B.A., York University
M.T.S., M.A., and Ph.D, Harvard University
Nancy Levene is a scholar of Western modernity as it is conceived in various sources – philosophical, literary, theological, political, and psychoanalytic. Her essays have concerned periodization and canon, history and origins, concepts of the West and the Bible, and questions of knowledge, truth, and critique. Her first book, Spinoza’s Revelation: Religion, Democracy, and Reason (Cambridge, 2004), takes up Spinoza’s exploration of the principles of democracy in light of religion, which might be either obstacle or support. Her new book, Powers of Distinction: On Religion and Modernity (Chicago, 2017), is a wide-ranging critique of the West in light of modernity’s elementary forms, retrieved to show what might come of meeting the ethical challenge of distinction head on. She is currently at work on a project that considers the motif of the end of metaphysics as an occasion to ask what philosophy is for and what thinking more generally asks of readers, citizens, and societies. Professor Levene serves on the editorial board of the Social Science Research Council blog on secularism, religion, and the public sphere, The Immanent Frame, and has recently co-authored a new doctoral field in religion and modernity, both of which deploy religion as a site of multidisciplinary energy. Her courses at Yale include readings of particular thinkers and themes and the evaluation of dominant narratives and frameworks.