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

Associate Professor of Political and Social Ethics

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| Office: Nutwood East 201 D




EDUCATION:

  • 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

COURSES:

  • 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
  • Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, and the Good Life

ACADEMIC INTERESTS:

  • Ethics of Patriotism
  • Mass Incarceration
  • Theories of Resistance
  • Love and Justice
  • Decolonial Ethics
  • Politics and Sports
  • Latin American Philosophy and Theology

KEY HONORS / POSITIONS HELD:

  • Visiting Scholar, Princeton Theological Seminary (July-August, 2015)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen (June-July, 2015)
  • Instructor, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Summer Institute (2014, 2015)
  • Visiting Scholar, Yale University-Hastings Center (June 2014)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College (January 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)

AFFILIATIONS:

  • American Philosophical Association (APA), Founder and Chair of Political Theology Group (Pacific Division), Founder and Chair of Virtue Ethics Group (Pacific Division)
  • Society for Mexican American Philosophy
  • Søren Kierkegaard Society
  • Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love
  • Member, Medical Ethics Committee, Kaiser Permanente Hospitals – Orange County

PUBLICATIONS:

Authored Books

  • God, Gods, and Throwing Like a Girl: A Political Theology of Sport. Book co-authored with Duncan Reyburn (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publications, under contract). 
  • Embracing Vulnerability: Human and Divine (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014)

Edited Books

  • Kierkegaard and Political Theology. Book co-edited with Silas Morgan (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, under contract).
  • By Faith and Reason: The Essential Keith Ward. Book co-edited with Wm. Curtis Holtzen (London: Darton Longman and Todd Publishers, 2012).

Journal Articles

  • Guest Editor, “Navigating the Personal, Political, and Postcolonial,” APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Vol. 15, no. 2, Spring 2016.
  • “Collisions, Coloniality, and Learning How to Play: An Interview With Maria Lugones,” APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Vol. 15, no. 2, Spring 2016.
  • "The Problem With Wise Old Fish: An Analysis of Rhetorical Strategy in David Foster Wallace's Kenyon College Commencement Address" (with Neil Baker). Special Issue: Phenomenology and Education. Ed. Elias Schwieler. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 14.2 (2014): n. pag.

Chapters in Books

  • “Uniforms, Unanimity, and the Pursuit of False Transcendence: Reading Militarism and Sport Through Mimetic Realism,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Michael Butterworth, ed., Sport and Militarism: Contemporary Global Perspectives (London: Routledge, forthcoming).
  • “The Invention of Religion and Fanaticism,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Arthur Remillard and Rebecca Alpert, eds., Gods, Games, and Globalization: New Perspectives on Religion and Sports (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, forthcoming).
  • “Kierkegaard, Chesterton, and the Courage to be an Absolute Nobody,” co-authored with Duncan Reyburn, in Roberto Sirvent and Silas Morgan, eds., Kierkegaard and Political Theology (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, forthcoming).
  • “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., Barack Obama’s Literary Legacy: Readings of Dreams From My Father, (New York: Palgrave, 2016).
  • “‘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 (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
  •  “Louis C.K.’s God,” co-authored with Silas Morgan, in Mark Ralkowski, ed., Louis CK and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2016). 
  • “Kierkegaard and Louis CK on Not Doing Something,” co-authored with Joel Avery, in Mark Ralkowski, ed., Louis CK and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2016).
  •  “Freedom and Democracy in a House of Fear,” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in J. Edward Hackett, ed., House of Cards and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
  • “Handling Snakes with Fear and Trembling,” co-authored with Caleb Acton, in Rod Carveth and Robert Arp, eds., Justified and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2015).
  •  “Listen, Ladies! Or Maybe You Shouldn’t,” co-authored with Joel Avery, in Richard Greene and Rachel Robison-Greene, eds., Girls and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2014).
  • “Is There Such a Thing as Religious Violence?” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
  • “America Akbar!” co-authored with Ian Diorio, in Robert Arp, ed., Homeland and Philosophy (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
  • South Park, The Book of Mormon and How Religious Fundamentalists Always Find a Way to Be Naïve 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).

