Dr. MacWilliams is a Professor of Religious Studies. He teaches courses associated with Asian Studies, but his interests lie primarily in Japan. He received his Ph.D. in History of Religions at the University of Chicago, his M.A. in Religious Studies at Indiana University, and his B.A. at Syracuse University.
Dr. MacWilliams has conducted special research in Japanese pilgrimage in Japan —particularly the Chichibu Kannon pilgrimage route, and, cross-culturally, is interested in religion and film; religion and the internet; and "spirituality" and religion in Japanese pop culture - comic books (manga) and anime.
Currently, Professor MacWilliams teaches courses on pilgrimage, new religious movements and religion and film. Dr. MacWilliams is on leave in Fall 2015, which he plans to use to complete a book on Japanese manga entitled Graphically Religious---Manga in Japan. He also continues to actively work on his Scalar database on the Chichibu pilgrimage—a resource for faculty and students alike interested in Japanese pilgrimage.