Lauren RubensteinDecember 14, 20153min
Professor and Chair of Religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein was a guest on PRI's "Studio 360" to discuss the history of scientific thinking on multiple universes. Though scientists today are becoming increasingly interested in thinking about multiple universes, the idea actually dates back about 2,500 years to the Atomist philosophers of Ancient Greece. Rubenstein discussed how the Atomists arrived at a theory of multiple universes: For the ancient Atomist philosophers, the most desirable thing about what we're now calling the multiverse was that it got rid of the need for a god. If it is the case that our world is the only…

Rachel Wachman '24September 23, 20212min
Professor of Religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein recently co-authored an essay in collection titled Image: Three Inquiries in Technology and Imagination alongside Mark C. Taylor ’68, professor of religion at Columbia University. The book, published in September 2021 by the University of Chicago Press, explores how visual elements function in relationship to humans and technology. “Modern life is steeped in images, image-making, and attempts to control the world through vision,” the book’s description reads. “Mastery of images has been advanced by technologies that expand and reshape vision and enable us to create, store, transmit, and display images. The three essays in Image,…

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Lauren RubensteinJune 19, 20173min
Professor of Religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein was a guest on WNYC's "Studio 360" recently, in a show titled, "The Theoretical Physicist Wore a Toga." She addressed existential "what if" questions and the idea of multiple universes—an idea, she explains, which "is about 2,500 years old." "For the ancient Atomist philosophers [in Ancient Greece], the most desirable thing about what we're now calling the multiverse was that it got rid of the need for a god. If it is the case that our world is the only world, then it's very difficult to explain. How is everything so perfect? How is it that sunsets so beautiful?" she said. "What…

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Olivia DrakeMay 28, 20176min
During Wesleyan's 185th commencement ceremony on May 28, Wesleyan presented three outstanding teachers with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. '85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the university’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education. Recommendations are solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors, seniors and graduate students. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee. This year, Wesleyan honored the following…

Lauren RubensteinSeptember 29, 20141min

...  Rubenstein's new book, Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse ...  of the Multiverse (Columbia University Press, 2014), Rubenstein wonders why there is a proliferation of multiverse theoretical ...  existing simultaneously. Read the entire review here. Rubenstein is chair and associate professor of religion, associate professor of ...


Olivia DrakeMarch 3, 20142min
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, associate professor of religion, is the author of Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, published by Columbia University Press, 2014. “Multiverse” cosmologies imagine our universe as just one of a vast number of others. While this idea has captivated philosophy, religion and literature for millennia, it is now being considered as a scientific hypothesis—with different models emerging from cosmology, quantum mechanics and string theory. Beginning with ancient Atomist and Stoic philosophies, Rubenstein links contemporary models of the multiverse to their forerunners and explores the reasons for their recent appearance. One concerns the so-called fine-tuning of the…

Bill HolderNovember 8, 20133min
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, associate professor of religion and chair of the Religion Department, has been appointed  Wesleyan's 2013-14 Distinguished Teaching Fellow. She also is associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies. Established last year by the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology Rob Rosenthal, the Distinguished Teaching Fellowship honors Wesleyan's most outstanding teachers and gives them the opportunity to teach a course outside their usual departmental offerings. The inaugural fellowship was awarded to Andy Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies. "It is no surprise that Mary-Jane is Wesleyan's second Distinguished Teaching Fellow: she is known…

Olivia DrakeMay 27, 20123min
Mary Jane Rubenstein, associate professor of religion, is the author of "Cosmic Singularities: On the Nothing and the Sovereign," published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 80, No. 2, pages 485–517, in 2012. Until very recently, the paper explains, "the creation myth of secular modernity has been the hot big bang hypothesis: the explosion of our single universe out of a single point. Physicists concede that in its traditional form, this story performs an uncanny recapitulation of Christian creation theology: the universe bursts forth suddenly, in a flood of light, out of nothing. As many contemporary thinkers have…

David PesciMay 24, 20111min
Mary Jane Rubenstein, assistant professor of religion, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, presented the "Senior Voices" baccalaureate address: Dawn points, and another day Prepares for heat and silence Out at sea the dawn wind Wrinkles and slides. I am here Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning. T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets all cycle around the theme of beginning with a kind of solemnity that’s both attentive and introspective. He looks out as the dawn points—out to the almost-day to feel the wind wrinkle and slide. He looks in and finds himself here, or there, or elsewhere.…

Olivia DrakeNovember 5, 20101min
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, assistant professor of religion, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, was a guest panelist at a conference titled “Christianity and the Global Politics of Sexuality” held Oct. 21 at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, New York University. Focusing specifically on sexuality, Rubenstein and other panelists discussed the ways in which transnational and non-governmental Christian organizations have an impact on legal and social policies in different areas where Christians may comprise a small minority or a larger percentage of the population. In addition, sexuality continues to rankle and even divide Christian churches themselves, as evidenced…

Olivia DrakeMarch 25, 20091min
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, assistant professor of religion, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, is the author of the book, Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe, published by Columbia University Press, March 2009. Strange Wonder confronts Western philosophy's ambivalent relationship to the Platonic "wonder" that reveals the strangeness of the everyday. On the one hand, this wonder is said to be the origin of all philosophy. On the other hand, it is associated with a kind of ignorance that ought to be extinguished as swiftly as possible. By endeavoring to resolve wonder's indeterminacy into certainty…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 25, 20227min
What might a life anchored in integrity, community, and meaning look like? A small group of faculty, students, and staff, fortified by Thai food and a welcoming atmosphere, got together in the Develin Room in Olin Library October 15 to kick around these ideas. The talk, entitled “In a World Full of Fear, How Do You Love Yourself and Others?” brought together thinkers from across campus for a conversation. Exploration was the goal of the day. Mary-Jane Rubenstein, professor of religion; Rev. Marichal Monts ‘85, pastor of The Citadel of Love in Hartford; Dia Fortenberry, the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Engagements…