Avron P Kulak

Department of Humanities

Associate Professor
Humanities Program Coordinator

Office: Vanier College, 219
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 66987
Emailakulak@yorku.ca

Professor Avron Kulak teaches in the Department of Humanities, the Graduate Program in Humanities, and the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and philosophy in modern European thought. He is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which religion and philosophy are dialogically interconnected – how reason has a faithful core and faith a self-critical rationality – and how the ethical underpinnings of their interconnection provide an essential framework for addressing thinkers from Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant through to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Derrida.

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Research
Professor Avron Kulak teaches in the Department of Humanities, the Graduate Program in Humanities, and the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought. In both his teaching and his research he focuses on the relationship between religion and philosophy in modern European thought. He is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which religion and philosophy are dialogically interconnected – how reason has a faithful core and faith a self-critical rationality – and how the ethical underpinnings of their interconnection provide an essential framework for addressing thinkers from Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant through to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Derrida. Overall, he endeavors to explore how modern hermeneutics is comprised by the ethical implications of the idea that faith and reason exist only insofar as they are each constituted through the other.

Teaching
In teaching courses on the relationships among faith, reason, and atheism, on the one hand, and among religious, philosophical, and literary narrative, on the other hand, Professor Kulak views the classroom as a place to engage – to learn about – the very process of learning. He thus makes central to the courses that he teaches the study of the hermeneutical principles and values that readers not only find in but also bring to the text. Because the classroom itself comprises a diverse community, he finds an interdisciplinary approach to learning indispensable, insofar as it provides students and teacher alike with the opportunity to think through the relationship between divergent discourses by posing the question of whether each embraces the values that foster and sustain difference.

Service
Professor Kulak finds the opportunity to contribute to the process of collegial governance to be a true privilege. As a faculty member at York he has served on committees in the Department of Humanities, as well as in the Graduate Programs in Humanities and in Social and Political Thought. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group in the American Academy of Religion.

Degrees

PhD in Social and Political Thought , York University
MA in Social and Political Thought , York University
BA (Honors) in Individualized Studies, York University


Research Interests

Philosophical and Religious Values in European Thought: Plato, The Bible, Descartes Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Derrida

All Publications

Book Chapters

'Between Singularity and Plurality: Kierkegaard and the Paradox of Absolute Difference.' in Kierkegaard, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism, ed. Andrew J. Burgess, Mercer University Press, forthcoming fall 2014.

“On the Creation and Fall of Modernity,” in Parcours Judaïques XII, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, edited by Danièle Paycha, forthcoming, May, 2014

“Nietzsche, the Bible, and the Memory of Modernity,” in Parcours Judaïques XI, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, edited by Danièle Paycha, September 2011

'Descartes and the Infinity of the Other.' European Culture in a Changing World: Between Nationalism and Globalism. Ed. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe. Amersham: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2004. 140-151.

'Divine and Graven Images: The Contemporaneity of Theory and the Bible.' Difference In Philosophy of Religion. Ed. Philip Goodchild. Burlington: Ashgate Publications, 2003. 33-44.

'Between Biblical Religion and Deconstruction: The Possibility of Repetition.' Religion With/out Religion. Ed. James Olthuis. London: Routledge Press, 2002. 96-109.

'Nietzsche and the Origins of Historical Consciousness: Reflections on the Secular and Religious.' The Holy and The Worldly. Ed. Danièle Paycha and Bernard Zelechow. Les Cahiers du CICC, No. 13, Cergy-Pontoise, October 2001. 48-59

Journal Articles

“Kierkegaard’s Concept of Paganism: The Socratic Analogy,” in Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, Resources, edited by Jon Stewart, forthcoming, 2014

“Reason as Love, Love as History, History as Faith: Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Christianity,” in Acta Kierkegaardiana, Volume 6: Kierkegaard and Human Nature, May, 2013

“Kierkegaard’s Heretical Moment: Love, History, and Hermeneutics,” in Kierkegaard at Year Two Hundred: The Challenge of the Single Individual in the Present Age, a special issue of European Legacy, co-edited with Mark Cauchi, Volume 8, Number 7, December 2013

“Kierkegaard’s Heretical Moment: Love, History, and Hermeneutics,” in Kierkegaard at Year Two Hundred: The Challenge of the Single Individual in the Present Age, a special issue of European Legacy co-edited with Mark Cauchi, December 2013

“Between Kierkegaard and Kant: Dividing Faith and Reason,” in the Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook, July, 2012

“The Religious, the Secular, and the Natural Sciences: Nietzsche and the Death of God,” in The European Legacy, Vol. 16, no. 6, Oct. 2011, pp. 785-797

'Kierkegaard, Derrida, and the Context of Context(s).' Philosophy and Theology 17.1&2 (2007): 133-155.

'Derrida and Kierkegaard: Thinking the Fall.' The European Legacy 6.1 (2001): 305-318.

Approach To Teaching

In teaching courses on the relationships among faith, reason, and atheism, on the one hand, and among religious, philosophical, and literary narrative, on the other hand, Professor Kulak views the classroom as a place to engage – to learn about – the very process of learning. He thus makes central to the courses that he teaches the study of the hermeneutical principles and values that readers not only find in but also bring to the text. Because the classroom itself comprises a diverse community, he finds an interdisciplinary approach to learning indispensable, insofar as it provides students and teacher alike with the opportunity to think through the relationships among divergent discourses by posing the question of whether each embraces the values that foster and sustain difference.

Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2017-2018 AP/HUMA1840 9.0  Existence, Freedom and Meaning: The Idea of Human in European Thought LECT  
Fall/Winter 2017-2018 AP/HUMA4190 6.0  Faith, Reason, and Modern Self-consciousness in European Thought SEMR  


Professor Avron Kulak teaches in the Department of Humanities, the Graduate Program in Humanities, and the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and philosophy in modern European thought. He is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which religion and philosophy are dialogically interconnected – how reason has a faithful core and faith a self-critical rationality – and how the ethical underpinnings of their interconnection provide an essential framework for addressing thinkers from Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant through to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Derrida.


Research
Professor Avron Kulak teaches in the Department of Humanities, the Graduate Program in Humanities, and the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought. In both his teaching and his research he focuses on the relationship between religion and philosophy in modern European thought. He is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which religion and philosophy are dialogically interconnected – how reason has a faithful core and faith a self-critical rationality – and how the ethical underpinnings of their interconnection provide an essential framework for addressing thinkers from Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant through to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Derrida. Overall, he endeavors to explore how modern hermeneutics is comprised by the ethical implications of the idea that faith and reason exist only insofar as they are each constituted through the other.

Teaching
In teaching courses on the relationships among faith, reason, and atheism, on the one hand, and among religious, philosophical, and literary narrative, on the other hand, Professor Kulak views the classroom as a place to engage – to learn about – the very process of learning. He thus makes central to the courses that he teaches the study of the hermeneutical principles and values that readers not only find in but also bring to the text. Because the classroom itself comprises a diverse community, he finds an interdisciplinary approach to learning indispensable, insofar as it provides students and teacher alike with the opportunity to think through the relationship between divergent discourses by posing the question of whether each embraces the values that foster and sustain difference.

Service
Professor Kulak finds the opportunity to contribute to the process of collegial governance to be a true privilege. As a faculty member at York he has served on committees in the Department of Humanities, as well as in the Graduate Programs in Humanities and in Social and Political Thought. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group in the American Academy of Religion.

Degrees

PhD in Social and Political Thought , York University
MA in Social and Political Thought , York University
BA (Honors) in Individualized Studies, York University

Research Interests:

Philosophical and Religious Values in European Thought: Plato, The Bible, Descartes Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Derrida

All Publications

Book Chapters

'Between Singularity and Plurality: Kierkegaard and the Paradox of Absolute Difference.' in Kierkegaard, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism, ed. Andrew J. Burgess, Mercer University Press, forthcoming fall 2014.

“On the Creation and Fall of Modernity,” in Parcours Judaïques XII, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, edited by Danièle Paycha, forthcoming, May, 2014

“Nietzsche, the Bible, and the Memory of Modernity,” in Parcours Judaïques XI, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, edited by Danièle Paycha, September 2011

'Descartes and the Infinity of the Other.' European Culture in a Changing World: Between Nationalism and Globalism. Ed. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe. Amersham: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2004. 140-151.

'Divine and Graven Images: The Contemporaneity of Theory and the Bible.' Difference In Philosophy of Religion. Ed. Philip Goodchild. Burlington: Ashgate Publications, 2003. 33-44.

'Between Biblical Religion and Deconstruction: The Possibility of Repetition.' Religion With/out Religion. Ed. James Olthuis. London: Routledge Press, 2002. 96-109.

'Nietzsche and the Origins of Historical Consciousness: Reflections on the Secular and Religious.' The Holy and The Worldly. Ed. Danièle Paycha and Bernard Zelechow. Les Cahiers du CICC, No. 13, Cergy-Pontoise, October 2001. 48-59

Journal Articles

“Kierkegaard’s Concept of Paganism: The Socratic Analogy,” in Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, Resources, edited by Jon Stewart, forthcoming, 2014

“Reason as Love, Love as History, History as Faith: Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Christianity,” in Acta Kierkegaardiana, Volume 6: Kierkegaard and Human Nature, May, 2013

“Kierkegaard’s Heretical Moment: Love, History, and Hermeneutics,” in Kierkegaard at Year Two Hundred: The Challenge of the Single Individual in the Present Age, a special issue of European Legacy, co-edited with Mark Cauchi, Volume 8, Number 7, December 2013

“Kierkegaard’s Heretical Moment: Love, History, and Hermeneutics,” in Kierkegaard at Year Two Hundred: The Challenge of the Single Individual in the Present Age, a special issue of European Legacy co-edited with Mark Cauchi, December 2013

“Between Kierkegaard and Kant: Dividing Faith and Reason,” in the Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook, July, 2012

“The Religious, the Secular, and the Natural Sciences: Nietzsche and the Death of God,” in The European Legacy, Vol. 16, no. 6, Oct. 2011, pp. 785-797

'Kierkegaard, Derrida, and the Context of Context(s).' Philosophy and Theology 17.1&2 (2007): 133-155.

'Derrida and Kierkegaard: Thinking the Fall.' The European Legacy 6.1 (2001): 305-318.


Teaching:

Approach To Teaching
In teaching courses on the relationships among faith, reason, and atheism, on the one hand, and among religious, philosophical, and literary narrative, on the other hand, Professor Kulak views the classroom as a place to engage – to learn about – the very process of learning. He thus makes central to the courses that he teaches the study of the hermeneutical principles and values that readers not only find in but also bring to the text. Because the classroom itself comprises a diverse community, he finds an interdisciplinary approach to learning indispensable, insofar as it provides students and teacher alike with the opportunity to think through the relationships among divergent discourses by posing the question of whether each embraces the values that foster and sustain difference.


Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2017-2018 AP/HUMA1840 9.0  Existence, Freedom and Meaning: The Idea of Human in European Thought LECT  
Fall/Winter 2017-2018 AP/HUMA4190 6.0  Faith, Reason, and Modern Self-consciousness in European Thought SEMR