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Sarah Pessin is Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Emil and Eva Hecht Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Denver, where she joined the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Judaic Studies in Fall 2004. Director of the Center for Judaic Studies since Fall 2009, Sarah works on various topics in Jewish and Islamic philosophy, mysticism, and poetry, Neoplatonisms, medieval philosophy, comparative philosophies of religion, as well as on topics in health and healing and cross-cultural dialogue. She is interested in the nature of the sacred and its relation to inter-human engagement and response.
Medieval and Modern Jewish Philosophy; Neoplatonisms (including the transmission of texts from Greek into Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin medieval traditions); comparative Jewish, Islamic, and Christian Medieval Philosophy; Post-Holocaust Theology
Currently, I am involved in a number of research projects, including:
* the implications of differing conceptions of matter (ancient and contemporary) for our understanding of the methods at play in metaphysics, science, and theology
* questions about intercultural charity and the methodological implications of "failures of charity" (including the tacit employment of Christian lenses) in various canonical tellings of the history of philosophy
* Ibn Gabirol's two Neoplatonic conceptions of matter in connection with larger questions about Neoplatonic mereology and Plotinian v. Porphyrrian v. Avicennian conceptions of substance, quality, and quantity
* on the nature of color in Plotinus and Ibn Gabirol
* Jewish Theologies of Anxiety and Impossibility in Levinas and Derrida (in relation to a Jewish theology of wandering/exile)
* Greek, Islamic, and Jewish Neoplatonic "theologies of desire", and implications for (1) Jerusalem as Athens, and (2) retelling the story of "emanation" in the history of philosophy
PDF file of an essay originally published online in 2011 in volume 2 of the University of Toronto's Journal of Jewish Thought