Bruce Ellis Benson is Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University & Executive Director, Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology. He taught for over 20 years at Wheaton College.
Although trained in the analytic tradition while a student at Wheaton, Dr. Benson’s philosophical interests have been largely formed by the continental tradition. At Leuven, he studied in the phenomenological tradition and the history of philosophy. His studies in Germany as Fulbright Fellow at the Hegel Archives enabled him to take part in the Hegel Kolloquium at the archives, follow courses and seminars with Otto Pöggeler and Bernhard Waldenfels, and have extended visits with Hans-Georg Gadamer, whose hermeneutics have greatly influenced his work in various ways. His time as a visiting scholar at the New School and a guest lecturer in philosophy of religion at Union Theological Seminary were broadening philosophically, theologically, and politically.
Dr. Benson’s research interests include the following areas. The first is the “theological turn” in phenomenology and work at the intersection of continental philosophy and theology. Not only does he write in this area, but also he is co-founder and co-secretary of the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology (1997) and a member of the steering committee of the Theology and Continental Philosophy Group of the American Academy of Religion. Graven Ideologies and The Phenomenology of Prayer are examples of work in this area. The second is the topic of hermeneutics and interpretation theory, with Hermeneutics at the Crossroads being an example of that work. A third area is aesthetics in general and philosophy of music in particular. The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue is an example of that interest. Finally, Dr. Benson’s work has also turned in an increasingly political direction. Evangelicals and Empire – an analysis of American evangelicalism from the perspective of the empire theory of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri – is part of that project.
Ph.D. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), 1993
Ph.L. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), 1987
B.A. Wheaton College, 1983