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Hollander Dana, Associate Professor

Dana Hollander

Associate Professor

Department of Religious Studies

Area(s) of Interest:


Member of MA Program in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory | Associate Member of Department of Philosophy

Research & Supervisory Interests

My primary research areas are Modern Jewish Thought, 20th-century French and German Philosophy (especially the phenomenological tradition), and German-Jewish History and Culture.  I have a secondary research interest in conceptions of religion and secularity in democratic legal cultures.

My book Exemplarity and Chosenness is a combined study of Jacques Derrida’s philosophy from his earliest writings on Husserl to his considerations of “philosophical nationality” during the 1980s to his later writings on ethico-politico-religious themes, and of Franz Rosenzweig’s philosophy of Judaism, especially his theory of election and messianism.  I am completing a book on ethics, law and the theme of “the neighbor” in the works of the German-Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen.  My graduate courses are designed to introduce students to core figures in modern Jewish thought and in continental philosophy and religious thought, including Mendelssohn, Husserl, Heidegger, Cohen, Rosenzweig, Levinas, and Derrida, and their receptions. Details of my teaching and research activities are on my home page:


  • Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. in Humanities, 2001
  • Johns Hopkins University, M.A. in Philosophy, 1996
  • Oberlin College, B.A. in History, 1987



  • Religion and Politics (Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016; crosslisted with Department of Political Science)
  • Continental Philosophy of Religion (Fall 2011, Winter 2015; crosslisted with Department of Philosophy)
  • Sovereignty and Secularization (Winter 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012)
  • Modern Jewish Thought (Fall 2004, Fall 2005, Winter 2014; crosslisted with Department of Philosophy)
  • God, Reason, and Evil (Winter 2003, Fall 2005, Winter 2012, Fall 2015)
  • Skepticism, Atheism, and Religious Faith (Fall 2002, Fall 2007, Fall 2013, Fall 2014)
  • Topics in Western Religious Thought: Phenomenology and Theology (Winter 2010)
  • Topics in Western Religious Thought: Spinoza, Kant, Mendelssohn (Fall 2006)
  • Independent Study: The (Theo-)Political: Recent Continental Approaches (Fall 2008)
  • Independent Study: Self and Other (Department of Philosophy; Winter 2003)
  • Independent Study: The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (Department of Philosophy; Winter 2005)
  • Independent Study: Judaism and the (Theo-)Political (Department of Philosophy; Winter 2009)
  • Independent Study: Forgiveness - Atonement - Reconciliation (Department of Philosophy, Winter 2012)
  • Independent Study: Rosenzweig and Levinas (Arts & Science Program, Fall 2012)
  • Independent Study: Forgiveness - Atonement - Reconciliation (Fall 2014)

(Note: Since 2006, all the graduate seminars listed below have also been crosslisted in the MA Program for Cultural Studies and Critical Theory.)

  • On and Around Derrida (Winter 2016)
  • The Theopolitical in Continental Philosophy and Jewish Thought (Fall 2013)
  • Forgiveness - Atonement - Reconciliation (Winter 2012, Fall 2014)
  • Rosenzweig and Levinas (Winter 2010, Fall 2012)
  • Judaism and the (Theo-)Political (Winter 2009)
  • The (Theo-)Political: Recent Continental Approaches (Fall 2008)
  • Creation Revelation Redemption (with Aaron Hughes, Winter 2007)
  • Heidegger and Derrida (Winter 2006)
  • The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (Winter 2005, Fall 2007)
  • Topics in Modern Jewish Thought (Fall 2004, Fall 2006)
  • Messianism and Ethics (with Travis Kroeker, Winter 2003)
  • The Philosophy of Jacques Derrida (Fall 2002)




Journal Articles

  • "Understanding Law ('Gesetz' and 'Recht') in Hermann Cohen, with Help from the Early Strauss," in Idealistic Studies, vol. 44, no. 2/3 (Summer/Fall 2014, published June 2015), special issue on "New Directions in the Thought of Leo Strauss," ed. Jeffrey Bernstein, 263-79.
  • Introduction (with Aaron W. Hughes) to Special Issue: "Re-Imagining the Historical in Jewish Philosophy:  Beyond Historicization," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, vol. 20 (2012), no. 1: vii-xi.
  • "A Thought in Which Everything Has Been Thought': On the Messianic Idea in Levinas," in Symposium. Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale, vol. 14, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 133-59.
  • "The Significance of Franz Rosenzweig's Retrieval of Chosenness," in Jewish Studies Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 1 (March 2009).  Special Issue: "'A Covenant to the People, a Light to the Nations': Universalism, Exceptionalism, and the Problem of Chosenness in Jewish Thought"
  • Introduction (with Joel Kaminsky) to Special Issue: "‘A Covenant to the People, a Light to the Nations’: Universalism, Exceptionalism and the Problem of Chosenness in Jewish Thought," in Jewish Studies Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 1 (March 2009).
  • "Is Deconstruction a Jewish Science?  Reflections on 'Jewish Philosophy' in Light of Jacques Derrida's Judéïtés," Philosophy Today, vol. 50, no. 1 (Spring 2006), Special Issue: "Jewish Philosophy Today," ed. Claire Elise Katz.
  • "Buber, Cohen, Rosenzweig, and the Politics of Cultural Affirmation," Jewish Studies Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 1 (March 2006).
    • German version: "Buber, Cohen, Rosenzweig und die Politik kultureller Affirmation," trans. Karen Barkemeyer and Arnd Wedemeyer, in Transversal. Zeitschrift für jüdische Studien, vol. 6 (2005), no. 1. Special Issue: Konstellationen Jüdischer Philosophie" ("Constellations of Jewish Philosophy"), ed. Daniel Wildmann and Ulrich Wyrwa.
  • "Some Remarks on Love and Law in Hermann Cohen’s Ethics of the Neighbor" in Journal for Textual Reasoning, vol. 4, no. 1 (November 2005).  Special Issue: "The Ethics of the Neighbor."
  • "On the Significance of the Messianic Idea in Rosenzweig," CrossCurrents, vol. 53,  no. 4 (Winter 2004).
  • "Messianische Gespenster," trans. Arnd Wedemeyer, Die Philosophin. Forum für Philosophie und feministische Theorie, no. 21 (2000).
  • "Franz Rosenzweig on Nation, Translation, and Judaism," Philosophy Today (Winter 1994).