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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Manuel Cruz

Manuel Cruz

Janet Ayers Academic Center 2033
(615) 460-6132

I came to Belmont University after receiving my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School, where I wrote on the significance of God in the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and Emmanuel Levinas (Dissertation: The Ethical Passing of God directed by Jean-Luc Marion).  I specialize in Continental philosophy and religious thought from Kant to the present, the history of metaphysics, and Christian thought from the Patristic and Medieval period.  My research interests traverse the fields of contemporary theology and philosophy with special focus on the the moral significance of God, Modern ideas of person, and the theo-political triad of forgiveness, hospitality, and reconciliation.  I teach First-year and Cornerstone seminars in theology and philosophy, as well as courses in Scripture and hermeneutics.

I want students to discover and interrogate the tensions and harmonies that reverberate throughout Scripture, the Christian tradition, and contemporary philosophical thought.   My hope is that each student will come away with meaningful knowledge, hospitality for other ways of thought, and questions that pierce to the heart of the matter at hand.  The only questions worth asking are the ones that never come to a close: the question of God, of love and the good, of meaning and knowledge, of suffering and healing.  Among my favorite courses to teach at Belmont is Life, Power, and the “Death of God, where first-year students and I pour through modern classics in theology, philosophy, and literature, exploring the questions and experiences that define the human condition: love, suffering, power, and God.  When I am not in the classroom, you may find me lost in thought at the Leu Art Gallery, enjoying a cup of coffee at the library, or simply hanging on the rock wall.


Ph.D., Philosophy of Religions, University of Chicago Divinity School
M.A., Philosophy, SUNY Buffalo
M.T.S., Theology, University of Notre Dame
B.A., Biolgy; Religious Studies, University of Rochester


  • Review of Discovering Levinas by Michael Morgan in The Journal of Religion 89 (October 2009) 


  • On Being with Krita Tippett: Public Conversations on Religion, Meaning, & Ethics: