Mary-Jane Rubenstein is Associate Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University; core faculty in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; and co-director of Wesleyan’s certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory. She holds a B.A. in Religion and English from Williams College, an M.Phil. in Philosophical Theology from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University, where she also received a Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society. Her primary research interests lie in the intersections of continental philosophy and the Christian intellectual tradition. Other areas of focus include gender and sexuality studies, post-colonial Christianities, and the history and philosophy of cosmology. She is the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe, as well as articles on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Derrida, negative theology, political theologies, global Anglicanism, and contemporary cosmology. Her new book, Worlds without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, puts recent theories of the “multiverse” into conversation with ancient “many-world” cosmologies.
Department of Religion
Middletown, CT 06459
Publications and Lectures (WesScholar)
“Multiverse Cosmologies at the Limits of Modern Science,” Science and Religion in Modern America Lecture Series, McDevitt Center, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY, March 10-12, 2014.
“On Shepherds and Goat-Gods and Mountains and Monsters: The Matter with Pantheism,” Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium, Drew University, Madison, NJ, March 28-30, 2014.
“Scientific Orthodoxy,” Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, April 11-12, 2014.
Videos and Interviews
Interview with Andrés Lomeña Cantos, Heterocosmicas blog (forthcoming in Teknocultura).
Video of “Asceticosmologies: Modern Science as Religious Practice,” Wes Thinks Big, 2012
Video of “One Way Up through the Way Back into the Out of Ontotheology (Introduction to Martin Heidegger),” In Theory Lecture Series, October 5, 2011.
Senior Voices Baccalaureate Address from Wesleyan’s Commencement, 2011.
Interview with Wesleyan Argus, December 3, 2010.
Video Podcast of “Cosmic Singularities: On the Nothing and the Sovereign” (Center for the Humanities Lecture, 2010)
Video Podcast of “Christianity and the Global Politics of Sexuality” (Barnard College, October 2010)
Secularism post on The Immanent Frame
Anglicanism post on The Immanent Frame
Interview with WESU.FM (Aired on 4/18/08)
RELI 220/COL 220 – Modern Christian Thought
RELI 292/PHIL 292 – Reason and Revelation: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
RELI 302 – Parable and Paradox: Kierkegaard’s Pseudonymous Works
RELI 304 – God after the Death of God: Postmodern Echoes of Pre-Modern Thought
RELI 377/SISP 377 – Worlding the World: Creation Myths from Ancient Greece to the Multiverse
RELI 397/FGSS 397/AMST 397 – Christianity and Sexuality
2006 Ph.D. (with distinction), Columbia University, Philosophy of Religion
2004 M.Phil (with distinction), Columbia University, Philosophy of Religion
2003 M.A. (with distinction), Columbia University, Philosophy of Religion
2001 M.Phil. (with distinction), Cambridge University, Philosophical Theology
1999 B.A. (summa cum laude), Williams College, Religion and English
Worlds without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (Columbia University Press, 2014).
Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe,
Columbia University Press, 2009.
Edited Volume in Progress
The Possibilities of Polydoxy, special issue of Modern Theology, co-edited with Kathryn Tanner (forthcoming, October 2013).
Articles and Chapters
“Heidegger’s Caves: On Dwelling in Wonder,” Practices of Wonder, ed. Sophia Vasalou (London: Wipf and Stock, 2012): 144-65.
“Cosmic Singularities: On the Nothing and the Sovereign,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80: 2 (June 2012): 485-517.
“The Twilight of the Doxai: Or, How to Philosophize with a Whack-a-Mole Mallet,” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 24:1 (2012) 64-70.
“The Fire Each Time: Dark Energy and the Breath of Creation,” Creation, Ecology, and the Energy of God, ed. Donna Bowman and Clayton Crockett (Fordham University Press, 2011), 26-41.
“Thinking Otherwise,” Immanent Frame, December 3, 2010.
“Undone By Each Other: Interrupted Sovereignty in Augustine’s Confessions,” in Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation, eds. Catherine Keller and Laurel Schneider (New York: Routledge, 2010), 105-125.
“Notes from the Tangled Anglican Web,” Killing the Buddha, April 1, 2010.
“Capital Shares: The Way Back into the With of Christianity,” Political Theology 11:1 (January 2010).
“Onward, Ridiculous Debaters,” Political Theology 10.1 (January 2009): 126-129.
“Dionysius, Derrida, and the Critique of Ontotheology,” Modern Theology 24:4 (October 2008): 726-41. Also included in Re-Thinking Dionysius, ed. Sarah Coakley and Charles Stang (Blackwell, February 2009).
