United Theological Seminary

Director of Advanced Studies

Demian Wheeler is Assistant Professor of Philosophical Theology and Religious Studies and Director of Advanced Studies at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He came to United in 2015 as a Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. He holds a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, with a specialization in American liberal theology. Wheeler is the author of Religion within the Limits of History Alone: Pragmatic Historicism and the Future of Theology (State University of New York Press, 2020) and the co-editor of Conceiving an Alternative: Philosophical Resources for an Ecological Civilization (Process Century Press, 2019). He has also written a number of journal articles and book chapters on religious naturalism, empirical theology, and process philosophy, among other topics. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Victoria, and their son, Shailer. He is a Unitarian Universalist.

Degrees

Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary (2014)
M.Phil. Union Theological Seminary (2012)
M.A. Iliff School of Theology (2004)
B.S. University of Valley Forge (1999)

Books

• Religion within the Limits of History Alone: Pragmatic Historicism and the Future of Theology (State University of New York Press, 2020)

• Conceiving an Alternative: Philosophical Resources for an Ecological Civilization, co-edited with David E. Conner (Process Century Press, 2019)

Recent Articles and Book Chapters

“Seizing a Whiteheadian Alternative: A Retrieval of the Empirical Option in Process Thought,” in Conceiving an Alternative: Philosophical Resources for an Ecological Civilization, edited by Demian Wheeler and David E. Conner (Process Century Press, 2019)

Deus sive Natura: Pantheism as a Variety of Religious Naturalism,” in The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism, edited by Donald A. Crosby and Jerome A. Stone (Routledge, 2018)

Review of Deep Pantheism: Toward a New Transcendentalism, by Robert S. Corrington, The Journal of Religion 98.3 (July 2018)

“Bernard Loomer as a Bridge between Whitehead and Tillich: Towards a Ground-of-Being Process Theology,” The Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society 44.1 (January 2018)

Review of Pluralism: The Future of Religion, by Kenneth Rose, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 38.2 (May 2017)

“Is a Process Form of Ecstatic Naturalism Possible? A Reading of Donald Crosby,” American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 37.1 (January 2016)

“American Religious Empiricism and the Possibility of an Ecstatic Naturalist Process Metaphysics,” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 8.2 (June 2014)

“Big History and the Size of God: Holistic Historicism as a Pathway to Religious Naturalism,” American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 34.3 (September 2013)

Research Interests

American Liberal Theology
The Chicago School of Theology
Historicism
Religious Naturalism
Empirical Theology
Pragmatism
Process Philosophy and Theology
Religious Pluralism and Theologies of Religions
Atheism and Radical Theologies
Concepts of God

Sample Courses

What is Religion?
Constructive Theology
History of Modern Theologies
Black Theology
God
Unitarian and Universalist Theologies
Radical Theologies and the Challenge of Atheism
Public Theology

Select Addresses and Sermons

Convocation Address on Progressive Theology (2015)
Installation Address on the Chicago School of Theology (2017)
Sermon on Religious Naturalism and UU Humanism (2017)
Charge to the Graduating Class of United Theological Seminary (2017)
Interview about Black Theology (2018)