Mireille Bishay (PhD 2016)

BA Boston College (2003), MA Boston University (2011). Her dissertation offers a juxtaposition of Augustine and Sartre on the “constitution of the self” and the possibility of ethics. (“Constituting Selves: Augustine, Sartre, and the Role of Religion in Structuring the Relationship Between Self and Other”).

Theresa Cooney (PhD 2015)

BA Georgetown University (2006), MTS Harvard Divinity School (2008). Dr. Cooney specializes in philosophy of religion and political theology. Her dissertation offers a critical reading of the early Catholic writings of Carl Schmitt (“The Priority of Form in Carl Schmitt’s Early Catholic Writings”). From the dissertation abstract:

I argue that Schmitt’s theological perspective and his concept of form reinforce one another by elevating a particular brand of personalist, juridical rationality that vitiates against the irrational in political and religious life.

Placing Schmitt’s concept of political form in dialogue with his Catholic public intellectualism, I explore Schmitt’s early attempts to overcome the form/substance dichotomy in political theory through his use of theological constructs. Beginning with responses of other high-profile Catholic intellectuals to Sichtbarkeit and Römischer Katholizismus, I find that concerns with political form, representation, and the threats of the “mechanization” of liberal bureaucracy and anarchic atheism were shared by Schmitt’s peers. Through an analysis of Schmitt’s early articulations of the relationship between form and substance—in his strictly legal and political writings and in his Catholic writings—I demonstrate that Schmitt emphasizes public belief, community, political action, and “personalist” representation as conditions of a viable social life. Close reading of Schmitt’s theological inquiry shows that his characterization of God, Christ, human nature, and the earthly and divine kingdoms fits his understanding of political form and human sovereignty. I argue that Schmitt’s theological perspective is both humanized and rendered problematic by his privileging of “form,” a concept that benefits from his theological perspective, while also being hindered by it.

Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg (PhD 2003)

Dr. Cushing is Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard Associate Professor in Jewish Studies, and Associate Professor of Religion; and serves as Director of Jewish Studies at Colgate University. Her research focuses on post-biblical Jewish literature, literary theory, Western religions and the Bible in American life. Her publications include Sustaining Fictions: Intertextuality, Midrash, Translation, and the Literary Afterlife of the Bible. New York: T & T Clark, 2008, based on her dissertation, and work co-edited with Peter Hawkins, most recently From the Margins: Women of the Hebrew Bible and their Afterlives. Peter S. Hawkins, co-editor. Sheffield UK: Sheffield-Phoenix, 2009.

Leah Hochman (PhD 2000)

Dr. Hochman is the Director of the Louchheim School for Judaic Studies at USC and Associate Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC/JIR, Los Angeles. Her scholarly interests include the intersections of thought, philosophy and religion, the relationships between religion and literature in fiction, memoir, and autobiography, Judaism in the Americas, and Jewish life and culture in contemporary Germany. Her book, The Ugliness of Moses Mendelssohn: Aesthetics, Religion & Morality in the Eighteenth Century, which is a significant revision of her phd dissertation, was published by Routledge in 2014. Before teaching at HUC-JIR, Dr. Hochman taught at the University of Florida and Boston University.