Dr. J. R. Hustwit
Dean, College of Arts, Humanities & Sciences; Professor of Religion & Philosophy
B.A., University of Texas; M.A., Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
I am interested in the prospects and challenges of looking for truth in multiple religions. In 2014, I wrote Interreligious Hermeneutics and the Pursuit of Truth (Lexington Books), which explores the mind’s need to interpret everything it encounters, and how interpretation helps us understand and compare unfamiliar religions. I am also interested in process philosophy, which involves the claim that events and processes are more fundamentally real than substances. Currently, I am working on a book about the Buddhist concept of emptiness and its promise for cultivating ecological societies.
My goal in the classroom is to guide students past the instrumental goods of career and salaries to the final goods that give meaning and value to a life. As important as it is to get a stable job that pays well, it is the pursuit of truth, beauty, and justice that make working 9-to-5 worthwhile.
I teach courses in east and south Asian religions; monotheisms and violence; angels, demons, and jinn; mystical literature; and the feminine divine. I am honored to have been awarded Methodist University Exemplary Teacher Award in 2013 and to have been recognized as one of the Fayetteville Observer’s “Forty under 40” in 2015.
I am also an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to horology, cooking, gardening, wildlife observation, cephalopods, fiction reading, and parenting.
A more-or-less complete list of my publications can be found on Google Scholar.