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Associate Professor of Religion
Contact Info

Office: Cleveland 106
Phone: (540) 568-3509
Fax: (540) 568-8072

Twitter: @alanlevinovitz


B.A., Stanford University

M.A. and Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School


Dr. Levinovitz focuses primarily on the relationship between religion, literature, and science, with particular attention to classical Chinese thought and comparative ethics. His most recent book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Scienceexamines the meaning of "natural" and argues that modern Western culture has divinized nature. He is currently working on another book project, The Gentleman and the Jester, which develops a binary typology of ethical education. Other interests include the tension between paratext (introductions, footnotes, etc.) and primary text, the significance of play, and the role of genre in ethical discourse.

Selected Publications:

Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science (Beacon Press: April 2020).

"Slaying the Chinese Jabberwock: Toward a Comparative Philosophy of Nonsense," Comparative Literature 69.3 (2017).

The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What We Eat (Regan Arts: April 2015)

"Dao with A Capital Dao: A Study in the Significance of Capital Letters," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 83.3 (2015).

"The Zhuangzi and You: Defining an Ideal Without Contradiction," Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10.2 (2012).

"Moby Dick's Hidden Philosopher: A Second Look at Stubb," Philosophy and Literature 32.2 (2008).

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