“Anglicans in the Postcolony: On Sex and the Limits of Communion,” Telos 143 (Summer 2008): 133-160.
“Of Ghosts and Angels: Derrida, Kushner, and the Impossibility of Forgiveness,” Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 9:1 (Winter 2008): 79-95.
“Let Freedom Free: Politics and Religion at the Heart of a Muddled Concept,” in The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken, ed. Jeffrey W. Robbins and Neal Magee, with an introduction by Terry Eagleton, preface by Jack Caputo, and postface by Slavoj Zizek (New York: Continuum Press, 2008), 190-204.
“A Certain Disavowal: The Pathos and Politics of Wonder,” Princeton Theological Review (Fall 2006): 11-18.
“The Unbearable Withness of Being: On the Essentialist Blind-Spot of Anti-Ontotheology,” inTheology and the Political, ed. Creston Davis, John Milbank, and Slavoj Zizek, with a foreword by Rowan Williams (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005), 340-349.
“Pardon Me…,” in Derrida’s Bible, ed. Yvonne Sherwood (New York: Palgrave, 2004), 295-300.
“An Anglican Crisis of Comparison: Intersections of Race, Gender, and Religious Authority with Particular Reference to the Church of Nigeria,” Journal of American Academy of Religion 72:2 (June 2004): 341-365.
“Unknow Thyself: Apophaticism, Deconstuction, and the Theology after Onthotheology” Modern Theology 19:3 (July 2003): 387-417.
“Kierkegaard’s Socrates: A Venture in Evolutionary Theory,” Modern Theology 17:4 (October 2001): 441-474.
Morny Joy, ed., Continental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion (New York: Springer, 2011) and Kearney, Richard, Anatheism: Returning to God after God (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010). International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (2012), 87-92.
Julia Kristeva, This Incredible Need to Believe (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
Modern Theology 26:4 (October 2010) 666-669.
Richard H. Jones, Curing the Philosopher’s Disease: Reinstating Mystery in the Heart of Philosophy(New York: University Press of America, 2009).
Sophia 49:3 (August 2010), 457-458.
Aristotle Papanikolaou and George Demacopoulos, eds. Orthodox Readings of Augustine (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2009).
Modern Theology 26:1 (January 2010) 157-60.
Aristotle Papanikolaou, Being with God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine-Human Communion(Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006).
Modern Theology 23:4 (December 2007): 631-34.
Jean-Louis Chrétien, The Ark of Speech (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).
Modern Theology 21:2 (April, 2005): 340-343.
Amy Laura Hall, Kierkegaard and the Treachery of Love (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Modern Theology 20:2 (April 2004): 327-330.
M. Jamie Ferreira, Love’s Grateful Striving (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
Modern Theology 19:2 (April, 2003): 295-297.
Francis Clark, Godfaring: Reason, Faith, and Sacred Being (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2000).
Modern Theology 18:1 (January 2002): 127-129.
Lectures and Presentations
“How to Avoid the G-Word: Philosophical Reflections on Multiverse Cosmologies,” London School of Economics, January 27, 2013.
“The Rebirth of the Death of God,” Annual Meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Religion, Chicago, IL, November, 2012.
“Desiring Pan(en)theism: God and Universe in MacKendrick’s Divine Seduction,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago, IL, November, 2012.
“Asceticosmologies: Modern Science as Religious Practice,” Wes Thinks Big, Wesleyan University, March 29, 2012.
“End without End: Cosmology and Infinity in Nicholas of Cusa,” Trials of Desire Conference, Yale University, March 23, 2012.
“Tangling with the Entangled Universe: A Response to Catherine Keller,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, CA, November 20, 2011.
“Shout the Ambivalent News: A Response to Marion Grau’s Postcolonial Missiology,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, CA, November 20, 2011.
“Structuring the Interruption of Structure,” lecture and conversation following John Jasperse’s Canyon, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), November 17, 2011.
“Back to the Fiery Ramparts: Seventeenth Century Revolutions,” Humanities luncheon, Wesleyan University, October 14, 2011.
“One Way Up through the Way Back into the Out of Ontotheology,” In Theory lecture series, Wesleyan University, October 5, 2011.
“Dark Energy and Models of the Multiverse,” First Year Matters Lecture, Wesleyan University, September 2, 2011.
“The Twilight of the Doxai: Or, How to Philosophize with a Whack-a-Mole Mallet,” Belief Worskshop, Yale University, New Haven, CT, April 15, 2011.
“Cosmic Singularities: On the Nothing and the Sovereign,” Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, December 5, 2010.
“Qu’est-ce qui se passe? Wonder and the Undecidable,” Drew University, Madison, NJ, November 11, 2010.
