• Chretien on the Call that Wounds
    Janus Head 14 (1): 125-141. 2015.
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    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
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    9. How Continental Philosophy of Religion Came into Being and Where It Is Going
    In Gregory P. Floyd & Stephanie Rumpza (eds.), The Catholic Reception of Continental Philosophy in North America, University of Toronto Press. pp. 220-244. 2020.
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    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
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    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.
  • Evil, Fallenness, and Finitude (edited book)
    Palgrave-Macmillan. 2017.
    This collection addresses the perennial philosophical and theological issues of human finitude and the potentiality for evil. The contributors approach these issues from perspectives in Continental philosophy relating to phenomenology, philosophical hermeneutics, rabbinical traditions, drawing upon the work of Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, and Paul Ricoeur. While centering on the traditional theme of theodicy, this volume is also oriented to the phenomenology of religion, with contributions …Read more
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    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.
  •  5
    Hermeneutics at the Crossroads
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 64 (2): 111-113. 2008.
  • Third Thoughts on Contracting Out
    Journal of Libertarian Studies 11 (1): 44-78. 1994.
  • Paul and the Knowledge that Puffs Up
    Journal of Philosophy and Scripture 2 (2). 2005.
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    Restitution in Theory and Practice
    Journal of Libertarian Studies 12 (1): 75-98. 1996.
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    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
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    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.
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    What do the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion have in common with Christianity? Surprisingly, they are all concerned about idolatry, about the tendency we have to create God in our own image and about what we can do about it. Can we faithfully speak of God at all without interposing ourselves? If so, how? Bruce Ellis Benson explores this common concern by clearly laying out the thought of each of these postmodern thinkers against the background of modern philo…Read more
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    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
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    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
  • Chrétien on the call that wounds
    In Bruce Ellis Benson & Norman Wirzba (eds.), Words of Life: New Theological Turns in French Phenomenology, Fordham University Press. 2010.
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    The Two-Fold Task of Christian Philosophy of Religion
    Faith and Philosophy 32 (4): 371-390. 2015.
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    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
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    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
  • The prayers and tears of Friedrich Nietzsche
    In Bruce Ellis Benson & Norman Wirzba (eds.), The Phenomenology of Prayer, Fordham University Press. 2005.
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    My goal here is to explore the deep and interpenetrating relationship of life, art, and worship, though not with the intent of merely sketching some theory about their relationship. Instead, it is about working out a way of life that can properly be termed "liturgical"