Ryan O'Leary

Lecturer of Religious Studies

Ryan O'Leary specializes in philosophical theology and questions of religion and culture. The focus of his current research involves applying traditional religious symbols to ecological thought and researching issues at the intersection of civil religion and political discourse. O’Leary is a Wisconsin native who enjoys camping, kayaking, and exploring Wisconsin’s parks, forests, and natural areas.

Education

Ph.D. - Religious Studies, University of Iowa, 2012
M.A. - Religion, Syracuse University, 2005
B.A. - Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2003

Teaching and Research Experience

Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point & UW Colleges, 2012 - Present

Continuing Education Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point & UW Colleges, 2013 - Present

Teaching Assistant, University of Iowa Religious Studies Department, 2007 - 2011

Research Assistant, Collaborative Initiative for Research Ethics in Environmental Health, 2004

Reading Adjunct course leader, UWSP Philosophy Department, 2001 - 2003

Tutor, UWSP Tutoring/Learning Center, 2001 - 2003

Publications

“Could Wisconsin's State Parks Really be User Supported?” Silent Sports Magazine (December 2017)

“Reading Muir from Kayak and Trail,” Silent Sports Magazine (September 2016)

“From Anglo-Saxon Nativism to Executive Order: Civil Religion and Anti-Immigration Rhetoric,” Politics and Religion Volume 9, Issue 3 (Summer 2016)

“The genesis of kinship: A review of William Greenway and Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi,” The Christian Century Volume 133, No. 11 (May 25, 2016)

“Being and Gaia: Seeking Resources toward a Vocabulary for Naturalistic Theology,” Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society Volume 38, Issue 1 (Winter 2012)

 “The Irony of the Secular: Violent Communication at the Limits of Tolerance,” Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Volume 2, Issue 2 (Spring 2010), http://www.religionconflictpeace.org/node/63

Guest Lectures

“Nature and the Prophetic Spirit,” First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, (Wausau, Wisconsin, July 28, 2019)

“Civil Religion in Conflicted Times,” First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, (Wausau, Wisconsin, November 26, 2017)

“Ecological Apocalypse: From Traditional Symbols to Contemporary Concerns,” University of Wisconsin-Marathon College of Emeriti “Soap Box Lecture” (May 2, 2017)

“Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and Civil Religion,” University of Wisconsin-Marathon Lecture and Fine Arts Series “Lunch Hour Lecture” (February 23, 2017)

Conference Presentations

 “From Anglo-Saxon Nativism to Executive Order,” Upper Midwest Regional AAR Meeting (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, April 2016)

“The Liberation of Gaia: Ecological Sin as Institutionalized Sin,” Upper Midwest Regional AAR Meeting (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, March 2013)

“Ecological Crisis, Green Religion, and Utopian Vision,” Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Futures and Illusions (University of Iowa, August 25, 2012)

“Returning To Gaia: Coming Home to the Earth Mother on the Other Side of Estrangement,” Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Uncanny Homecomings (University of Iowa, August 27, 2011)

“Being and Gaia: Seeking Resources toward a Vocabulary for Naturalistic Theology,” Annual National Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Atlanta, Georgia, November 1, 2010)

“Displacement, Justification, and Ultimate Concern: Christian Identity and the Theology of Hate,” Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Confronting Evil in Thought and Practice (University of Iowa, April 10, 2010)

“Religion, Secularism, and Global Conflict,” Peace and Justice Studies Association Annual National Conference (Marquette University, Milwaukee, October 10, 2009)

“Meaning and Existence, Nature and Naturalism: Resisting Reductionism in Reading the Book of Nature,” Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Reading the Book of Nature (University of Iowa, April 4, 2009)

“Violent Communication and the Limits of Tolerance,” Upper Midwest Regional AAR Meeting (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, March 28, 2009)

“Zarathustra the Atheist, Zarathustra the Poet: The Creative Tension of Symbolic Disclosure,” Religion, Literature, and the Arts: Theology and Critique (University of Iowa, March 29, 2008)
“Nietzsche’s Challenge: On the Value of Faith in Truth,” 4th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (University of Wisconsin, April 26, 2003)

Chairperson of Student Session, Wisconsin Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, April 12, 2003)

“Demonization, Compassion, and Ultimate Claims: Confronting Threads of War and Peace in Biblical Thought,” AAR / SBL Upper Midwest Regional Conference (Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, April 6, 2002)

Academic Honors

Penningroth Scholarship for Excellence as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Iowa, 2010

University of Iowa Graduate School Summer Dissertation Fellowship, University of Iowa, 2010

Distinguished Scholarship Award, Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, 2003

Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2001 and 2003

Distinguished Graduating Senior Award, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2003



Contact Information


 
Email: roleary@uwsp.edu
​Office:​311 North Hall (Wausau Campus)