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Ryan O’Leary


Ryan O’Leary specializes in philosophical theology and questions of religion and culture. The focus of his current research involves applying traditional religious symbols to ecological thought and researching issues at the intersection of civil religion and political discourse. In addition to his teaching, he serves as academic success associate at UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield. His service work includes working as peer reviewer for the Politics and Religion journal. He previously served as Faculty Council member and a member of the Retention Subcommittee at the Wausau branch campus.  View CV.  O’Leary is a Wisconsin native who enjoys camping, kayaking, and exploring Wisconsin’s parks, forests, and natural areas.


  • UW-Stevens Point University Award for Excellence in Teaching (2024)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, UW-Stevens Point (2001 and 2003)
  • Distinguished Scholarship Award, Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (2003)


O’Leary, Ryan. (2023). “The Freedom Narrative and the War on Terror: Civil-religious Idolatry for the 9/11 Generation,” Peace & Change, Vol. 48(65).

O’Leary, Ryan. (2016). “From Anglo-Saxon Nativism to Executive Order: Civil Religion and Anti-Immigration Rhetoric,” Politics and Religion Vol. 9 (4), 771-793.

“Could Wisconsin’s State Parks Really be User Supported?” Silent Sports Magazine (December 2017)
“Reading Muir from Kayak and Trail,” Silent Sports Magazine (September 2016)
“The genesis of kinship: A review of William Greenway and Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi,” The Christian Century Volume 133, No. 11 (May 25, 2016)
Lecturer in Religious Studies
Academic Success Associate

Room 162 - Student Center, Marshfield campus


Ph.D. - Religious Studies
University of Iowa

M.A. - Religion
Syracuse University

B.A. - Philosophy and Religious Studies
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point


Critical Thinking
Introduction to the Study of Religion
Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Religious Diversity in Modern America