Reviews

  • “Review of Thomas P. Miles’ Kierkegaard and Nietzsche on the Best Way of Life: A New Method of Ethics,” in Kierkegaard Secondary Literature, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, vol.18.1, ed. by Jon Stewart (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2015).
  • “Review of Rick Anthony Furtak’s Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity,” in Kierkegaard Secondary Literature, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, vol.18.1, ed. by Jon Stewart (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2015). 
  • 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).

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS AND INVITED LECTURES:

“White Supremacy, Clinical Medicine, and the U.S. Prison Regime: End-of-Life-Care in an Age of Mass Incarceration,” Invited Lecture, Yale University, Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics, June 2016.

"Narrating the Phenomenological Messiness of Sex and Intimacy," Paper presented at the International Society for the Study of Narrative Annual Conference, Chicago, March 2015.

"The Peril and Politics of Attempting to Distinguish Between 'Religious' and 'Secular' Wisdom," Paper presented at the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics "Wisdom, Law, and Lawers" Conference, Pepperdine University February 2015.

Comments on John Thrasher's "Backing into Self-Ownership," American Philosophical Association (Pacific), San Diego, April 2014.

"Why Agape is Not More Christian than Eros and Philia" Paper presented at teh Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics,"Law and Love" Conference, Pepperdine University, February 2014.

"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

CONFERENCE PANELS ORGANIZED AND CHAIRED:

“Sex and Postcolonial Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group Session. Panel participants: Mayra Rivera (Harvard), Janet Jakobsen (Barnard), Brenna Moore (Fordham), Erin Runions (Pomona), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Anthony Petro (Boston University), San Francisco, April 2016.

“Sex and Secularism” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group Session. Panel participants: Janet Jakobsen (Barnard), Mayra Rivera (Harvard), Brenna Moore (Fordham), Erin Runions (Pomona), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Anthony Petro (Boston University), San Francisco, April 2016.

“Kierkegaard and Political Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Dana Lloyd (Syracuse), Thomas Miles (Boston College), Jami Aroosi (Yeshiva), Silas Morgan (Loyola University Chicago), Vincent Lloyd (Syracuse), Vancouver, April 2015.

“Meaning, Sacrifice, and the Nation-State” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Mathias Risse (Harvard), Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt), Richard Amesbury (University of Zurich), Paul W. Kahn (Yale), Vancouver, April 2015.

“The Myth of Religious Reasons: Public Reason Meets Political Theology” at the APA-Pacific Annual Meeting, Political Theology Group session.  Panel participants: Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt), Richard Amesbury (University of Zurich), San Diego, April 2014.

WORKS IN PROGRESS:

Edited Journals – Special Issues

“Disability and the Decolonial Turn,” Special Issue of Disability and the Global South, co-edited with Amy Reed-Sandoval (expected Spring 2018).

“Sport and Failure,” co-edited with Samantha Sheppard  (expected Spring 2018).

Edited Books

Theologies of Failure, Book co-edited with Duncan Reyburn (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publications, under contract).

Liberating Sport: Latinx and Latin American Perspectives, Book co-edited with Rebecca Chabot (under consideration by Ohio State University Press, Global Latin/o Americas Series, Frederick Luis Aldama and Lourdes Torres, eds.)

Decolonial Christianities: Latinx and Latin American Perspectives, Book co-edited with Raimundo Barreto.

Journal Articles

“Sports, Patriotism, and White Enjoyment” (manuscript in preparation)

“Myths of Death and Benevolence in the U.S. Prison Regime: A Decolonial Case for the End of ‘End-of- Life-Care’” Special Issue: Death and Dying. ed. Nancy Duff, Theology Today (expected October 2017).  

Chapters in Books

“Please Don’t Go Out and Change the World: An Interview with William Cavanaugh,” in Roberto Sirvent and Duncan Reyburn, eds., Theologies of Failure (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publications, under contract).

PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION:

“Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. You do not want to appear too political; you are afraid of seeming controversial; you need the approval of a boss or an authority figure; you want to keep a reputation for being balanced, objective, moderate; your hope is to be asked back, to consult, to be on a board or prestigious committee, and so, to remain within the responsible mainstream; someday you hope to get an honorary degree, a big prize, perhaps even an ambassadorship. For an intellectual these habits of mind are corrupting par excellence. If anything can denature, neutralise and finally kill a passionate intellectual life, it is these considerations, internalised and so to speak in the driver's seat.” – Edward Said

 “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