Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics
Dr. Wildman’s primary research and teaching interests are in philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, philosophical ethics, religion and science, the scientific study of religion, computational humanities, computational social sciences, and the ethics of emerging technologies. His PhD is in philosophy of religion and he thinks of his fundamental object of study as complex human systems, including their existential, moral, and spiritual dimensions. In addition to his appointment at the School of Theology, he is a founding member of Boston University’s new Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences.
Dr. Wildman’s scholarly publications cover a wide variety of topics, some theoretical and some practical, and range from multidisciplinary, comparative approaches in philosophy of religion to computational policy analysis. Dr. Wildman’s publications are listed on his website at WesleyWildman.com, along with descriptions of his books and links to many of his occasional writings.
The definitive statement of Dr. Wildman’s philosophical theology is his systematic, six-volume religious philosophy series, which addresses method in philosophy of religion, the relative plausibility of competing ultimacy models, the implications of fundamental physics and biology for philosophical theology (forthcoming) and theological anthropology, the philosophical interpretation of religious and spiritual experiences, and the role of religious language in conceiving of and relating to ultimate reality. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the International Society for Science and Religion.
Dr. Wildman is founding co-editor of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior, which publishes empirical and theoretical studies of religion employing a host of scientific approaches, from cognitive science to demography and from evolutionary anthropology to archaeology. During its first decade, the journal has played a key role in consolidating and advancing the scientific study of religion, rising to the #2 journal out of almost 600 religious studies journals (according to CiteScore).
Dr. Wildman is Executive Director of the Center for Mind and Culture, a non-profit research institute that employs computational models, agent-based simulation, data analytics, and other cutting-edge technologies to help solve pressing practical problems such as illegal child trafficking, social integration of immigrants and refugees, and religious radicalization. Principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research grants totaling US$12 million, he is currently leading projects aimed at helping colleges and universities operate safely and equitably during the Covid-19 pandemic, understanding how religions change and thereby affect our world, mapping the multidisciplinary research field of religion and cooperation, analyzing the values operative in the academic study of religion, and advancing our understanding of religious and spiritual experiences by building a new state-of-the-art data collection and storage platform. A more extended list of Dr. Wildman’s research activities is available at the Center’s website.
Dr. Wildman also maintains numerous invaluable resource web sites for the study of philosophy, theology, ethics, religion, religion and science, ecological ethics, and the scientific study of religion, listed at WesleyWildman.com. Those sites feature the incredible work of generations of Boston University graduate students and contain a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics.