Caleb Hendrickson Religious Studies

Caleb Sage Hendrickson

Doctoral Candidate


  • University of Virginia: PhD in Religious Studies (in progress)
    • Concentration: Modern and Contemporary Religious Thought
  • Yale Divinity School: MDiv (2013)
  • St. Olaf College: BA in Religion and Studio Art (2009)


  • "Picturing Revelation: Paul Tillich, Franz Rosenzweig, and Modern Visual Imagination."
    • Co-directed by Asher Biemann and Paul Dafydd Jones.

    My dissertation examines the role of visual-pictorial imagination in modern religious thought. It focuses on the question of revelation as treated in Paul Tillich's early philosophical theology (1919-1933) and Franz Rosenzweig's magnum opus, The Star of Redemption (1921). I treat Tillich's and Rosenzweig's revelational epistemologies with reference to Romantic ideas of aesthetic intuition. I also put Rosenzweig and Tillich in conversation with modern art theory. Specifically, I focus on the thought of Heinrich Wölfflin, the founder of formalist method in modern art history. I argue that revelation, for both Tillich and Rosenzweig, describes a mode of picturing the world according to certain laws of visual intuition. In other words, revelation names what Wölfflin would call a Form der Vorstellungsbilung, a mode of imaginatively beholding the world. The dissertation hopes to demonstrate that theology can be read profitably through the lens of modern art theory, and, in turn, that theological reflection can deepen the categories we use to think about images and visuality. 

    Research Interests

    Modern theology; modern Jewish thought; philosophical aesthetics; visual studies; image theory; religion and art


    • Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Virginia

      • Faith and Doubt in the Modern Age, Spring 2019

    • Head Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Virginia

      • Theology, Ethics, and Medicine, Fall 2015 (James Childress, Nichole Flores)

    • Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Virginia

      • The Kingdom of God in America, Spring 2017 (Charles Marsh)

      • Introduction to Western Religious Traditions, Fall 2016 (Heather Warren)

      • New Testament and Early Christianity, Spring 2016 (Janet Spittler)

      • Religion in America Since 1865, Spring 2015 (Heather Warren)

      • Theology, Ethics, and Medicine, Fall 2014 (James Childress) 

    • Teaching Fellow, Yale Divinity School

      • Faith, Morality, and the Law, Fall 2013 (Cathleen Kaveny)

    Papers Presented

    • "The Eye of The Star of Redemption: Rosenzweig's Views of Redemption." Meeting of the Internationale Rosenzweig-Gesellschaft. Jerusalem, February 2019.  

    • "The Demonic Arts & The Politics of Critique: Discerning the Spirits of Visual Culture with Paul Tillich." Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Boston, November 2017.  

    • “Theology of the Cross: The Past and Present of God’s Death seen through the Theology of Eberhard Jüngel.” University of Chicago and Notre Dame Joint Graduate Conference. University of Chicago, October 2016.

    • “Rosenzweig on Death and Neighbor.” Psychology and the Other conference. Lesley University. Cambridge, Mass., October 2011.


    • Book ReviewProphetic Interruptions: Critical Theory, Emancipation, and Religion in Paul Tillich, Theodor Adomo, and Max Horkheimer (1929-1944) by Bryan Wagoner. Reading Religion, April 2018.