Alexander J.B. Hampton

Assistant Professor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 215, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8

Campus

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion and Ecology
  • Religion and Literature

Biography

Originally from Toronto, Alexander Hampton gained his PhD in the Philosophy of Religion from Cambridge in 2015, and taught for two years at Barrett Honours College (Arizona State), before taking up a five-year appointment at Toronto in 2017. He also holds an MPhil from Oxford in Philosophical Theology, an MA in Religious Studies from Stanford, and a BA in Literary Studies and Philosophy from the University of Toronto. His research and teaching fall under three interrelated areas: First, the history of the philosophy of religion, with a focus on the complex and creative relationship between Christianity and Platonism. This is the subject of Christian Platonism: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Second, the relationship between religion and aesthetics, with a focus on the interactions between poetics, metaphysics and spirituality. This is the subject of his work on mystical poetics and Romanticism, including Romanticism and the Re-Invention of Modern Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Third, encompassing both of these areas, his work examines the entanglements between religion and nature, as explored in Pandemic, Ecology and Theology (Routledge, 2020), and the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment (Cambridge University Press). These three themes come together in his current projects: an intellectual history of metaphysics, poetics and nature and an examination of post-secular nature. These two books form a diptych, with the former exploring the creative role of realist metaphysics in conceptualising the human-nature relationship, and the latter examining the challenges and possibilities of our present-day re-conceptualisation of nature.
 
Publications:

Books
Romanticism and the Re-Invention of Modern Religion: The Reconciliation of German Idealism and Platonic Realism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
Pandemic, Ecology and Theology: Perspectives on COVID-19, ed. Alexander J. B Hampton (London: Routledge, 2020).
Christian Platonism: A History, eds. Alexander J. B. Hampton, John Peter Kenney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment, ed. Alexander J. B. Hampton, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), forthcoming 2021.
Forthcoming and In Progress 
(ed.) Jacobi: Reason and Religion at the Crux of Modernity 
 
Transzendenz für ein Zeitalter der Immanenz: Die romantische Neuerfindung der Religion 

Participation in Nature: A Metaphysics of Ecology 

Selected Articles and Chapters

‘Ecology and the Unbuffered Self: Identity, Agency, and Authority in a Time of Pandemic, in Pandemic, Ecology and Theology: Perspectives on COVID-19, ed. Alexander J. B Hampton (London: Routledge, 2020).
‘Christian Platonism, Nature and Environmental Crisis’, Christian Platonism: A History, ed. Alexander J. B. Hampton, John Kenney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
‘The Poetics of Mysticism’, ed. Edward Howells and Mark McIntosh, The Oxford Handbook to Mystical Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 241-64.
‘Romantic Religion: Dissolution and Transcendence in the Poetics of Hölderlin’, Symphilosophie 1 (2019), pp. 61-74.
‘Nature’s Beauty: Legitimacy, Imagination and Transcendence in Hepburn and the New Nature Writing’, Journal of Scottish Thought, 11 (2019), 113-126.
‘Transcendence and Immanence: Deciphering Their Relation through the Transcendentals in Aquinas and Kant’, Toronto Journal of Theology, 34 (2018), pp. 187-198.
‘A Post-Secular Nature and the New Nature Writing’, Christianity and Literature, 67 (2018), pp. 454-471. (Awarded outstanding article of 2018 by the Conference on Christianity and Literature)
‘Indivisible, Inexplicable, and the Centre of all Certainty: Herder's Concept of Being’, ed. John K. Noyes, Herder’s Essay on Being: A Translation and Critical Approaches (Rochester: Camden House, 2018), 108-118.
‘An English Source of German Romanticism: Herder’s Cudworth Inspired Revision of Spinoza from “Plastik’”to “Kraft’”, The Heythrop Journal, 58 (2017), pp. 417-431.
‘Herder’s Concept of Being and the Influence of Kant’s Pre-Critical Consideration of the Ontological Argument’, Filozofia, 70 (2015), pp. 842-52.
‘Reception, Religion and the Problem of Subjectivity in Early German Romanticism’, Journal for the History of Modern Theology/Zeitschrift für neuere Theologiegeschichte, 22 (2015), pp. 35-58.
‘The Aesthetic Foundations of Romantic Mythology’, Journal for the History of Modern Theology/Zeitschrift für neuere Theologiegeschichte, 20 (2014), pp. 175-91.
‘Karl Philipp Moritz the Mythologist: Myth as the Romantic Idiom for the Absolute’, Papers of the Nineteenth Century Theology Group, American Academy of Religion, 39 (2013), 2-20.
‘"Herzen schlagen und doch bleibet die Rede zurück?" Philosophy, Poetry, and Hölderlin's Development of Language Sufficient to the Absolute’ Philosophy and Literature and the Crisis of Metaphysics?, ed. Sebastian Hüsch (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2011), 20-33.

Selected Grants and Awards

Grants
Global Classrooms Grant, ‘Global Perspectives on Religion and Ecology’, University of Toronto (2021)
Program for the Arts, ‘The Pleasure of the Dawn Chorus: Conserving the Pandemic Soundscape’, Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto (2021)
Connections Grant, ‘Religion, Nature and the Environment in the West’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2020)
Insight Development Grant, ‘Romantic Ecology’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2020)
SSHRC Explore Institutional Grant, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto (2020)
SSHRC Engage Institutional Grant, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto (2019)
Netzwerk Deutsch Grant, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, ‘Jacobi: A Bicentenary Reconsideration’ (2019)
Connections Grant, ‘Jacobi: A Bicentenary Reconsideration’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2020)
Connections Grant, ‘Christian Platonism: Concepts, History and Contemporary Questions’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018)
SSHRC Explore Institutional Grant, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto (2018)
Insight Development Grant, ‘The Transcendence of Nature’, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018)
Awards
Lionel Basney Award, Conference on Christianity and Literature, Most Outstanding Article in Christianity and Literature, ‘A Post-Secular Nature and the New Nature Writing’, 2018
Decani Scholarship, Clare College, University of Cambridge, 2011-2014.
Chadwick Prize in Philosophical Theology, University of Cambridge, 2012.
 

Education

PhD, Cambridge University
MPhil, Oxford University
MA, Stanford University
BA, University of Toronto