Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology; also in the College
MA, PhD (University of Chicago)
Ryan Coyne studies the relationship between modern European philosophy and the history of Christian theology. His research thus far has focused on the ways in which eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century German and French thinkers distance themselves from the Christian tradition while nevertheless making use of its resources. This leads him to examine modern fields of inquiry—including hermeneutics, phenomenology, psychoanalysis and deconstruction—by situating them alongside ancient, medieval and early modern sources. His first book, Heidegger’s Confessions (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), considers the figure of Augustine of Hippo in the works of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. It traces the counterintuitive ways in which the early Heidegger enlists Augustine's formulations to rid modern philosophy of theology, and it argues that Heidegger crucially revises these formulations in his later works. Coyne is currently working on a second project tentatively entitled The Dreams of Metaphysicians. This book examines the exegetical and rhetorical strategies that recent continental philosophers employ as readers of religious texts. In general, his teaching and writing focus on the themes of subjectivity, temporality, and religious experience. They take up these themes in conversation with figures such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida. His longstanding interests include the history of Christian mysticism, as well as religion and psychoanalysis.