Richard A. Rosengarten
Areas of Study and Research
MA, PhD (University of Chicago)
Richard Rosengarten’s scholarship and teaching are anchored in the Enlightenment and its import for religious (especially Christian) thought and practice. He focuses on how modern prose forms (the novel, but also satire, autobiography, and the essay) enact, absorb, engage, and transform that impact, and on how the work of “criticism” – in its literary, biblical, and philosophical expressions – comes to have exponential import for thought and culture. Understanding religious thought and practice from the perspective of the Enlightenment inevitably involves considered attention to earlier thought (especially the ancients) as well as to the history of its effects (“modernism” and its aftermaths). His book on the novelist Henry Fielding is thus framed by engagements with Augustine’s Confessions and Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, and his forthcoming book on Catholicism between the Vatican Councils compares the uses to which Flannery O’Connor, Frida Kahlo, and Simone Weil put Roman Catholic sacramental theology (in prose fiction, retablo, and essai, respectively)
Rosengarten is an Associate Editor of Literature and Theology. Rosengarten has made a significant commitment to administrative work in his professional life, including, in the Divinity School, serving as Dean of Students (1991-2000) and as Dean (2000-2010, 2015-17). He has been active as an accreditor for the Association of Theological Schools and as Secretary (1995-1998) and then Vice Chair and Chair (1999-2005) of the Council on the Graduate Study of Religion.