Kevin Seidel

Kevin Seidel

Office Phone: (540) 432-4570


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: RLN 218

Associate Professor

Language & Literature Dept

A native of California, Kevin Seidel came to EMU from the University of Virginia, where he received his Ph.D. in English Literature and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He is working on a book project that uses original research on the eighteenth-century English Bible to open up new ways of thinking about the history of the English novel. He is also actively involved in Scriptural Reasoning. His teaching and scholarship both explore the changing relationship between religion, secularism, and literature.


University of Virginia
Ph.D. in English Language and Literature

Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia
M.A. in interdisciplinary Christian studies

University of California, Berkeley
B.A. in English Literature


Robinson Crusoe as Defoe’s Theory of Fiction,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 44.2 (2011) 165-185.

Pilgrim’s Progress and the Book,” English Literary History, 77.2 (2010) 509–534.

“Beyond the Religious and the Secular in the History of the Novel,” New Literary History 38.4 (2007).

Other scholarly publications
“Anglicanism” in The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660–1789, Basil–Blackwell, 2015.

“Inhuman Sounds: on Israeli Composer Oded Zahavi’s ‘Psalm 42,’” The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning 12.1 (2013).

Book Reviews
Review: “Literature, Religion, and the Evolution of Culture, 1660–1780, by Howard D. Weinbrot,” in 1650–1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, 22 (2015)

Review: “New Testaments: Cognition, Closure, and the Figural Logic of the Sequel, 1660–1740, by Michael Austin,” in Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, 37.2 (2013)

Review: Roger Lundin: Beyond Belief, The Cresset, Michaelmas (2010).

Review: Plausible Worlds: Human Genetics in Fiction, Culture 1.2 (2007).

Review: Talal Asad: Genealogies of Religion and Formations of the Secular, Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 7 (2005).

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

“Reading Wadman’s Bible, or Making Failed Love Sacred in Tristram Shandy,” paper presented at the Northeast Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Amherst, MA, October, 2016.

“Scriptural Reasoning’s Trouble with Context,” paper presented at the Mid-Atlantic Region American Academy of Religion conference, New Brunswick, N.J., March 10, 2016.

“Scriptural Reasoning, Internal Libraries, and Reader-Response Theory,” paper presented at the mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion Conference, Columbia, Maryland, March, 2015.

“Scriptural Reasoning and Close Reading,” paper presented for the Scriptural Reasoning Academic Network gathering at The American Academy of Religion Conference, San Diego, California, November, 2014.

“Two Visions of the Secular: Orhan Pamuk’s Snow and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead,” paper presented at The Religious Turn in Literary Studies, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, May 2014.

“Why It’s Hard to Read Scripture after the King James Bible,” opening lecture for the library exhibit Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the KJB, Eastern Mennonite University, January 2013.

Other Presentations

“Leave Your Father’s House,” the 2015 Baccalaureate Address at Eastern Mennonite University, [audio] , [transcript]

Church, Community and Professional Service

Executive Director of the Scriptural Reasoning Network.

Professional Memberships

Modern Language Association
American Academy of Religion

Professional Conferences Attended

Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March, 2016.

The American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2015.

Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion, Columbia, Maryland, March, 2015

The American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November 2014.

The Conference on Christianity and Literature, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, May, 2014.

New Courses Taught

  • Global Conflicts, Global Novels
  • Global Literatures 1 (from Gilgamesh to The Arabian Nights)
  • Ecology and Science Fiction
  • Honors Seminar: David Foster Wallace
  • Intro to Critical Theory
  • Romanticism
  • College Writing
  • Faith, Sexuality, Vocation