Brian C. Wilson

Photo of Brian C. Wilson
Brian C. Wilson
Professor, American Religious History and WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar
(269) 387-4361
2011 Moore Hall, Mail Stop 5320
Mailing address: 
Department of Comparative Religion
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5320 USA
Office hours: 

By appointment via email.

  • Ph.D./M.A., Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1996
  • M.A., Hispanic Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, 1990
  • B.S., Medical Microbiology, Stanford University, 1982
Teaching interests: 
  • American religious history
  • New religious movements
  • Religion in the Midwest and in the Yankee Diaspora
  • Theory and method in the academic study of religion
Research interests: 
  • American religious history and new religious movements
  • Religion in the Midwest and in the Yankee Diaspora
  • Spiritual biography

Dr. Brian C. Wilson is a professor of American religious history in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University.

A native of Santa Clara, California, Dr. Wilson earned a B.S. in Medical Microbiology from Stanford University (1982), and, after three years in the Peace Corps (Honduras, Dominican Republic), went on to earn an M.A. in Hispanic Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (1990) and an M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1996) in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Professor Wilson joined the faculty of the WMU Department of Comparative Religion in 1996 and served as department chair from 2001-09. Among his most recent books are "Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living" (Indiana University Press 2014) and "John E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age" (Wayne State University Press 2018), both recipients of the Michigan State History Award. His latest book, "The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson" (2022), was published by the University of Massachusetts Press. He is currently working on a new book project, "The Spiritualist Century of Dr. James Martin Peebles."