Aaron Simmons

Aaron Simmons

Professor of Philosophy

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I was born in Cleveland, TN in 1977 and grew up in Tampa, FL. I went to college to study Physics, but ended up falling in love with the humanities after spending a semester studying in Cambridge. I still approach philosophy from an interdisciplinary perspective and care deeply about the ideas that lie behind and motivate cultural expression in art, music, and literature. I received my Ph.D. in philosophy at Vanderbilt where I worked closely with David Wood. Now specializing in Postmodern Philosophy of Religion and Political Philosophy, I primarily engage in debates about the possibilities of determinate religious belief and practice in a deconstructive context.​


  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., Florida State University
  • B.A., Lee University


My teaching is guided by the notion that students will take seriously that which connects to their lives. As such, all of my classes are based on the idea that "Philosophy is Everywhere." Rather than seeing philosophy as an esoteric discipline, I aim to show students that studying philosophy helps them to love more deeply whatever they love, and to do better whatever they end up doing.




  • J. Aaron Simmons, "Vagueness and Its Virtues: A Proposal for Renewing Philosophy of Religion," in Philosophy of Religion After Religion, eds. Richard Amesbury and Michael Rogers (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming).
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "A Search for the 'Really' Real: Philosophically Approaching the Task of Defining Religion," Bulletin for the Study of Religion (forthcoming).
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "Wormwood Gets Promoted: A Devilish Look at Higher Education," in Philosophical Perspectives on the Devil, ed. Benjamin McCraw (New York: Routledge, forthcoming).
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "Continental Approaches to the Epistemology of Theology," in The Oxford Handbook to the Epistemology of Theology, eds. William J. Abraham and Frederick Aquino (Oxford University Press), forthcoming.
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "Kisses Sweeter than . . . Something: Kierkegaard and Pickstock on Repetition and Revision," ​Theology Syndicate (February, 2015). (Published with a reply from Catherine Pickstock)
  • J. Aaron Simmons and Jay McDaniel, "So Many Faces: God, Humans, and Animals," in Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology, ed. Stephen Moore (Fordham University Press, 2014).
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "Postmodern Kataphaticism? A Constructive Proposal,"Analytica Hermeneutica 4 (2012), special issue on "Refiguring Divinity: Continental Philosophy of Religion," ed. Michelle Rebidoux.
  • J. Aaron Simmons and John Sanders, "A Goldilocks God," (with John Sanders), Element (special issue on Open and Process theism), forthcoming.
  • J. Aaron Simmons, "On Shared Hopes for (Mashup) Philosophy of Religion: A Reply to Trakakis," Heythrop Journal 55:4 (July, 2014): 691-710. (Published with responses from Nick Trakakis and Merold Westphal)
  • J. Aaron Simmons and Scott F. Aikin, "Prospects for a Levinasian Epistemic Infinitism," International Journal for Philosophical Studies 20, no.3 (July 2012): 437-60.