Roberto Sirvent, Ph.D., J.D.

Photo - Robert SirventAssociate Professor, College of Arts & Sciences

Phone: (714) 879-3901 x1248
Email: rdsirvent@hiu.edu
Office: Nutwood Rm 326


  • Ph.D., London School of Theology, UK
  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A., Hope International University


  • American Government
  • Critical Thinking and Argumentation
  • Foundations of Leadership
  • Justice
  • Human Rights and International Politics
  • Ethics and Contemporary Issues
  • Constitutional Law and Interpretation
  • Model United Nations
  • Biblical Interpretation and Moral Reasoning
  • Ethics of War and Peace
  • Ethics of Love
  • Film and the Human Condition
  • Religion and the Ethics of Citizenship
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Theology, Comedy, and Tragedy: A Broadway Experience


  • Hermeneutics and Moral Reasoning
  • Political Theology
  • Law and Religion
  • Normative Conceptions of Love


  • Yale University-Hastings Center Visiting Scholar (2014)
  • Instructor, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Summer Institute (2014)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College (2014)
  • Rose B. and Edgar B. McReynolds Faculty Excellence Award, Hope International University (2011)
  • Legal Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Washington, DC (2008)
  • Teaching Fellow, University of Maryland School of Law (2006-2008)


  • Society of Christian Ethics (SCE)
  • International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN)
  • American Philosophical Society (APA), Founder and Chair of Political Theology Group (Pacific Division)
  • Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love


Edited Books

  • By Faith and Reason: The Essential Keith Ward. Book co-edited with Wm. Curtis Holtzen (London: Darton Longman and Todd Publishers, 2012).

Chapters in Books

  • “Niebuhrian Realism in Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Henry Veggian and Richard Purcell, eds., The Writings of President Barack Obama, (New York: Rodopi Press, in preparation).
  • “‘A Mormon Just Believes’: Reinhold Niebuhr and Religious Foolishness,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Marc Edward Shaw and Holly Welker, eds., Anthology on the Book of Mormon Musical (Publisher TBD, in preparation).
  • “Is There Such a Thing as Religious Violence?” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, in preparation).
  • “What Makes the Nation-State Worth Killing For?” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, in preparation).
  • South Park, The Book of Mormon and How Religious Fundamentalists Always Find a Way to Be Naive and Arrogant at the Same Time,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Robert Arp, ed., The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • “GOP Almighty: When God Tells Me (and My Opponents) to Run for President,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Jason Holt, ed., The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • “What’s Wrong With Agent Van Alden’s God?,” co-authored with Neil Baker, in Richard Greene and Rachel Robison-Greene, eds., Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2013).


  • Ward E. Jones and Samantha Vice, eds., Ethics at the Cinema in Philosophy in Review, Vol 32, No 2 (2012).
  • Robert Talisse, Democracy and Moral Conflict in Philosophy in Review, Vol 30, No 6 (2010).


"Are There Good Reasons to Root for a Sports Team? And Does it Even Matter?" Paper presented at the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport Conference, Fullerton, CA, September 2013.

“Why the Church Needs Satire: The Onion’s Niebuhrian Attack on Religious Dogma” Paper presented at the “Satire Across Borders” International Conference, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, January 2013.

“A Communitarian Approach to the Politics of Film: Reimagining Our Identity as Storytelling Beings” Paper presented at the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy 2012 Annual Conference, Belfast, Ireland, June 2012.

“Moral Reasoning, Divine Providence, and the Problem of Religious Fundamentalism: Reinhold Niebuhr’s Relevance in Today’s Culture Wars” Paper presented at the 2012 California American Studies Association annual meeting, Claremont, CA, April 2012.

“Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Arrogance, and the Problem of Christian Pacifism” Paper presented at the Graduate Student History Conference: “The Politics of Unrest: A Transdisciplinary Conference”, Claremont Graduate University, April 2012.

“Biblical Interpretation and Moral Humility in the Thought of Reinhold Niebuhr” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, San Diego, CA, April 2012.

"The Tragic Hero as Social Critic: Exploring the Intents and Effects of Aaron Sorkin’s Use of Irony in The Social Network" Paper presented at the City University of New York’s ‘Finishes: Arts and Texts in Cinema and Media’ Conference, New York City, NY, March 2012.

"Sexual Ethics in Sacred Texts: Reinhold Niebuhr, Biblical Interpretation, and the Process of Moral Discernment" Paper presented at the Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi Chapter’s Colloquium: ‘Sex…or Something Like It!’ California State Northridge, March 2012.

"Baseball, Civic Identity, and the Just Society" Paper presented at the 19th Annual Spring Training Conference on the Historical and Sociological Impact of Baseball, sponsored by Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, Tempe, AZ, March 2012.

"What’s so ‘Crazy’ About Love? A Philosophical Analysis of Crazy Stupid Love and Like Crazy" Paper presented at the Far West Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, February 2012.

"The Politics of Relationships and the Limits of Intent: How Aaron Sorkin Redefined the Political Film." Paper presented at the National Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting, Film Section, San Antonio, TX, April 2011

Religious Perspectives on Hatred (panel), International Conference on Hate Studies, Gonzaga University, April 2011

"Is Christian Faith Compatible with Moral Pluralism? And Why it Matters for Democracy." Paper presented at the Western Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Ethics Section, Whittier, CA, March 2011

“Rethinking Heaven and Hell,” Missions Trainers Forum, National Missionary Convention, Peoria, IL, November 2009

“Why are Poor Countries Poor?” Missions Trainers Forum, National Missionary Convention, Peoria, IL, November 2009

“Human Rights and International Justice,” Seminar Workshop, National Missionary Convention, Peoria, IL, November 2009


“Never accept and be content with unanalyzed assumptions, assumptions about the work, about the people, about the church or Christianity. Never be afraid to ask questions about the work we have inherited or the work we are doing. There is no question that should not be asked or that is outlawed. The day we are completely satisfied with what we have been doing; the day we have found the perfect unchangeable system of work, the perfect answer, never in need of being corrected again, on that day we will know that we were wrong, that we have made the greatest mistake of all.” - Vincent J. Donovan

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L Mencken


Film, Television, Theatre, Soccer, and Golf. Favorite places to travel: New York, Mexico, UK, Italy

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