BURTON BEYOND

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I can remember when I was just a lad, somewhere around ten years old, being in love with new experiences and ideas.  The springboard for my interests as they are today came in the form of one Dr. George Knight, professor of New Testament at Hardin-Simmons University, and an accomplished field archaeologist.  It just so happened that his brother-in-law, Reverend Wayne Keller, was the pastor at my church.  Our congregation had the great fortune of Dr. Knight's leadership in a number of seasonal bible studies throughout the year.  To my great delight, he always added tales of his work on archaeological sites in the Near East.  That's really all it took for me, because I drank it all in, and it became part of me.  I have ever since been an explorer: a direct result of the marriage of faith in Jesus Christ and academic enthusiasm.

I'm 39 years old and live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I have a BA in History from Hardin-Simmons University. I also have an MA in anthropology from Texas Tech University.  This year I completed my PhD in history at Texas Tech University, focusing my studies on Early Christianity and Greco-Roman religions.  I also study topics such as the survival of mythology, sacred geography, folk religion, and contemporary alternative religious movements. 

I grew up in a small town called Merkel, Texas.  I went to school there, learned from such wonderful teachers as Chuck Roach, Lisa Amerine, Alvin O'Dell, and Lisa Walker.  Merkel also afforded me the opportunity to learn how to play the guitar, and yes, be in a rock band, Black Pearl.  The little hamlet of Merkel was a wonderful place to grow up.  The present population is about 2500. Merkel  has an intersting history, full of cultural vibrance, and at one point in time, it even had a college. So if you ever get the chance, visit Merkel.

In my 41 years I've had some interesting adventures. While playing in the marching band at Cisco Junior College, I visited Hawaii. I've also done archaeology on both sides of the globe: Texas and Israel. To top it all off, I've also been to Jordan, Denmark, and Mexico, and hope to add Ireland, Greece, Egypt, Thailand, Australia, Belize, and Vietnam to that list soon.

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Currently, I am an Instructor of History at South Texas College, although I have taught courses in Anthropology, Mythology, and the Humanities.  Work at the office has led to adventure in the field, as I am currently the director of an archaeological survey.  This project is due to information being brought to my attention at work.  I love my work, as it is always providing both challenge and great interest for me.

Teaching and research are very important to me.  In fact, I love teaching, and I cherish my students.  I believe firmly in classical education, and make a strong effort to institute the philosophy of classical education in public education curriculum, as well as in the college classes I teach.

I love a good adventure.  I was born for it.  Fortunately the fields I find myself working in most often afford such opportunity.  I believe in living life to the utmost, and taking advantage of all the chances one has to make life interesting, fulfilling, productive, rewarding, and exciting. 

copyright Burton Beyond, 2005-2017