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Associate Professor

Theology Department, Georgetown University

 
 
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Education

B.A. Williams College (1973)
M.A. University of Chicago (1977)
Ph.D. Harvard University (1988)


Books

Bewildered Travel: The Sacred Quest for Confusion (Virginia, 2007)
Henry Miller, Paul Bowles, Mary Oliver, Mark Twain , Alphonso Lingis and Jack Gilbert, and the author searching for the benefits of getting lost in travel.

Entangled Voices: Genre and the Religious Constructon of the Self (Oxford, 1997)
Models for the self offered by the voices spoken in narrative, lyric, dramatic, and mixed genres, Analyses of Primo Levi, John Donne, Robert Wilson, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Creation of Chaos: William James and the Stylistic Making of a Disorderly World (SUNY, 1991)
A study of chaos as a religious orientation, as seen in the style in which William James wrote two of his books, The Princples of Psychology and The Varieties of Religious Experience.


Courses

The Problem of God(THEO 001): Readings in Mircea Eliade (The Sacred and the Profane)Paul Tillich (The Dynamics of Faith), William James ("The Will to Believe), Victor Turner ("Pilgrimage as a Liminoid Phenomenon), Joseph Murphy (Santeria)

Religion and Autobiography(THEO 127): Readings in Augustine (Confessions), Primo Levi (The Periodic Table), Mary Oliver,(Dream Work),Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse);films by Truffaut (The 400 Blows), Tim Burton (Big Fish)

Existentialism and Religion(THEO 181): Nietzsche (The Gay Science), Sartre (Nausea), Tillich (The Courage To Be), film noir

Religion as Writing: Postmodernism and Religion (THEO 277): Readings in Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil), Mark Taylor (Erring: A Postmodern A/theology), Charles Winquiet (Desiring Theology), Kevin Hart (Postmodernism, A Beginer's Guide); photos by Cindy Sherman

Approaches to Religion (THEO 273): Kant (Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics), Schleiermacher (On Religion), William James (Varieties of Religious Experience), James Clifford (Routes); films, Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir), Breaking the Waves (von Trier), Holy Girl (Martel)

Senior Seminar: Religious Pluralism (THEO 297): William James (A Pluralistic Universe, Pragmatism, Varieties of Religious Experience), Charles Winquist (Desiring Theology, Epiphanies of Darkness)

Alienation and Self Identity (The Strangeness of the Self)
(LSHV 367, THEO 085): Readings in Emerson (Divinity School Address, "Experience"), Nietzsche (The Gay Science), Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse), J.B. Pontalis (Love of Beginnings)

Pilgrimage, Travel, and Tourism (LSHV 435): Readings in James Clifford, Victor Turner, Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad), Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi), Alphonso Lingis (Abuses), and Ruf (Bewildered Travel)

 

Contact

rufb@georgetown.edu