Dana Hollander, McMaster University


Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1 Canada

Member, MA Program in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory

Associate Member, Department of Philosophy

danahol@mcmaster.ca | http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/danahol

 ☛ go to Curriculum Vitae

updated July 14, 2017

During academic year 2016/2017 I am on research leave and an affiliated scholar at the Zentrum Jüdische Studien (Center for Jewish Studies) Berlin-Brandenburg


Fall 2017 Term:

Winter 2018 Term:
  • RS 2JP3 / Philosophy 2JP3 - Introduction to Modern Jewish Philosophy (for undergraduates)
  • RS 3CC3 / Political Science 3LA3 - Religion and Politics (for undergraduates)

Research and Supervisory Interests

My primary research areas are Modern Jewish Thought, 20th-century French and German Philosophy (especially the phenomenological tradition), and German-Jewish History and Culture.

I have a secondary research interest in conceptions of religion and secularity in democratic legal cultures.

My book Exemplarity and Chosenness is a combined study of Jacques Derrida's philosophy from his earliest writings on Husserl to his considerations of "philosophical nationality" during the 1980s to his later writings on ethico-politico-religious themes, and of Franz Rosenzweig's philosophy of Judaism, especially his theory of election and messianism.

I am completing a book on ethics, law and the theme of "the neighbor" in the works of the German-Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen.

My graduate courses are designed to introduce students to core figures in continental philosophy and religious thought, and in modern Jewish thought, including Mendelssohn, Husserl, Heidegger, Cohen, Rosenzweig, Levinas, and Derrida, and their receptions. (See past syllabi below.)

If you find broken links on any of my pages, please let me know!


Undergraduate Courses:


"Neighbor-Love as an Object of Protection?" –presentation at the Colloquium of the Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, July 6, 2017.

Workshop: "Ethical Idealism, Charisma, and Cultural Critique: Prophetic Politics in the Weimar Republic," Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin, June 29-30, 2017.

Lecture at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, May 8, 2017
(click for full-size poster)

Conference: "Judaism in Modern Philosophy: Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, and the Legacies of German Idealism," Princeton University, April 3-4, 2016.

Workshop: "How Jews Know. Epistemologies of Jewish Knowledge," Freie Universität Berlin, June 2-4, 2015. | more info

Symposium: "Talmud, and, Philosophy," Institute of Jewish Thought & Heritage, University at Buffalo, April 14-15, 2015. 

"Is There a 'Legal Turn' in Jewish Philosophy?" Roundtable Discussion, Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, December 14, 2014, Baltimore.

Conference: "Politische Theologie(n) der Demokratie. Das religiöse Erbe des Säkularen" ("Political Theology/-ies of Democracy. The Religious Legacy of the Secular"), Universität Hamburg, November 21-22, 2014


Exemplarity and Chosenness. Rosenzweig and Derrida on the Nation of Philosophy (Stanford University Press, 2008)

Recipient of Annual Symposium Book Award of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy, 2009

Reviews: Martin Kavka for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews | Jay Geller for H-German |
Sarah Hammerschlag for Journal of Religion

"Understanding Law ('Gesetz' and 'Recht') in Hermann Cohen, with Help from the Early Strauss," in Idealistic Studies, vol. 44, no. 2/3 (Summer/Fall 2014, published June 2015): Special issue on "New Directions in the Thought of Leo Strauss," ed. Jeffrey Bernstein.

"The Political Theology Syllabi Project: Dana Hollander," blog post on Political Theology Today, April 24, 2014.

"'Plato Prophesied the Revelation': The Philosophico-Political Theology of Strauss's Philosophy and Law and the Guidance of Hermann Cohen," in Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka (eds.), Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014)

"Das Messianische bei Levinas und Rosenzweig," in Religion und Politik. Das Messianische in Theologien, Religionswissenschaften und Philosophien des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, ed. Gesine Palmer and Thomas Brose (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013)

"Contested Forgiveness: Jankélévitch, Levinas, and Derrida at the Colloque des intellectuels juifs" in Elisabeth Weber (ed.), Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012)

"Love-of-Neighbor and Ethics Out of Law in the Philosophy of Hermann Cohen," in German-Jewish Thought Between Religion and Politics. Festschrift in Honor of Paul Mendes-Flohr on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. Christian Wiese and Martina Urban (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012)

Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy vol. 20.1 (2012) special issue: "Re-imagining the Historical in Jewish Philosophy: Beyond Historicization" (co-edited with Aaron W. Hughes)
(Papers in this special issue originated at our conference Jewish Philosophy: Past Approaches, New Directions." McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) and King's University College (London, Ontario), April 2009.)

"'A Thought in Which Everything Has Been Thought': On the Messianic Idea in Levinas," in Symposium. Canadian Journal of Philosophy / Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale, vol. 14, no. 2 (Fall 2010).


Society for Contemporary Jewish Philosophy (CJP)

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)

Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy

International Rosenzweig Society

Hermann Cohen Gesellschaft

German Studies Canada