RICHARD L. RUBENSTEIN
A Brief Biographical Note
June 2003

 

††††††††††† Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Bridgeport. He served as President of the University from January 1, 1995 until December 31, 1999 having previously served as Chairman of the Universityís Board of Trustees. Dr. Rubenstein is a Life Member of the Board.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Rubenstein is also Lawton Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion at Florida State University. From 1970 to 1995 Rubenstein was a member of the faculty of Florida State University, serving since 1977 as Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion. He began his studies at the Hebrew Union College, the theological seminary for Reform Judaism, and the University of Cincinnati,from which he received the A.B. degree. He received the Master of Hebrew Literature and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative), the Master of Theology (S.T.M) from Harvard Divinity School, and the Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Harvard. Rubenstein was a Fellow of the National Humanities Institute at Yale University (Ď76-í'77). In 1977 Florida State University named Rubenstein "Distinguished Professor of the Year," the university's highest academic honor. In February 2001 the University created the Richard L. Rubenstein Professorship of Religion. In 1987 the Jewish Theological Seminary conferred the degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters, honoris causa, upon him at its Centennial Convocation. In 1999 Grand Valley State University Conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

 

Rubenstein is a columnist for Sekai Nippo, a Tokyo daily newspaper, where is column on international affairs appears reguilarly in Japanese. He is a member of the Executive Steering Committee and a Fellow of the Aegis Trust, a U.K.-based public policy foundation dedicated to the worldwide prevention of genocide. He also serves as a Director and member of the Executive Committee of the U.K.-based Beth Shalom-Holocaust Memorial Centre. He is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, the Harvard Club of New York City, and Bridgeport Rotary. He has recently been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County (Connecticut) and the Greater Bridgeport Public Educational Fund.

 

††††††††††† Rubenstein's books and articles have appeared in French, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, Swedish, Polish and Hebrew. Among the countries in which he has lectured are France, England, Scotland, Italy, Federal Republic of Germany, the former German Democratic Republic, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Russia, Canada and Israel. Among thedoctoral dissertations devoted to Rubensteinís work are those of Didier Pollefeyt of Leuwen University in Belgium, Dr. Klaus Rohmann of Germany and Jocelyn Hellig of South Africa. Rubenstein's contributions to religious thought and the study of the Holocaust were the subject of a special session at the Annual Meeting of the American Academic of Religion in New Orleans, November 1990. Six scholars presented papers dealing with different facets of his work and he offered a response. Rubensteinís contributions to theology have recently been examined in depth by Zachary Braiterman of Syracuse University in (God) After Auschwitz (Princeton University Press: 1999) and by Michael Morgan in Beyond Auschwitz: Post-Holocaust Thought in America (Oxford University Press, 2001).

 

††††††††††† On January 8 and 9, 1994 Florida State University sponsored a scholars conference on Rubensteinís work and a banquet in honor of his seventieth birthday. At the banquet Rubenstein was presented with the manuscript of a Festschrift in his honor to which 29 scholars from the United States, England, Germany, and Israel contributed.The Festschrift was published under the title What Kind of God? by the University Press of America in September 1995.

 

††††††††††† There is general agreement among theologians that Rubensteinís first book, After Auschwitz, (Bobbs-Merrill:1966) initiated the contemporary debate on the meaning of the Holocaust in religious thought, both Jewish and Christian. A revised, expanded edition was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1992. Among his other books are The Cunning of History (Harper and Row: 1975), The Age of Triage (Beacon Press: 1983), and Approaches to Auschwitz (1986), co-authored with John K. Roth. An enlarged second edition will be published in June 2003 by Westminster/John Knox Press and in England by SCM Press. Writing in The New York Review of Books (June 28, 1978) about The Cunning of History, novelist William Styron commented: "Few books possess the power to leave the reader with that feeling of awareness which we call a sense of revelation. Richard L. Rubenstein's The Cunning of History seems to me to be one of these."

 

††††††††††† In addition to his historical and theological studies on the Holocaust, Rubenstein has explored the psychological interpretation of Judaism and Christianity in The Religious Imagination (Bobbs-Merrill: 1968; Beacon Press paperback) and My Brother Paul (Harper and Row: 1972), a psychoanalytic study of Paul of Tarsus. The Religious Imagination has been translated into French(Gallimard) and Italian (Ubaldini Editore). The Italian translation won the Portico d'Ottavia Literary Prize in 1977.

 

††††††††††† Rubenstein is married to Dr. Betty Rogers Rubenstein, an art historian and make their home in Fairfield, Connecticut.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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