Dr. Stephen Minister


Stephen Minister, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Augustana University
Department of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics
2001 South Summit Ave
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57197
Humanities #216


Ph.D., Fordham University, 2006. (Dissertation director: Merold Westphal).
M.A., Fordham University, 2004
B.A., Philosophy, Seattle Pacific University, 1999
B.S., Mathematics, Seattle Pacific University, 1999

Areas of Specialization

Ethics, Continental Philosophy, Levinas

Areas of Competence

History of Western Philosophy; Modern Philosophy; Social and Political Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion; Logic


Augustana University, South Dakota, 2007-present; Associate Professor

  • Global Ethics
  • Global Poverty
  • Contemporary Ethical Theory
  • Human Rights: Theory and Practice
  • Development, Poverty, and Ethics: What's our responsibility? (travel to Chiapas, Mexico)
  • The Rainforest, Eco-tourism, and Fair Trade: Finding Solutions to Poverty in Guatemala (travel to Guatemala)
  • Inside the Revolution: Life in Socialist Cuba (travel to Cuba)
  • Marx and Modern Life
  • The Ethics and Politics of Commitment
  • Contemporary Moral Issues
  • The Ethics of Food
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Ethical Perspectives
  • Understanding Good and Evil (Moral Psychology)
  • Existentialism
  • Our Philosophical Heritage II (Modern Philosophy) 
  • Reason, Faith, and the Search for Meaning 
  • Dimensions of the Self
  • What Does it Mean to Be Human?
  • Formal Logic
  • Critical Thinking

Fordham University, New York, 2004-07; Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow

  • Philosophy of Human Rights
  • Philosophical Ethics
  • Philosophy of Human Nature


Kierkegaard’s God and the Good Life, co-edited with J. Aaron Simmons and Michael Strawser (Indiana University Press, 2017).

De-Facing the Other: Reason, Ethics, and Politics after Difference (Marquette University Press, 2012).  Monograph considering the practical significance for Emmanuel Levinas's work for reason, ethics, and politics.

Reexamining Deconstruction and Determinate Religion: Toward a Religion with Religion, co-edited with J. Aaron Simmons (Duquesne University Press, 2012).



“An Ethics for Adults? Kierkegaard and the Ambiguity of Exaltation," in Kierkegaard’s God and the Good Life, eds. Stephen Minister, J. Aaron Simmons, and Michael Strawser (under contract with Indiana University Press).

“To the People Themselves: The Value of Phenomenology for Global Ethics” in Phenomenology for the Twenty-First Century, ed. J. Aaron Simmons and J. Edward Hackett (under contract with Palgrave MacMillan).  (Solicited)

“Food, Hunger, and Property” in Just Food: Philosophy, Justice, and Food, ed. J. M. Dieterle (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). (Solicited)

"Faith Seeking Understanding" in Reexamining Deconstruction and Determinate Religion: Toward a Religion with Religion, eds. J. Aaron Simmons and Stephen Minister (Duquesne University Press, 2012).

"Emotions, Ethical Norms, and Pluralism," Journal of Scriptural Reasoning (Winter 2012).

"Living Together in a Haunted House," written for the Larson Endowment for Ecumenical Studies forum, "Facing the Stranger: Engaging Other Religious Traditions" (October 2012, Sioux Falls).  Published online.

"Levinas and the Philosophy of Religion," Philosophy Compass (October 2010). Co-authored with Jackson Murtha (Solicited).

"The Optics of Responsibility," Southwest Philosophy Review (July 2009).

"Works of Justice, Works of Love: Kierkegaard, Levinas, and an Ethics beyond Difference" in Kierkegaard and Levinas: Ethics, Politics, and Religion, eds. David Wood and J. Aaron Simmons (Indiana University Press, 2008). (Solicited)

"From Perpetual Peace to the Face of the Other: A Levinasian Reframing of Human Rights," Philosophy in the Contemporary World (Fall 2007).

"Derrida's Inhospitable Desert of the Messianic: Religion within the Limits of Justice Alone," Heythrop Journal (March 2007).

"In Praise of Wanderers and Insomniacs: Economy, Excess, and Self-Overcoming in Nietzsche and Levinas," Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology 37:3 (October 2006).

"Intersubjectivity, Responsibility, and Reason: Levinas and the 'New Husserl,'" Philosophy Today 50:5, special volume entitled "Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy" (SPEP Supplement 2006).

"Forging Identities and Respecting Otherness: Levinas, Badiou, and the Ethics of Commitment," Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 9:2, special volume entitled "Contemporary Issues in Continental Ethics" (Fall 2005).

"Is there a Teleological Suspension of the Philosophical? Kierkegaard, Levinas, and the End of Philosophy," Philosophy Today 47:2 (Summer 2003).

"The Ethics of Negative Soccer" in Soccer and Philosophy, ed. Ted Richards (Open Court, 2010).  Selections re-published in "Pop Goes Philosophy" column at Popmatters.com.

Review of Aaron Simmons’ God and the Other (Indiana UP) on “The Church and Postmodern Culture” blog, ed. James K.A. Smith (http://theotherjournal.com/churchandpomo/2011/06/13/god-and-the-other-symposium-part-2/).