“Of Covenants and Camels: Sex and the Postcolonial Anglican Communion,” Christianity and the Global Politics of Sexuality. Barnard College, New York City, October 21, 2010.
“The Ethics of Catastrophization: Suspension v. Shock and Awe: A Response to Adi Ophir,” Collateral Damage: Civilians and Civil Culture in War. Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, October 8, 2010.
“Wonder and the Births of Philosophy,” Williams College, Williamstown, MA, November 17, 2009.
“Wonder, the Impossible, and the Everyday,” Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, November 1, 2009.
“Undone By Each Other: Interrupted Sovereignty in Augustine’s Confessions,” Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium: Polydoxy: Theologies of the Manifold. Drew University, Madison, NY, October 1-4, 2009.
“Schismatic Sexualities,” Homosexuality and the Anglican Schism Conference. Yale University, October 17, 2009.
“The Fire Each Time: Dark Energy and the Breath of Creation,” Theology and Energy Conference. University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR, February 20-22, 2009.
“Thinking Otherwise: On Secularism and the Limits of Immanence,” “Varieties of Secular Experience” Conference. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 13 November 2008.
“The Way Back into the With of Christianity,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Chicago, IL, 3 November 2008.
“Heidegger’s Caves: On Dwelling in Wonder,” “A Sense of Wonder” Conference. Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, June 4, 2008.
“Putting the ‘Pre-’ in Postmodern: The Onto-Politics of Radical Orthodoxy,” Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, May 8, 2008.
“On Not Knowing Where I’m Going: A Response to John Thatamanil,” Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium: “Planetarity, Postcoloniality, and the Future of Feminist Theology.” Drew University, Madison, NJ, November 2007.
“The State of the Church: Sex and Gender in Postcolonial Anglicanism,” Trinity College, Hartford, CT, October 2007.
“A Faith in Ends: Sam Harris and the Gospel of Neo-Atheism,” Durham, NC Alumni Association of Wesleyan University, June, 2007. A Faith in Ends: Sam Harris and the Gospel of Neo-Atheism
“The Eclipse of the Political: A Response to ‘[De]Constructing Boundaries,’” “ReStating Religion” Conference. Columbia University, New York, New York, March 2006.
“Reconciliation and the Post-Colonial Church,” St. Luke in the Fields, New York City, 6 November, 2005.
“The Limits of Orthodoxy: A Response to John Milbank,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2005.
“Of Ghosts and Angels: Derrida, Kushner, and the Impossibility of Forgiveness,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2005.
“Wonder and the Births of Philosophy,” “Religion Unwound: A Graduate/Faculty Colloquium,” Columbia University, New York City, 27 October 2005.
“Freud’s Leonardos/Leonardo’s Freuds: On Identification, Deification, and Disavowal.” Art Students’ League, New York City, March 2004.
“Response to Slavoj Zizek’s ‘In What Sense Was Nietzsche a Christian?’” “Engaging Traditions: Ontologies in Practice” Conference. Charlottesville, Virginia, September 2002.
“Revealing Darkness: Toward an Anti-Racist Reading of Revelation,” “Illumination: Reason, Revelation and Science” Conference. St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, July 2002.
“Kierkegaard: Narrativity and the Knight of Faith,” Portsmouth Grammar School, England, Spring 2001.
“Ecstatic Subjectivity: Kierkegaard’s Critiques and Appropriations of the Socratic,” delivered to the D-Society of Cambridge University, November 2000.
“Repetition and Ordeal,” Job Reading Group, Peterhouse College, Cambridge University, Michaelmas, 2000.
“God, Gender, and the Fall: Working through Kristeva’s ‘Stabat Mater,’” Adam and Eve Reading Group, Peterhouse College, Cambridge University, Michaelmas, 1999.
Honors and Awards
Faculty Fellowship, Wesleyan Center for the Humanities
Caleb T. Winchester Teaching Award, Wesleyan chapter of Psi Upsilon
Core Curriculum Award for Teaching Excellence, Columbia University
Class Speaker, Columbia University Doctoral Convocation
Scholar in Residence, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Episcopal Church Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
Jacob K. Javits Doctoral Fellowship
Center for Comparative Literature and Society Fellowship, Columbia University
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Fellowship, Columbia University
Theological Studies Prize (M.Phil.), Cambridge University
Dr. Herchel Smith Fellowship, Williams College
Arthur B. Graves Essay Prize in Religion, Williams College
Class of 1960 Scholarship in English, Williams College
Memberships & Affiliations
The American Academy of Religion
The American Philosophical Association
The Association for Political Theory
The Theology and Philosophy Cooperative