Last Thursday, early in the morning, Bruce Rosenstock, one of our Affiliated Faculty Members, passed away in his home. He was surrounded by his family members.
Bruce held his primary appointment in the Department of Religion, where he was a full professor and director of graduate studies. He joined that department in 2002, having expertise in biblical theology, political theology, and modern Jewish philosophy. He authored several important books, including New Men: Conversos, Christian Theology, and Society in Fifteenth-Century Castile (2002); Philosophy and the Jewish Question: Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and Beyond (2009); and Transfinite Life: Oskar Goldberg and the Vitalist Imagination (2017).
Bruce worked with numerous units across campus, including not only our own but also the Department of Classics, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society. Over several decades, he has taught or cross-listed courses in the Philosophy of Religion that have greatly benefited our undergraduates and our program. He worked with a number of faculty members and graduate students within our department as well, as an avid supporter and mentor. He worked closely with our department head in several capacities: on the Committee on Faculty Sexual Misconduct, in the Academic Senate, and on the AAUP Policy Committee.
As anyone who got to know Bruce will attest, he was a force of nature, always championing and seeking to give voice to the voiceless. He was courageous, fearless, and principled in that regard. He always acted with utmost compassion and integrity. He will be sorely missed. He can never be replaced.
Services were held last Sunday at the Hope Memorial Cemetery in Champaign—with his wife, Harriet Murav, and children present. Please take a moment to place Bruce and his family in your thoughts. If you would benefit from talking with someone, please know that there are Faculty/Staff Assistance Services available to you.