Renowned theologian, author returns to teach




Benjamin Wiker’s résumé includes more than three pages of books and articles. After seven years as a full-time writer and author, he has now returned to teach at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Wiker, who holds a doctorate in theological ethics, has taught at Franciscan University in the past, beginning in the 2000-2001 academic year and teaching off-and-on until 2006. Having returned this semester, he is currently a visiting associate professor of theology.

“It’s not new to me at all,” he said. “I actually know a bunch of people here.”

Wiker originally came to Franciscan after teaching at Thomas Aquinas College in California for several years. Before that, he lectured on theology at Marquette University and St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.

Wiker was initially able to find a job at Franciscan by talking to contacts, but intended the job to be temporary, he said. “I was at that point making the transition to writing full-time,” he said.

Although he is currently teaching full-time, he is also working with the new Veritas Center for Ethics and Public Life at Franciscan.

“It isn’t moving yet, but I’m actually a fellow with them,” he said. Although he does not have as much time for writing, he still sometimes writes for the Veritas Center.

Before returning to Franciscan, Wiker wrote full-time. His most recent books, published last spring, are “Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion” and “Politicizing the Bible,” which is co-authored by Scott Hahn. Wiker has also written hundreds of articles on theology, ethics, history and other subjects.

He explained the hefty number of articles and books he has written by saying, “If you had to feed a wife and seven children and various animals, then you would do the same thing.”

Although currently teaching theology, Wiker said that he has “taught everything from geometry, to Latin, to Greek book seminars, to theology and science.

Subjects such as theology and philosophy are hard to separate, he said. “We have the theological aspect and the philosophical aspect, even though I’m teaching a theology course.”

Wiker spoke of older methods of teaching, which taught many different subjects as an educational background. “For example, in the universities of the Middle Ages, before you could study anything in particular, you had to take the liberal arts,” he said. “If I teach one (subject), I’m teaching all the others at the same time, except math. I don’t generally get into any math when I’m doing things, unless I can. When I can sneak it in, I will.”

Wiker and his family lived in Steubenville in the year of 2000 before moving and living in Jewett for a while. At one point, he said, they lived on a farm with “all kinds of critters from rabbits to donkeys to a horse to goats to chickens to what else I can’t remember, plus basic stuff like dogs and cats.” Since then, the Wiker family has moved.

Wiker currently has a two-hour commute to campus from his home, where he lives with his wife and seven children.

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