Daniel Adam Lightsey

Graduate Candidate in Systematic Theology




Daniel grew up in the timbered hills above Tanyard Creek in Arkansas. He belongs to his bewitching Junior High crush, and they are in the possession of two boys. He is a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University and a graduate fellow of the Northwestern University Research Initiative in Russian Philosophy, Literature, and Religious Thought. His dissertation has to do with the theology of beauty in relation with the metaphysics of the person in Sergii Bulgakov (1871-1944), all with a wider view to how human creativity was theologically understood within 19th-20th century Russian religious-philosophical-literary thought. 

Dissertation Advisor: Dr. D. Steve Long

Dissertation Title: "'When You Consider the Radiance': Sergii Bulgakov, Beauty, Persons"


“‘Le style c’est l’homme’: Vladimir Nabokov, Sergii Bulgakov, & the Artist’s Exploit,” Northwestern University Studies in Russian Philosophy, Literature, and Religious Thought 1. Forthcoming.


Book Review. Sergii Bulgakov, Philosophy of the Name. Translated by Thomas Allan Smith. Ithaca: Northern Illinois University, 2022. Reading Religion (Jan. 2024). https://readingreligion.org/9781501765650/


“‘The Human Thirst to See Heavenly Azure’: Sergii Bulgakov, ‘Holy Anamnesis,’ and Beauty.” In Moral Conversion in Scripture, Self, and Society. Edited by Krijn Pansters and Anton ten Klooster. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2024: 225-237.


“Desirous Seeing: Sol LeWitt, Vision, and Paradox.” In Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives. Edited by Kevin Grove, Christopher Rios, and Taylor Nutter. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023: 59-70.



“‘Silence under the scourge’: Origen of Alexandria’s Sophianic Vision,” Oxford Patristics Conference(XIX International Conference), Oxford, UK (forthcoming August 5-9, 2024).


“‘Am I myself returning to some starting point?’ Literary and Theological Reflections on Time and Memory,” The American Society of Church History (Annual Conference), San Francisco, California (January 4-7, 2024)

“‘To focus the eye of the soul on the divine light’: Maximus the Confessor and Transfigured Vision,” Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Conference(48th Annual Conference), Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania (October 27-29, 2023), *paper accepted, but forced to withdraw*

“The Artist’s Podvig: Vladimir Nabokov and Sergii Bulgakov, Northwestern University Research Initiative for the Study of Russian Philosophy and Religious Thought (Inaugural Conference), Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (April 21-23, 2023).

“In Search of a Hyaline Soul: Speculations on the Metaphysics of the Person,” International Orthodox Theological Association (Second International Conference). Respondent: Eugene Vodolazkin, Volos, Greece (January 11-15, 2023).


“Holiness at Work: Theological Reflections on the ‘Morally Serious’ Reading of Fiction,” The Society of Christian Ethics (Annual Meeting).

Respondent: Ted Smith, Chicago, Illinois (January 5-8, 2023), *In Absentia*


“Sergii Bulgakov and Eugene Vodolazkin on the Precarity of the (Re)Creation of the Self,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (54th Annual Convention), Respondent: Peter Winsky, Chicago, Illinois (November 10-13, 2022).


“‘The Human Thirst to See Heavenly Azure’: Sergii Bulgakov, ‘Holy Anamnesis,’ and Beauty,” Agents of Change: Moral Conversion and Social Transformation, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands (June 29-July 1, 2022).


“Christian Humanism: Spiritual Labor, Creative Audacity,” God and the Human Person (The 23rd Annual Boston College Graduate Philosophy Conference), Boston College, Newton, Massachusetts (March 25-26, 2022).


“Desirous Seeing: Sol LeWitt, Vision, and Paradox,” Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives, Respondent: Janet Soskice, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana (October 2-3, 2020).


“Russian Holy Foolery as a Form of Response to Theodicy,” Evangelical Theological Society, Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas (March 20-21, 2020).


“‘Memory is its own vision’: St. Augustine of Hippo, W.G. Sebald, and Traumatic Somatic Memory,” American Academy of Religion, Southwest Region, Irving, Texas (February 28-March 1, 2020).


Fellowships, Awards, and Service to the Profession:


2023   Graduate Seminar Fellow, Lumen Christi Institute, “Truth and Authority in Augustine's City of God,” University of California, Berkeley.


2022-present  Graduate Fellow, Northwestern University Research Initiative in Russian Philosophy, Literature, and Religious Thought.


2022 Archival Research, Slavonic Library, National Library of the Czech Republic.


2022 Fellow, Russian Area of the Department of World Languages and Literatures Fellowship, SMU (viaRussian AV Mamantov School): Prague, Czech Republic.


2021-2023 Colloquy Chair, SMU Graduate Program of Religious Studies Student Organization