Sarah Pessin

Professor of Philosophy & Interfaith Chair • Department of Philosophy & Center for Judaic Studies • University of Denver

Some forthcoming articles:

“Lizards, Lasers, and Liturgical Politics: The Drama of Word-Wounds from Racism to Antisemitism,” Special Issue of Religions journal, “Jewish Thought in Times of Crisis,” eds. Elias Sacks and Andrea Dara Cooper

“Ibn Gabirol: Virtue, Sensation, and the Hidden Pulse of Receptivity,” Jewish Virtue Ethics, eds. Geoffrey Claussen and Alex Green (Albany: SUNY University Press)

“Jewish Emanationisms,” Oxford Handbook of Jewish Philosophy, eds. Paul Franks and Yitzhak Melamed (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

“Ibn Gabirol,” for The Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion

“Maimonides,” for The Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion

“Self-knowledge & the Horizon of Humility in Jewish Thought,” for Ax:son Johnson Foundation volume on Self Knowledge (Stolpe Publishing, Sweden).

“Chains, Trees, and Ibn Gabirol’s Spirit-to-Body Boundary: Substance, Spiritual Matter, and the Principle of Matter as Higher Cause,” in Solomon Ibn Gabirol: Sources, Doctrines, and Influence on Medieval Philosophy, eds. Nicola Polloni, Marienza Benedetto, and Federico Dal Bo (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols).

“When a Part is not a Part?: Hylomorphic Emanationist Mereology in Ibn Gabirol,” forthcoming in On What There Was: Parts and Wholes, edited by Andrew Arlig (Belgium: Brepols)

Some in-progress work:


Pause and Pardon: Early Levinas on Embodiment, Effort, and Excess

Uncomfortable Virtues: Responsible New Paths to Ethical Co-Existence


Update for “Ibn Gabirol,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Rosenzweig for the Contemporary Moment,” essay (co-authored with Elias Sacks) for special issue of Political Theology journal, November 2021

“On the Greco-Jewish Trinity: Sacred Compresence in Levinas, Ibn Gabirol, and Plotinus,” special issue of Modern Theology journal, “Constructive Jewish Theology,” ed. Stephen Kepnes

“Forgiving Levinas,” Festschrift for Elliot R. Wolfson, eds. Susannah Heschel, Glenn Dynner, and Shaul Magid

“Medieval Jewish Philosophy,” co-authoring with Peter Adamson, for The Routledge Companion to Jewish Philosophy, eds. Ty Goldschmidt and Daniel Rynhold (New York; London: Routledge)

Current Edited and Single-Authored Books:

Editor of “The Jewish Tradition” (section of curated materials, including original translations) in Medieval Philosophy: A Multicultural Reader, edited by Bruce V. Foltz, with foreword by Bernard McGinn, Part 4, pp. 367-530. London, New York, Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic, April 2019.

Ibn Gabirol’s Theology of Desire: Matter and Method in Jewish Medieval Neoplatonism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Politics of Pause, w/ Ben Noys – New Polis – Levinas’ “covenant-evental pausality” @ 24:15-53:16)
How to ‘interfaith your calendar’ and other religiously inclusive tips for your workplace…
On the Neoplatonic Spirit/Body Boundary

Hate & Protect

In a “Politics of Responsibility” you have to protect people whose ideas you hate…

Levinas’ pause

A project in progress on phenomenologies of pardon and pause; read more about current Levinasian projects.


Roles include Interfaith Chair & Team Leader for DU’s Religious Inclusivity initiative and instigator of the “Interfaith Your Calendar” project!

Ibn Gabirol book

Read about Ibn Gabirol’s Theology of Desire (Cambridge 2013)


[some light numerological bibliomancy]

Medieval Videos

Some narrated explorations of cosmo-ontology in a Greco-Judeo-Islamic key.

Recent Research

Some recent, current, and forthcoming work.

Social Action Site

DU’s Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site aims to foster inclusivity & equity.

Interview on History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Episode 156 on Jewish Neoplatonism (30 mins, audio, 2013)

Interview on Colorado Public Radio

Discussion of “Hate & Protect” Project (13 mins, audio, 2018)

Blog post for Cambridge U Press

On why Neoplatonic cosmo-ontology is not “invisible topography” or a search for “invisible Kansases” (2013)

Interview on Ibn Gabirol book

On the New Books in Philosophy podcast (1 hr, 14 min, audio, 2014)

Featured in AAC&U Cover Story on Interfaith in Higher Ed

[Better religious inclusivity via calendaring best-practices!]

On Stage at Buntport Theater

[Repeat offender in the Great Debate, The Narrators, and other comedic formats!]

Mellon, IFYC, AACU, CIC Grantee

Interfaith Chair and Team Leader for Religious Inclusivity project @ DU with multiple recent interfaith grants.