Dr Derek R. Keefe

Dr Derek R. Keefe

Research/Teaching Associate and Editor

Researcher profile




Derek Keefe joined the staff of the School of Divinity in 2020, having written a doctoral thesis at St Andrews under the supervision of Prof. Judith Wolfe that used a question from Plato’s Phaedrus about the capacity of logos to lead the soul as a framing device for investigating C. S. Lewis’s early (1929–1945) literary theorising, on the premise that Lewis's views can be adequately understood only by attending to the myriad ways that psyche or 'soul' is caught up in the making and receiving of literature.

Before coming to St Andrews, Derek worked as an editor in religious and academic media and publishing, serving such organisations as Christianity Today International, Baker Academic and Brazos Press, Duke Divinity School, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Prior to that, he completed an undergraduate degree in history and psychology and masters degrees in theology and the history of Christianity, respectively, and served as research assistant for a peace and reconciliation NGO in Northern Ireland.



DI5453 Practical Criticism


DI5199 MLitt Dissertation (supervision)
DI5453 Practical Criticism (with Prof. Judith Wolfe)


DI1012 Introduction to Practical Theology and Theological Ethics (tutor)

Research areas

Derek's teaching, research, and editorial interests are broad and interdisciplinary and include the following: the work and intellectual preoccupations of C. S. Lewis and his circle; God in/and modern poetry and myth; philosophical aesthetics; the arts as a site of social longing; environmental humanities and the aesthetics of nature; the reception history of classical and medieval culture, ideas, and practices; the history, theory, and practice of education; and coordinate areas of Christian doctrine, especially theological anthropology and the theology of creation, culture, and revelation.

For the foreseeable future, his primary research will be to extend his investigation of ancient and modern theorisation of the nature and operation of language and literature in use (poetics, rhetoric, hermeneutics, reception theory, etc.), which will result in several articles or chapters and a monograph on C. S. Lewis’s thought in this area. A larger, long-term project is to provide an account of the Christian social imagination in the late modern West.