“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Dr. Zachary Beck was born and raised in Cocoa, Florida, right across the Indian River Estuary from Kennedy Space Center. He grew up watching space shuttle and rocket launches from his driveway. As a Kindergartener, he knew he wanted to be a teacher when he grew up. Each year of school, he wanted to teach the grade he was in, so naturally he became a college professor. He attended the University of Florida for his Undergraduate and Master's Programs. He became a Christian when he was a sophomore through a Campus Crusade Bible study led by his next-door neighbor in the Residence hall. His research interests lie in American literature, modernism, and Christian literary theory. For his Master's thesis, he explored the possibilities of putting orthodox Christianity in conversation with secular critical approaches that seem hostile to faith on the surface. He put Saint Augustine of Hippo (Confessions, On Christian Doctrine) in conversation with materialist-dialectic theorists Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou. He has also presented papers that treat the theories of Roland Barthes, Ngugi wa Thiango, and Jean Baudrillard from a Christian standpoint. He received his Ph.D. from Baylor University with a specialty in American Modernism. For his dissertation, he examined the decline of virtuous friendship in the novels of Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein. When he is not teaching, reading, or grading papers, he enjoys watching Netflix and playing board games with his wife and best friend Amanda, and playing with his four children, Lily, Brennan, Lucy, and Libby. He also plays and composes music for the piano.