Fr. Dn. Paul Siewers, Ph.D.
Writing, Research, Teaching, and Faith
My writing, research, and teaching interests include Christian literature; Christian ecopoetics and apologetic theology; the writings of John Scottus Eriugena and S.L. Frank; the history of nature and the cosmic symbolism of marriage in Christian poetics and philosophy; ecopoetics and ecosemiotics; American cultural rhetoric and journalism; premodern literature and the history of the novel; modern literary resistance to totalitarianism. My recent work includes serving as William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, 2018-2019.
I am an ordained Deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, holding a diploma in pastoral theology, and am parish warden of a local mission Church that serves the Bucknell University Orthodox Christian community, for which I am faculty adviser.
My award-winning journalistic work has included serving as Urban Affairs Writer for the Chicago Sun-Times and as a National Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.
Education and Research
William E. Simon Research Fellow in Religion and Public Life, James Madison Program, Princeton University, 2018-2019
Diploma in Pastoral Theology, St. John of Kronstadt Pastoral School, Archdiocese of the Midwest, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 2018
Co-Editor, Stories of the Susquehanna Valley book series and digital projects, 2010-present.
Visiting Researcher, Early Irish Department, University College Cork, 2007
Ph.D., English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
M.A., English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996
M.A., Early British Studies, University of Wales at Aberystwyth, 1993
M.S.J., Journalism, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1982
B.A., History, Brown University, 1981
Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence, Bucknell University
William E. Simon Research Fellowship in Religion and Public Life, James Madison Program, Princeton University
Peter Lisagor Awards for Outstanding Commentary and Reporting
Associated Press Awards for Journalism
Co-Editor, Healing Humanity: Confronting Our Moral Crisis. Holy Trinity Publications, 2020.
“Eriugena’s Irish Backgrounds.” Invited contribution to the Brill Companion to Eriugena, ed, Stephen Lahey and Adrian Guiu. Brill, 2019.
Co-Editor, The Totalitarian Legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution. Lexington Books, 2019.
Co-Producer, “Stories of the Susquehanna Valley” student documentary series: Stories of the Susquehanna: Utopian Dreams aired on public TV station WVIA in spring 2016. The Coopers and Conservation at the Susquehanna Headwaters in November 2018. Churches of Coal Country, in production.
“A Geography of the Imagination: James Fenimore and Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Regional Legacy.” In The James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal 28 (2017): 39-44.
Co-Editor, Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage.
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2016.
Editor, Re-Imagining Nature: Environmental Humanities and Ecosemiotics. Bucknell Press, 2014.
“Eriugena, the Irish Otherworld, and Early Medieval Nature.” In Eriugena and Creation, ed. W. Otten and M. Allen. Brepols, 2014.
“The Green Otherworlds of Early Medieval Literature.” In The Cambridge Companion to Environmental Literature, ed. Louise Westling. Cambridge, 2013.
“Orthodoxy and Ecopoetics: The Green World in the Desert Sea.” In Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation, ed. John Chryssavgis and Bruce V. Foltz. Fordham University Press, 2013.
“Cooper, Coleridge, and Re-Imagining a Native Cosmology,” in James Fenimore Cooper: His Country and His Art, no. 18. Ed. Steven Harthorn and Hugh MacDougall. SUNY Oneonta, 2013. 114-120.
“The Early Irish Sublime as Reflection of Sophia,” in Beauty and the Beautiful in Eastern Christian Culture, ed. Natalia Ermolaev, Theotokos Press 2012. 212-224.
“Desert Islands: Europe’s Atlantic Archipelago as Ascetic Landscape.” In Studies in the Medieval Atlantic, ed. Benjamin Hudson. Palgrave Macmillan’s New Middle Ages series, 2012. 35-64.
“Ecopoetics and the Origins of English Literature.” In Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, ed. Stephanie LeMenager, Teresa Shewry and Ken Hiltner. Routledge, 2011. 105-130.
“Pre-Modern Ecosemiotics: The Green World As Literary Ecology.” In The Space of Culture-The Place of Nature in Estonia and Beyond, ed. Tiina Peil. University of Tartu Press, 2011.
Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (Palgrave, 2009)
“Cooper’s Green World: Adapting Ecosemiotics to the Mythic Eastern Woodlands.” In James Fenimore Cooper, His Country and His Art, ed. Hugh MacDougall (Oneonta and Cooperstown, NY: SUNY Oneonta and Cooper Society, 2009).
“Environmentalist Readings of Tolkien.” In The Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, ed. Michael D.C. Drout. New York and London: Routledge, 2006. 166-67.
“Landscapes of Conversion: Guthlac’s Mound and Grendel’s Mere as Expressions of Anglo-Saxon Nation-building.” Viator 34 (2003): 1-39. Revised and reprinted in The Postmodern Beowulf: A Critical Casebook, ed. Eileen A. Joy, Mary K. Ramsey, and Bruce D. Gilchrist. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2006.
Co-Editor, Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages (Palgrave, 2005)
Selected Public Writing
“How The Man in the High Castle Actually Reveals America’s Totalitarian Trends,” The Federalist, Dec. 5, 2019
“What Christians Face in a Neo-Marxist World,” The American Conservative, April 28, 2019
“The Orwellian Dangers of the ‘Equality Act.’” Public Discourse, April 24, 2019
“How Christian Science Became a Dying Religion.” The Federalist, April 11, 2019
“Why does the Left Suspend their Principles for Christian Minorities?” The Federalist, Jan. 22, 2019
“The Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy is not just Financial. It’s Moral.” The Federalist, Jan. 2, 2019
“Remembering the Jonestown Massacre.” Public Discourse, Nov. 18, 2018
“Communists Brutally Murdered Russia’s Last Royal Family 100 Years Ago Today.” The Federalist, July 17, 2018
“What I Learned about American Culture by Binging on Gunsmoke and House of Cards.” The Federalist, June 22, 2017
“Political Diversity Among the Faculty.” The Counterweight, April 23, 2015
“Metropolitan Harmony.” Illinois Issues, April 2000
Ordained Deacon, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Russian Orthodox Mission Church, Lewisburg PA, 2020, by Bishop Luke (Murianka); Subdeacon in 2019; and Reader by Bishop Nicholas (Olhovsky) in 2017.
Faculty Adviser to Bucknell Orthodox Christian Fellowship, 2003 to the present.
Co-Director, Bucknell Project for American Leadership and Citizenship. 2016- Present.
Department Chair and Director of Literary Studies, Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA, 2015-2018
Steering Committee Member, Environmental Studies Department, Bucknell University, 2014- 2019.
Founding Co-Convener, Bucknell Faculty Staff Christian Association, 2014.
Founder and First Coordinator, Environmental Humanities Initiative (now the Place Studies Program), Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment, 2008-2010.
Urban Affairs Writer, Chicago Sun-Times, 1989-1992. Received three Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism (two for individual work, one as part of team coverage) while a staff writer at the Sun-Times, among other journalism awards.
National Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor, 1988.