Professor Aaron Rosen
Visiting Professor of Sacred Traditions & the Arts
Address: Department of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building,
LONDON, WC2B 6LE
Research interests and PhD supervision
Prof. Aaron Rosen is Professor of Religious Thought and Director of Cultural Projects at Rocky Mountain College and Visiting Professor at KCL, where he was previously Senior Lecturer in Sacred Traditions & the Arts. He visits London frequently, and continues to supervise doctoral students at King’s.
Prior to KCL, Prof. Rosen taught at Yale, Oxford, and Columbia Universities. He received his PhD from Cambridge and served as a visiting scholar at the University of California Berkeley. He is the author of Imagining Jewish Art and Art and Religion in the 21st Century, named one of the best books of 2015 by The Times. He is the editor of Religion and Art in the Heart of Modern Manhattan and co-editor of Visualising a Sacred City: London, Art and Religion.
- Theology and visual art (especially modern art)
- Interfaith dialogue in theory and practice
- Modern Jewish thought
- Religion and material/pop culture (e.g. comics, hip hop)
- Reception history and interpretation of the Bible
Calls for interfaith dialogue usually begin with the claim that what binds together Jews, Christians, and Muslims is their common identity as people of the book. I argue that members of these faiths are also—despite popular assumptions—people of the image
. The visual arts, I argue, have an untapped potential to open up hospitable spaces for inter-religious dialogue; enriching not only how members of the Abrahamic faiths perceive their own traditions but encouraging new ways of seeing the Other. Ultimately, whether it comes to refashioning sacred space or re-interpreting religious texts, I hope to demonstrate how the visual arts might breathe new life into interfaith dialogue, a process which too often falls into stale repetitions of commonality. For this project to be successful, disciplinary boundaries need to be crossed as much as religious ones, and KCL is the ideal environment in which to undertake such strongly interdisciplinary work.
Expertise and public engagement
For a complete list of publications, please see Aaron's full research profile.
- Co-editor of Visualising a Sacred City: London, Art and Religion (I.B. Tauris, 2016).
- Imagining Jewish Art: Encounters with the Masters in Chagall, Guston, and Kitaj (Legenda, 2009).
- Art and Religion in the 21st Century (Thames and Hudson, 2015)
- Editor of Religion and Art in the Heart of Modern Manhattan: St. Peter’s Church and the Louise Nevelson Chapel (Ashgate, 2015)
- “True Lights: Seeing the Psalms through Chagall’s Church Windows,” Jewish and Christian Approaches to the Psalms: Conflict and Convergence, ed. Susan Gillingham (Oxford University Press, 2013)
- “Emmanuel Levinas and the Hospitality of Images,” Literature and Theology, Vol. 25, No. 4 (2011), pp. 364-378
Prof. Rosen has written widely for scholarly and popular publications, including The Observer, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Apollo, and Times Higher Education and has provided commentary for BBC Radio 4 and other outlets.
Prof. Rosen is also the author of two children’s books: Journey through Art: A Global Adventure (Thames & Hudson, 2017) and Where’s Your Creativity? (Tate, 2017).
Prof. Rosen has curated various exhibitions, including a series of shows at the Jewish Museum in London (2015) and Stations of the Cross, in venues across London including the National Gallery and St. Paul’s Cathedral (2016). Prof. Rosen has lectured in universities, museums, and religious institutions across the US, UK, and the Netherlands, as well as in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Australia.
He is happy to speak with members of the media.