•  161
    In the Self's Place: The Approach of Saint Augustine (review)
    Comparative and Continental Philosophy 6 (1): 84-89. 2014.
    In the Self's Place: The Approach of Saint Augustine presents Jean-Luc Marion's rethinking of the modern notion of the self by way of an original reading of Saint Augustine through the lens of a phenomenology of givenness. Here he tests the hermeneutic validity of concepts forged in his previous works. His goal is to show that the Confessiones are inscribed within the confessio, that love is an underlying epistemic condition of truth, and that God's call and our response to God are both gifts. U…Read more
  •  112
    The Phenomenology of Prayer (edited book)
    with Norman Wirzba
    Fordham University Press. 2005.
    This collection of ground-breaking essays considers the many dimensions of prayer: how prayer relates us to the divine; prayer's ability to reveal what is essential about our humanity; the power of prayer to transform human desire and action; and the relation of prayer to cognition. It takes up the meaning of prayer from within a uniquely phenomenological point of view, demonstrating that the phenomenology of prayer is as much about the character and boundaries of phenomenological analysis as it…Read more
  •  76
    This book is an important contribution to the philosophy of music. Whereas most books in this field focus on the creation and reproduction of music, Bruce Benson's concern is the phenomenology of music making as an activity. He offers the radical thesis that it is improvisation that is primary in the moment of music making. Succinct and lucid, the book brings together a wide range of musical examples from classical music, jazz, early music and other genres. It offers a rich tapestry incorporatin…Read more
  •  51
    All of us working in continental philosophy of religion can be grateful to James K. A. Smith for his call to consider which practices will best further the “health” of the burgeoning subdiscipline of continental philosophy of religion. Given that he offers his suggestions “in the spirit of ‘conversation starters,’” my response is designed to continue what I hope will be an ongoing conversation. With that goal in mind, I respond to Smith by considering not only the practicality of each suggestion…Read more
  •  50
    Restitution in Theory and Practice
    Journal of Libertarian Studies 12 (1): 75-98. 1996.
  •  34
    The Two-Fold Task of Christian Philosophy of Religion
    Faith and Philosophy 32 (4): 371-390. 2015.
  •  32
    The “Thinking-After” of Metanoia: On Breton’s The Word and the Cross
    Philosophy and Theology 16 (2): 217-228. 2004.
    Although Breton barely mentions the term “metanoia,” it well describes the radical change that takes place for anyone who adopts the logic of the cross. In effect, that logic results in a self that is radically de-centered. Moreover, to embrace that logic is to give up the demand for both reasons and signs. Arguing for a radicalconception of kenosis, Breton insists that it is a true emptying that remains powerless and senseless in light of any worldly logos and, as such, can only appear to be fo…Read more
  •  30
    The Fundamental Heteronomy of Jazz Improvisation
    Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 453-467. 2006.
  •  30
    Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (review)
    International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3): 387-388. 2006.
  •  26
    Hermeneutics at the Crossroads (edited book)
    with Kevin J. Vanhoozer and James K. A. Smith
    Indiana University Press. 2006.
    In this multi-faceted volume, Christian and other religiously committed theorists find themselves at an uneasy point in history—between premodernity, modernity, and postmodernity—where disciplines and methods, cultural and linguistic traditions, and religious commitments tangle and cross. Here, leading theorists explore the state of the art of the contemporary hermeneutical terrain. As they address the work of Gadamer, Ricoeur, and Derrida, the essays collected in this wide-ranging work engage k…Read more
  •  25
    Ingarden and the problem of jazz
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 55 (4). 1993.
    Rather than being concerned with questions of aesthetic standards, Ingarden focuses on the question of where a musical work exists. Thus he attempts to draw clear distinctions between musical works, scores, and performances. Yet, while these distinctions seem questionable even from the standpoint of classical music, in jazz, which operates under a paradigm in which improvisation is primary, they prove far more problematic. A crucial assumption behind Ingarden's view of music is that musical perf…Read more
  •  24
    Pious Nietzsche: Decadence and Dionysian Faith
    Indiana University Press. 2007.
    Bruce Ellis Benson puts forward the surprising idea that Nietzsche was never a godless nihilist, but was instead deeply religious. But how does Nietzsche affirm life and faith in the midst of decadence and decay? Benson looks carefully at Nietzsche's life history and views of three decadents, Socrates, Wagner, and Paul, to come to grips with his pietistic turn. Key to this understanding is Benson's interpretation of the powerful effect that Nietzsche thinks music has on the human spirit. Benson …Read more
  •  23
    Nietzsche's Musical Askesis for Resisting Decadence
    Journal of Nietzsche Studies 34 (1): 28-46. 2007.
  •  22
    Jazz: l'Autre exotique
    Horizons Philosophiques 16 (1): 86-100. 2005.
  •  10
    In this essay, I attempt to think along with Kevin Hart, though improvising on his text in my own way, by suggesting that ‘the way’ is one that calls anyone who wishes to follow, that it is, at heart, all about doing battle with oneself, and that this battle is best thought of as an endless hermeneutic, one inaugurated by Jesus yet also with classical precedents.
  •  9
    Transforming Philosophy and Religion: Love's Wisdom (edited book)
    with Norman Wirzba
    Indiana University Press. 2008.
    Norman Wirzba, Bruce Ellis Benson, and an international group of philosophers and theologians describe how various expressions of philosophy are transformed by the discipline of love. What is at stake is how philosophy colors and shapes the way we receive and engage each other, our world, and God. Focusing primarily on the Continental tradition of philosophy of religion, the work presented in this volume engages thinkers such as St. Paul, Meister Eckhart, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Ricoeur…Read more
  •  7
    Resisting “Forgiveness Oppression”
    Philosophy Today 65 (4): 863-879. 2021.
    Victims of abuse and violence are often pressured to forgive their perpetrators. The idea of unconditional forgiveness—forgiveness granted regardless of apology, remorse, or change of behavior—has become a norm for many in the west and those who refuse to forgive are often seen as resentful and bitter. Yet those imploring forgiveness are often the powerful and those asked to forgive are often minorities who have comparatively little power. Since forgiveness in western culture derives from Jesus’…Read more
  •  5
    Hermeneutics at the Crossroads
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 64 (2): 111-113. 2008.
  •  5
    Notes on
    with Jeanette Bicknell, Stephen Blum, Lee B. Brown, and Malcolm Budd
    In Theodore Gracyk & Andrew Kania (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, Routledge. 2011.
  •  5
    Words of Life: New Theological Turns in French Phenomenology (edited book)
    with Norman Wirzba
    Fordham University Press. 2010.
    Words of Life is the sequel and companion to Phenomenology and the "Theological Turn," edited by Dominique Janicaud, Jean-Francois Courtine, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and Paul Ricoeur. In that volume, Janicaud accuses Levinas, Henry, Marion, and Chrétien of "veering" from phenomenological neutrality to a theologically inflected phenomenology. By contrast, the contributors to this collection interrogate whether phenomenology's proper starting point is agnostic or atheist…Read more
  •  4
    In this essay, I attempt to think along with Kevin Hart, though improvising on his text in my own way, by suggesting that ‘the way’ is one that calls anyone who wishes to follow, that it is, at heart, all about doing battle with oneself, and that this battle is best thought of as an endless hermeneutic, one inaugurated by Jesus yet also with classical precedents.