University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Religion

Faculty - Richard Sugarman

Richard Sugarman

Richard Sugarman, Professor

Area of expertise

Phenomenology, philosophy of religion, and Jewish philosophy, existentialism, and the humanities, ancient and modern.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information
Email: Richard Sugarman
Phone: (802) 656-4383
Office: Living/Learning D170
Office Hours Fall 2017: Mondays 1:00-2:30pm, Fridays 12:00-1:30pm, and by appointment

Professor Sugarman's fields are phenomenology, Jewish philosophy, existentialism, and the humanities, ancient and modern. His Ph.D. is from Boston University (1976), and his M.A. and B.A. are from Yale (1969, 1966). He came to the University of Vermont in 1970. His publications include Rancor Against Time: The Phenomenology of Ressentiment (Felix Meiner, 1980), and (with R.T. Simone) Reclaiming the Humanities: The Roots of Self-Knowledge in the Greek and Biblical Worlds (Univ. Press of America, 1986). He has authored numerous articles on the religious philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, including an edition and annotation of John Wild, Speaking Philosophy: The Posthumous papers of John Wild (2006) ed. with R.B. Duncan; Phenomenological Inquiry 24 (2000): 205-292; and "Emmanuel Levinas: The Ethics of 'Face to Face'/ The Religious Turn" in Phenomenology World-Wide, ed. Anna Teresa Tymieniecka (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers), published in Analecta Husserliana 80 (2003): 409-430. Other important essays on Levinas include: "To Love the Torah More Than God," translation of a chapter of Emmanuel Levinas’ Difficile Liberté,  with H.A. Stephenson, with a commentary by R. Sugarman, in Judaism, Spring, 1979,  pp. 79- 86; “Messianic Temporality: Preliminary Reflections on Ethical Messianism and the Deformalization  of Time in Levinas” appearing in Recherches Levinassiennes; ed. R. Burrggreave Series Bibliotheque Philosophique de Louvain, 82, 421-436, Peeters Publishers, Leuven, Belgium, 2012; “The Breakup of Totality and the Promise of Time in Thought of Emmnanuel Levinas” appearing in Levinas Autrement, ed. R. Burggreave et. al. Series Bibliotheque Philosophique de Louvain, 83, 445-460. Peeters Publishers, Leuven, Belgium, 2012; "The Notion of the 'Face' in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas." Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception for "Verlag Walter de Gruyter."  Editors Hans-Josef Klauck et al., 2013; “Toward a Rationality of Transcendence: The Importance of Emmanuel Levinas to Contemporary Jewish Thought” A Perennial Spring, Downhill Press: Jersulalem, New York, Feschrift in honor of Rabbi Norman Lamm, 1-20. He is presently completing a book on the “Bible and Levinas: A Transcending Humanism.”

Sugarman also served as Director of the Integrated Humanities Program for first-year students from 1994-2014. Sugarman has won each of the three teaching awards at UVM, Kroespsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Dean’s Lecture Award, and the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Member Award, given by the UVM Alumni Association. Professor Sugarman has served as a senior advisor to Vermont Senator to Bernie Sanders (I) since 2007. He is on sabbatical for the remainder of the spring semester 2015.

"It is through Philosophy that I approach the field of Religion, and the subject matter of Jewish Studies, in particular. The emphasis is on learning to read seminal texts in Religion, Philosophy, Jewish Studies, and the Humanities. The approach is through dialogue where students become part of an on-going conversation with the great thinkers and texts of the past and present."