Sarah Pessin


Dr. Sarah Pessin is a campus and civic bridge-builder active in intercultural, intergenerational, and interfaith bridge-building. An Interfaith Chair and Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought at the University of Denver, she is the recent recipient of an ACE Fellowship (2022-2023), has served as the Director of Judaic Studies (2008-2019), and has recently begun a part-time role as Director of Spiritual Life on her campus (Jan. 1, 2024).

Featured by the Association of American Colleges & Universities for her innovative interfaith work, Sarah has trained extensively with Interfaith America and has won grants for her interfaith and intercultural work from such orgs as the Mellon Foundation and the Council of Independent Colleges. Dedicated to cooperative leadership, she received an inaugural award for shared governance for her work as Faculty Senate President during the especially challenging onset of COVID (2020-2022).

Mixed media box, “Vayehi Or” (And there was light)

Sarah engages intertwined topics in Jewish, Islamic, and Christian philosophy, the philosophy of religion, ethics, interfaith civics, democracy, dialogue across difference, “hard hope,” coexistence, and meaning-making. She is the author of a book on the philosophical ethics of Solomon Ibn Gabirol (Cambridge University Press), nearly 100 additional research publications, and over 250 presentations.

She holds a PhD in Philosophy from The Ohio State University, an MA in Philosophy from Columbia University, and is also a collage artist and poet who enjoys performing stand-up comedy, goats, gardening, singalongs, and writing about politics and hope on

Digital collage, “Tops”

Digital collage, “Easy does it”

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