M. Brett Kendall
Professor M. (Merle) Brett Kendall is a PhD student in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in the Theology department at Fordham University in the Bronx (“the Jesuit University in New York”). He is currently trying to pull together the proposal for his dissertation, when he is not teaching undergrads (in which capacity he is now known for his corny “Harry Potter and the Handout of Text Criticism”). For his undergraduate degree he studied philosophy and English at Grove City College, in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh (originally hailing from the small town of Grove City itself), and he completed his MA in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in eastern Ohio.
Along the way he played in a band, worked construction and wholesale operations, and whatever else he could to pay the bills and find the elusive meaning of life. Finding that meaning was greatly aided by the publication of the Harry Potter series, he began in 2003 or 2004 (his memory is, at times, worse than Bertha Jorkins’ became after Barty Crouch’s memory spells) writing about the series on a site called Muggle Matters, hosted by his brother-in-law Paul Fry (known as Pauli on that site).
His chosen moniker on Muggle Matters is “Merlinus Ambrettus” (or just Merlin for short), an adaptation of CS Lewis’ name for Merlin in That Hideous Strength. He is, in Potter-speak, a self-proclaimed “nutter” and would simply remind everyone that in the earliest Arthurian legends Merlin was a crazy codger up in the hills … a tradition Professor Kendall prides himself on doing his best to uphold (just ask his undergrad students).