One strand of my research addresses the paradox with which Luther begins “The Freedom of a Christian”: perfectly free, perfectly bound. This has led me to examine ethical and political dimensions of freedom and work — and, less directly, to “presence” and “place.”

A second strand of research attends closely to the work of poetry (and the work of art more generally).

A third strand grows out of a fascination with the central place of fragments in the invention of “the West,” which, it seems to me, has often taken the form of putting fragments in their place and filling in gaps. I am interested in minding the gaps.


Ph.D. · University of Chicago · Ethics & Society · 1982
M.A. · University of Chicago · Divinity · 1976
B.A. · Valparaiso University · Psychology · 1974

Other Publications


corona (poems and images, ebook). Timberline Press, 2020.
in the path of totality (poems and images). Chicago: Strawberry Hedgehog, 2018.
What’s Love Got To Do With It? (essays). Beaumont, Texas: Lamar University Literary Press, 2016
Red Stones (poems by Jonas Zdanys, paintings by Steven Schroeder). Beaumont, Texas: Lamar University Literary Press, 2016.
the moon, not the finger, pointing (poems). Beaumont, Texas: Lamar University Literary Press, 2016.
still (poems). Chicago: Purple Flag, 2015.
dispersed cities (poems and images), published to coincide with the exhibition “Dispersed Cities” at the Paper Crane gallery in Canyon, Texas, March 14 to April 15, 2015.
daodejing (with David Breeden and Wally Swist). Lamar University Press, 2015.
a water planet (poems, with Chinese translations by Song Zijiang, Sou Vai Keng, and Vai Si). Macao: Flying Island Books, 2014.
mind the gaps: fragments (poems). Chicago: Purple Flag, 2014.we’re open, come in (poems). Chicago: Purple Flag, 2014.
Seven Sorrows (poems, with linocuts by Neese Aguilar). forget gutenberg press, 2013. [A handmade limited edition chapbook, printed and bound by R. Schroeder at the Boston Paper Collective.]
Raging for the Exit: A Commonplace Book (poems, with David Breeden). Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012.
Turn (poems). Virtual Artists Collective, 2012.
Aftermath of Storms (with James Hoggard). Timberline Press, 2012. [A handmade limited edition chapbook, printed and bound by R. Schroeder at the Boston Paper Collective.]
Four Truths. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2011.
Only Gifts changing Hands (poems). forget gutenberg press, 2011.
wittgenstein & buber: 33 varieties of what, S Schroeder and C Newman. forget gutenberg press: living wage editions, 2010.
a guest giving way like ice melting: thirteen ways of looking at laozi (poems and paintings, with Debby Sou Vai Keng). Temple, TX: Ink Brush Press, 2010.
On Not Founding Rome: The Virtue of Hesitation. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
a dim sum of the day before (poems). Temple, TX: Ink Brush Press, 2010.
on the no road way to tomorrow (poems), Edited with Li Sen, Liang Huichun, Long Xiaoying, and Charlie Newman. Virtual Artists Collective, 2009.
Six Stops South (poems). Cincinnati, OH: Cherry Grove Collections, 2009.
А. Бергсон и проблемы методологии гуманитарного знания. (с В.М. Пивоев) Петрозаводск: Издательство ПетрГУ, 2008.
Two Southwests (poems), Edited with Li Sen, Long Xiaoying, Wang Hao, and Zhang Xiaohong. Virtual Artists Collective, 2008.
The Imperfection of the Eye (poems). Virtual Artists Collective, 2007.
Fallen Prose (poems). Virtual Artists Collective, 2006.
Revolutionary Patience (poems). Virtual Artists Collective, 2004.
Theory of Cats (poems). Johnstown, OH: Pudding House Press, 2003.
Touching Philosophy, Sounding Religion, Placing Education. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2002.
Between Freedom and Necessity: An Essay on the Place of Value. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2000.
The Metaphysics of Cooperation: A Study of F.D. Maurice. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1999.
Virginia Woolf’s Subject and the Subject of Ethics: Notes Toward a Poetics of Persons. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996.
A Community and a Perspective: Lutheran Peace Fellowship and the Edge of the Church, 1941-1991. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993.

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