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Louis Ruprecht

Professor    William Suttles Chair; Director, Hellenic Studies Institute    ,

Ph.D, 1990, Emory University
M.A., 1985, The Divinity School, Duke University
A.B., 1983, Duke University


Louis A. Ruprecht Jr. is the inaugural holder of the William M. Suttles Chair in Religious Studies as well as Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies. His doctoral concentration was in the area of philosophical and religious ethics, with special emphasis on classical literature and philosophy. His work covers a wide range of topics but may best be characterized as an historical study of the appropriation of Greek themes in a number of subsequent historical periods, especially the Early Modern period. He interrogates this classical legacy in areas ranging from ethics and politics, to psychology and sexuality, to drama and film. For the past twelve years he has been a Research Fellow at the Vatican Library and the Vatican Secret Archives, where he has extended these research interests to the emergence of the Early Modern conception of Art, and the privileging of classical art as embodied in that preeminent institution, the Vatican Museums.


His recent books include:

Winckelmann and the Vatican’s First Profane Museum (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).

Classics at the Dawn of the Museum Era: The Life and Times of Antoine Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy (1755-1849) (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Policing the State: Democratic Responses to Police Power Gone Awry, in Memory of Kathryn Johnston (1914-2006) (2nd Edition, with a new Afterword, “Policing the State After Ferguson” (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2015).

Report on the Aeginetan Sculptures with Historical Supplements, by Johann Martin Wagner and Friedrich Schelling (Albany, NY: State University of New York [SUNY] Press, 2017).

Some related shorter publications include:

“Who Owes What to Whom? Some Classical Reflections on Debt, Greek and Otherwise,”  a review of Johanna Hanink, The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity (Harvard University Press, 2017), Arion, Third Series 26.1 (2018).

“Finding and Losing One’s Way: Eros and the Other in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy,” in Sarah LaChance Adams, Caroline Lundquist and Christopher Davidson, eds., New Philosophies of Sex and Love: Thinking Through Desire (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), 15-34.

“Winckelmann and the Vatican’s Museo Profano: The Documentary Evidence,” Arion, Third Series 25.2 (2017): 81-117.

“We Never Got the Joke: Comedy and Tragedy in Modern Politics,” a review of Angus Fletcher, Comic Democracies: From Ancient Athens to the American Republic (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Arion, Third Series 25.1 (2017): 173-211.

“Cornel West and the Tragedy at the Heart of North American Pragmatism: A Retrospective Look at The American Evasion of Philosophy,” American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 38.2-3 (May-September 2017): 179-200.

“Secular Courts and Sacred Ties: A Critical Analysis of the US Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage,” Soundings 99.4 (2016): 429-478.

“The Agony of Inclusion: Historical Greece and European Myth,” Arion, Third Series 24.1 (2016): 65-86.