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Andrew Wender

Associate teaching professor; undergraduate advisor; director, Religion, Culture and Society Program

Political Science

Office: DTB A306 250-853-3580
PhD 2006 (UVic)
Area of expertise:
Political theory, politics and religion, politics of the Middle East

Office hours

Spring 2024 office hours: Fridays 10-11 a.m or by appointment.


  • politics, society and religion in the Middle East and worldwide
  • political theory, religion and philosophy
  • comparative political theory and comparative religion
  • teaching critical thinking through political science instruction

About Dr. Wender

Dr. Wender holds an Interdisciplinary PhD (2006) from the University of Victoria which he completed while a Fellow at UVic’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (CSRS). His doctoral dissertation investigated how modern secular law’s tendency to transform all of reality into property manifests, in fact, the law’s powerful religious foundation. Prior to undertaking his PhD, he earned a JD from the Seattle University School of Law and became a member of the Washington State Bar.

His teaching, for which he 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; 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.

Dr. Wender also serves as director of UVic’s interdisciplinary Religion, Culture and Society Program.

He has 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. He frequently serves as a speaker and media commentator on Middle East affairs and other global issues, including numerous panels at UVic on which he has discussed the significance of recent political transformations within the Middle East; lectures for UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies and elsewhere within the UVic and Victoria communities; and contributions in such venues as The Globe and Mail, CBC, CFAX, and CKNW Radio and A-Channel and CHEK TV.


Dr. Wender teaches courses on political theory, politics and religion and Middle Eastern politics.

Teaching 2023-24

Fall 2023:

Spring 2024:

Courses previously taught

  • POLI 103: Worlds of Politics
  • POLI 202: An Introduction to Political Theory
  • POLI 300A: Ancient and Medieval Political Thought
  • POLI 300B: Early Modern Political Thought
  • POLI 300C: Post-Enlightenment Political Thought
  • POLI 319: Issues in Comparative Politics: "Obama or McCain?: American Presidential Politics, Canada and the World" (Fall 2008)
  • POLI 340: International Studies
  • POLI 382: Politics and Religion
  • POLI 384: Comparative Political Thought
  • POLI 433: Seminar in Middle Eastern Politics
  • POLI 453: Seminar: Imagining Middle East Politics


  • "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). Anticipated date 2023.
  • 2022 Review of Central Asia: A New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present, by Adeeb Khalid. Princeton, NJ & Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press, 2021, in World History Connected, Vol. 19, No. 3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.