all of reality into property in fact manifests the law's powerful religious foundation.  Prior to my Ph.D., I earned a B.A. (Honors) in History from Western Washington University, as well as a J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law, and became a member of the Washington State Bar.

My teaching – for which I received the 2011 Gilian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching – and research focus on the history and politics of the Middle East, especially religious dimensions; critical approaches to thinking about politics and religion within global as well as Middle East settings; and political thought, especially within comparative contexts. Other key emerging interests include historical and modern trajectories of messianic salvation, particularly in relation to empire; comparative world revolutions; and the application of quantum theory and cosmology to the social sciences and humanities. I have published in such journals as PS: Political Science & Politics, Telos, World History Bulletin, Sociology of Islam, Digest of Middle East Studies, Implicit Religion, and World History Connected.

Selected publications


“Jewish Messianic Movements” and “Zoroastrian Dualism and Monotheism”. Forthcoming in Andrew Holt, ed., Religion and World Civilizations: How Faith Shaped Societies from Antiquity to the Present. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

2021    Review of Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World, by Ussama Makdisi. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019, forthcoming in World History Connected, Vol. 18, No. 3.

2021    “A Compass During the Storm: Offering Students Critical Rigor for Polarizing Times”, co-authored with Valerie J. D’Erman, PS: Political Science & Politics, 1-5 (“First View”). doi:10.1017/S1049096521000457.

2021    “Course Syllabus: Religion and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, World History Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 25-33. 

2021    “Moving Beyond Secular-Religious Binaries: A framework for understanding the interaction between religion and politics”, chapter co-authored with Mohita Bhatia, pp. 19-43 in Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay and Mohita Bhatia, eds., Religion and Politics in Jammu and Kashmir (London and New York: Routledge). 

2021    Review of God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World, by Alan Mikhail. New York: Liveright, 2020, in World History Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 54-55. 

2020    Review of Useful Enemies: Islam and The Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750, by Noel Malcolm. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, in World History Connected, Vol. 17, No. 2 [internet accessible at https://worldhistoryconnected.press.uillinois.edu/17.2/br_wender.html]. 

2020    ““Apophatic Entanglement” and the Politics of Unknowing: Catherine Keller”, a Review of Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement, by Catherine Keller.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2015, in Telos 190, pp. 193-95. 

2017    “Asymmetry and the Reimagining of Political Theology”, Telosscope (Weblog of Telos Press and the journal Telos), March 8 [internet accessible at http://www.telospress.com/asymmetry-and-the-reimagining-of-political-theology/

2016    “The Contending Logics of Interventionism Pervading Today’s Middle East: a Telling Sign of Foreign Policy Conundrums in the Late-Modern Age.”  Pp. 15-35 in Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, eds., The Middle East: New Order or Disorder? (Washington, DC: Policy Studies Organization/Westphalia Press). 

2016    “Comparative Understandings of the Human Political Actor: An Entryway into the Critique of Totalizing, Modernist Monopolies over Ethics and Politics”, Telosscope (Weblog of Telos Press and the journal Telos), March 30 [internet accessible at http://www.telospress.com/comparative-understandings-of-the-human-political-actor-an-entryway-into-the-critique-of-totalizing-modernist-monopolies-over-ethics-and-politics/].   

2015    “Looking Beyond the Westphalian Nation-State: Challenging the Modernist Vision of History with Alternative Political Orders and Worldviews”, Telosscope (Weblog of Telos Press and the journal Telos), April 3 [internet accessible at http://www.telospress.com/looking-beyond-the-westphalian-nation-state/]. 

2015    Review of Confronting Political Islam: Six Lessons from the West’s Past, by John M. Owen, IV.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015; for Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, Vol. 3, Issue 3. 

2014    “Beyond Resurgent ‘Islamists’ and Enlightened ‘Secularists’: Critiquing Caricatures of Religion in the Arab Uprisings”, Sociology of Islam special issue on ‘Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond’, Vol. 2, Issue 3-4, pp. 268-282. 

2014    “Re-approaching – Not Merely Reproaching – Religious Sectarianism within a Tumultuous Middle East.”  Pp. 195-207 in Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, eds., Middle East Conflicts & Reforms (Washington, DC: Policy Studies Organization/Westphalia Press).

2014    Review of One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States, edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg.  Berkeley, CA and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2014; for Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, Vol. 2, Issue 11. 

2014    Review of Deconstructing Zionism: A Critique of Political Metaphysics, edited by Gianni Vattimo and Michael Marder.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2014; for Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, Vol. 2, Issue 5.   

2012    “Learning Through Upheaval: Strategies for Analyzing and Construing Emerging Socio-Political Transformations in the Middle East”, Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES), Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 300-312. 

2011    “Transcending Nationalist Divides: Religious Reconciliation As the Basis for a One-State Solution in Israel/Palestine”, Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES), Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 271-286. 

2009    “Helping Students See What Ordinarily Remains Hidden: How Implicit Religion Can Enrich Teaching”, Implicit Religion: Journal of the Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion and Contemporary Spirituality (CSIRCS), Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 281-294. 

2008    “Environmental Harms and Capitalist Regulation”, a Book Review of Richard J. Lazarus, The Making of Environmental Law, in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 130-132. 

2007    “State Power as a Vehicle for the Expression and Propagation of Implicit Religion: The Case Study of the ‘War on Terrorism’”, Implicit Religion: Journal of the Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion and Contemporary Spirituality (CSIRCS), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 244-261.  


HSTR 112A (World History 1900-present)

HSTR 371 (Special Topics Course on Comparative World Revolutions) 

HSTR 377 (Special Topics Course on World War I and the Making of the Modern Middle East) 

HSTR 379 (Western Imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa) 

HSTR 380/RCS 380 (Religion and the Making of the Modern Middle East) 

HSTR 470/RCS 401 (Seminars on topics including Religion and Empire in the Modern World, and Modern Messianic Movements) 

HSTR 479 (Religion and State in the Modern Middle East)

RCS 370: Intersections of Law and Religion from Ancient to Current Worlds