Zachary Ugolnik

Ph.D. Candidate in Religion
Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellow at the INCITE
Lead Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching and Learning

Zachary Ugolnik (pronounced you-goal-nick) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Christianity. He specializes in early Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean and Near East, its interaction with Islam, and the historiography of the Orthodox Churches into the modern period. Zachary works at the intersection of theology and philosophy, scriptural studies, the history of science (especially optics), and material and visual culture. His dissertation is titled “The Mirror of Glory: Sense and Subjectivity in the Near Eastern Tradition."

This past fall, he taught a course of his own design in the Global Core at Columbia, titled “I” and “We” in the Christian “East”: The Making of Identity. He has worked as a Teaching Fellow at Columbia in courses on Christianity, Islam, East Asian Buddhism, Religion in the Modern World, and Tantra in Asia & the West.

He earned his M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School in 2009 and his B.A. from Syracuse University in 2004 (Honors in Religion and International Relations with a minor in Photojournalism).

Zachary has lived and studied in Russia, Jordan, and Japan. He currently lives in Morningside Heights in New York City with his wife and daughter. When he can, he enjoys hiking, biking, and being outside.

Selected Publications:

“Internal Liturgy: The Transmission of the Jesus Prayer in the Philokalia and The Way of a Pilgrim (Rasskaz Strannika),”  Religion & Literature 48, no. 1 (Spring 2017) .

Names Matter: How to Better Represent the Orthodox Churches in Textbooks and the Academy,” The Journal of Religion 96, no. 4 (October, 2016).

“The Reflexivity of Love: Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi’s Divine Flashes and St. Symeon the New Theologian’s Hymns of Divine Eros,” in Love, Marriage, and Family in Eastern Orthodox Perspective, edited T.G. Dedon & S. Trostyanskiy (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2016).

“The Monk Philosopher in Yaḥyā ibn ‘Adī (d. 974) and Severus Ibn al-Muqaffa’ (d. c. 987),” in Orthodox Monasticism Past and Present, edited by John McGuckin (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2015).

Beyond the End of the World: My Time on an Offshore Oil Platform,” Harvard Divinity Bulletin Summer/Autumn 2011 (Vol. 39, Nos. 3 & 4).