How a Theology Professor Writes

Quick Facts

Favorite word?


Favorite music to write to?

Classical Chinese or jazz hip hop

Favorite place to write?

My office


Aaron Reich, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology


SJU Writes: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process?

AR: My favorite part of the writing process is when I lose myself in the creative process. I just get so excited by whatever it is that I’m working on. To me, academic writing is not just typing and writing words down–it’s running into new ideas. That’s what I would say: the pursuit of curiosity.

SJU Writes: Can you describe your ideal writing environment?

AR: I prefer the morning because I find my mind is the freshest in the morning. When I was an undergraduate I would be burning the midnight oil, as they say, just trying to meet deadlines. As I’ve gotten older I’ve changed, so I definitely prefer the morning with some coffee. Some type of caffeine is very helpful to me. I like this office, I’ve got my statues from Taiwan and I’ve got all my books–basically all my books–I’ve got hardly any books at home.

SJU Writes: What is your advice to become a better writer?

AR: I found it really useful to carve out blocks of time for writing and almost treat them with a religious reverence, almost like you would a prayer. For writing I think it has to be that same type of reverence. You just say, “nope, the door is closed and I can’t make any exceptions.”

SJU Writes: What advice do you have for students learning to write in your discipline?

AR: In my discipline and any other discipline, good writing is important. I would say that if you can write well, it’s only a matter of implementing the material you learned into that writing.  I think that to be a good writer you have to write for at least 30 minutes a day.

—John Slusser ’21