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School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music

Dr Joseph Rivera

Theology, Philosophy, & Music

Name: Dr Joseph Rivera
Department: Theology, Philosophy, & Music
Work Area: Theology and Philosophy
Role: Lecturer
Phone Number: 01 700 7053
Email Address:
Room: AHC S203
Campus: DCU All Hallows Campus

Biographical Details

I lecture and conduct research on a variety of topics. Trained in the fluid discipline of systematic theology, I am conversant with the modern religious thought as its spans from Schleiermacher to Barth and Rahner, but I work primarily between classical theology (St. Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Thomas Aquinas among others) and continental philosophy, which includes figures such as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and their French heirs: Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Topics of research interest include theological anthropology, theology in a secular age, the very idea of philosophy of religion, and finally, political theology and question of religion in the public square. The last topic explores the value of John Rawls and Richard Rorty for political theology. I also work within the domain of sacramental theology broadly conceived, especially as it may relate to the lived experience of religion. 

I released my first monograph in 2015, which critically explores insights in the work of Michel Henry, a French philosopher of religion in the school of phenomenology and existentialism. His work as earned international accolades. An archive of his work and a journal devoted to focused study of his writings (Revue internationale Michel Henry) was established in 2010, at Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, as well as research centres devoted to his work in Freiburg, Germany and in Beirut, Lebanon. He also has a readership in Japan, given that he delivered several lectures there in the early 1980s.

I am currently working on a second book project that explores the concept of the world from theological, philosophical and cultural perspectives. While I continue to work within post-Husserlian phenomenology, I also include in this project other philosophical voices from the anglophone world, such as Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty. Modern theological figures such as Karl Barth will be featured.
Originally from a small town in Missouri, I earned my BA in Religion and History at Northwestern University in Chicago. I then pursued further graduate studies in Boston and St. Louis before completing my PhD in Theology and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Edinburgh. I came to DCU in the Autumn of 2013 as a full-time lecturer in the School of Theology, Philosophy and Music.

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