Review of Alan Schrift's Twentieth-Century French Philosophy (Blackwell Publishing), International Philosophical Quarterly (Fall 2007). 

Works in Progress

The Complexity of Global Ethics.  Monograph using techniques from deconstructive phenomenology to deepen ethical reflection on contemporary global issues.

“How to Read Rorty as a Political Theologian: And Why We Should,” for Rorty and the Prophetic: Jewish Engagements with a Secular Philosopher, eds. Jacob Goodson and Brad Elliot Stone.  (Solicited)


“A Relational Foundation for Global Justice,” presented at the International Conference on Global Justice and the Global South (April 2104, University of Delhi, India).

“Do We Have a Right to Food? Hunger, Property, and Ethics,” presented as the keynote presentation at the Red River Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (November 2013, Concordia College, Minnesota).

“Food, Hunger, and Property,” presented at the 30th International Social Philosophy Conference (July 2013, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut).

"A Levinasian Approach to the Ethics of Development," presented at the North American Levinas Society (May 2012, University of Anchorage, Alaska).

"Questions in the Ethics of International Development," presented an an Augustana College Research and Scholarly Activities Committee Luncheon (April 2012, Sioux Falls).

"Difference, Responsibility, and Politics: A Levinasian Account of the Political," presented at the South Dakota Philosophy Conference (November 2011, Sioux Falls, South Dakota).

"From the Divine Wisdom Within to a Weapon of War: The itinerary of reason in Levinas's early writings," presented at the North American Levinas Society, "Celebrating Totality and Infinity at 50" (May 2011, Texas A&M).

"Emotions, Ethical Norms, and Pluralism," presented at the North American Levinas Society, "Celebrating Totality and Infinity at 50" (May 2011, Texas A&M).

"Hearing 'Social Justice' in Levinas's Work," presented at the conference "Readings of Difficult Freedom" hosted by the Societe internationale de recherches Emmanuel Levinas (SIREL) and the North American Levinas Society (NALS) (July 2010, Toulouse, France).

"Global Poverty: Responsibility, Challenges, and Hope," presented at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University Center (May 2010, Sioux Falls). (Solicited)

"Human Rights: Promise, Problems, and Indigenous Communities" (with Margaret Koenig) presented at the 22nd Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, "Striving for Peace: A Question of Will" (March 2010, Augsburg College, Minneapolis).

"Postmodernism: For and Against," presented an an Augustana College Research and Scholarly Activities Committee Luncheon (December 2009, Sioux Falls).

"Phenomenology beyond the visual," presented at the Southwestern Philosophical Society, 70th Annual Meeting (November 2008, Kansas City).

"'One must not sleep, one must philosophize!' Levinas's postmodern faith in reason," presented at Augustana College research colloquium (November 2008, Sioux Falls, South Dakota). (Solicited)

"In Praise of Rationality: Levinas's Faith in Reason," presented at the North American Levinas Society, "Levinas and the Sacred" (September 2008, Seattle University).

"Development and the Human Good: Beyond Economics," presented at the 20th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, "Striving for Peace: Investing in Community" (March 2008, Concordia College, Minnesota).

"Exclusion without Violence: An Agonistic Approach to Religious Pluralism," presented at the American Academy of Religion, Southwest Meeting (March 2008, Dallas).

"Obligation and/or Responsibility: Moral phenomenology with Husserl and Levinas," presented at the Nordic Society for Phenomenology, 5th Annual Meeting, "Self and Other" (April 2007, Copenhagen, Denmark).

"The Absolute Made Relevant: The possibility for social engagement in Kierkegaard and Levinas," presented at the Center for Subjectivity Research, "Despite Oneself: Subjectivity and its Secret in Kierkegaard and Levinas" (February 2007, University of Copenhagen, Denmark).

"Levinas's Third and Social Mediation: On the way to a Levinasian theory of social action," presented at the North American Levinas Society, "Levinas and the Political" (May 2006, Purdue University, Indiana).

"The Love of Wisdom and The Wisdom of Love," invited lecture at Augustana College (December 2006, Sioux Falls, South Dakota).

"From the Interpersonal to the Social: What Levinasians can learn from Sartre's development of the third party," presented at the North American Sartre Society (October 2006, Fordham University, New York).

"Levinas and the 'New Husserl,'" presented at Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, 44th Annual Conference (October 2005, Salt Lake City).

"In Praise of Wanderers and Insomniacs: Economy, Excess, and Self-Overcoming," presented at the International Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, "Nietzsche and Ethics" (September 2004, Brighton, England).

"Philosophy's Critical Potential for a Child of One's Time: Hegel and Levinas on the Relation between Philosophy and Society," presented at Boston College 6th Annual Graduate Student Conference, "Philosophy's Service" (April 2005, Boston College).

"The Obligated Subject: A Comparative Study of Kant's and Levinas's Ethical Theories," presented at the Fourth Annual New School for Social Research Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, "Topics in Kant and Post-Kantianism" (April 2005, New School, New York).

"Critique and the Socially Conditioned Subject: Thinking the Ethical Life with Hegel and Levinas," presented at the Loyola University Chicago Graduate Conference in Philosophy, "Encounters with the Other" (March 2005, Loyola University, Chicago).