Please meet Dr. Tim Vivian from the Religious Studies department.
What is your field of study?
I’m the Western Religions guy at CSUB (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Native American Religion). My scholarship is in early Christianity and specifically in early Christian monasticism.
What is your favorite class to teach?
My favorite classes are Christianity, Native American Religions, and Explorations in Scripture (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur’an).
What are you excited about this semester?
My classes are going great! The students are very talkative and they teach me.
What was the last book you read?
I’m usually reading 3-4 books; right now A Spool of Blue Thread by the wonderful American novelist Anne Tyler; Brokenness and Blessing: Towards a Biblical Spirituality, by the British scholar Frances Young; The Polkinghorne Reader: Science, Faith, and the Search for Meaning, by an eminent astrophysicist and theologian; and The Collected Poems of Richard Wilbur, one of my favorite poets.
What was your worst subject in school?
Economics! The only class I ever got a “C” in!
If you had to make a documentary, what would the subject be?
I’d do one on the homeless on our streets in Bakersfield, to show that they are suffering human beings whom most of us ignore.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
I garden and read—and (weird) translate Greek and Coptic into English.
Do you have any advice or thoughts for our students?
I know we’re a working-class school; many students work, often full-time, care for families, AND go to school. I admire them immensely. Students, as much as possible, start your assignments early. Don’t procrastinate!
What did you do over the summer break?
I had my first extended vacation in 10 years last summer. Miriam (my spouse, who teaches in History) and I went to Italy and Greece for two weeks!
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