Joseph Haydt

Joseph Haydt



Divinity School Teaching Fellow in the Divinity School and the College

Joseph Haydt is a historian of religion and philosophy. His research examines how these domains provoke, respond to, and achieve expression within works of poetry and literature. His work has been awarded funding support from a range of institutions, including the Fulbright Program, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the Irish Research Council, and the Franke Institute for the Humanities. In 2021–2022, he was the recipient of a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship. He received PhDs in Germanic Studies and Theology from the University of Chicago in 2022. 

His current book project examines approaches to divine revelation in the Age of Goethe. It draws on philosophical theology, literary history, and recent appraisals of German Idealism to investigate philosophical presuppositions in the religious thought of Immanuel Kant, J.G. Fichte, and G.W.F. Hegel, as well as the poetic and scientific work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The book argues that the theorization of divine revelation in this period turns on a constellation of philosophical positions regarding the finitude of human reason. When viewed in tandem, the concepts of revelation and rational finitude illuminate the reciprocity of literature and philosophy in 18th-century debates about religion. Additional articles in preparation include a comparative study of the aesthetic theories of Christian von Ehrenfels, Konrad Fiedler, and Oskar Walzel and an essay on rhetorical strategies in Mark Twain's late novels.

Most recent Publications:

“Sokratische Fragen als Streitfragen. Zur Form der Reflexion bei Lessing und Goethe.” In Praktiken der Provokation, ed. Hannes Kerber et al. Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag. (Forthcoming)

“The Method of Lessing’s Late Theological Writings: Irony and Truth.” Lessing Yearbook 49 (2022): 119–136.