Religious fundamentalism, religions of the Near East/religion of ancient Israel, religion and mythology, acting and drama
Professor Burns is from Scotland and was educated at the universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow. His Ph.D. is from St. Andrews. Dr. Burns served as a Presbyterian minister in Scotland, Canada and Fairfax, VA, before joining the faculty at George Mason University in 1986. His research interests include the religion of Ancient Israel, mythology in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, Scripture and sexuality.
His publications include, Chronicles and its Synoptic Parallels in Samuel, Kings and Related Biblical Texts (Liturgical Press, 1998), Devotee or Deviate: The Dog (keleb) in Ancient Israel as a Symbol of Male Passivity and Perversion, Journal of Religion and Society (2000), Lot's Wife Looked Back: The Enduring Attractions of Sodom for Biblical Commentators, JRS (2002). He regularly reviews books on the religion and archaeology of Ancient Israel.
He is currently preparing encyclopedia entries on the Phoenician city of Byblos, Thebes in Ancient Egypt and Middle and New Kingdom Egypt. He is CAS faculty secretary and serves on the MAIS executive committee. Off campus, Dr. Burns is an active member of several community theatre groups and serves as an adjudicator for one of the local theatre awards. This academic year will complete 25 years living in the US.