Pleins earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Michigan in 1987. Having done archaeological work in Jordan, Pleins' research and teaching interests include the religious debates around Charles Darwin, mythology, biblical social ethics, and the problem of evil. He latest book brings to light the long-lost "Memorial Poem" penned by George Romanes, a prominent colleague of Darwin. His current research concerns the debates over the book of Genesis in the 19th century and the on-going creation-evolution controversies.
SCTR 11: Controversies in Religion: Ancient and Modern
SCTR 35 Science vs. the Bible: The Genesis Debates
TESP 72: Darwin, God, and the Poets
SCTR 100 Biblical Poetry and Ancient Myth
SCTR 110: Gods, Heroes, and Monsters
PMIN 205 Studying the Hebrew Bible: Issues and Methods
PMIN 209 Social Ethics of the Hebrew Bible
In Praise of Darwin: George Romanes and the Evolution of a Darwinian Believer (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014).
The Evolving God: Charles Darwin and the Naturalness of Religion (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013).
When the Great Abyss Opened: Classic and Contemporary Readings of Noah's Flood. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
The Social Visions of the Hebrew Bible: A Theological Introduction. Nashville, TN: Westminster John Knox, 2001.
Psalms: Songs of Tragedy, Hope and Justice. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993.