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Ruby Guyatt


My dissertation, 'Graceful Nothings: The Art of Beginning in Søren Kierkegaard's Theological Anthropology', is currently under examination.

My PhD builds on my MPhil (2015-16) work on Kierkegaard and anxiety, which I also undertook here, and for which the Divinity Faculty awarded me the Gregg Bury Prize for a distinguished dissertation in the philosophy of religion. I am funded by a Levy-Plumb PhD Studentship, administered by Christ's College.

Before coming to Cambridge, I completed my BA at King's College London (2011-14), interned and worked at the Cultural Institute at King's College London, White Cube, and the National Theatre (2014-15). During my MPhil (2015-16), I produced a series of podcasts to accompany 'Stations of the Cross: Art and Passion', an exhibition co-organised by the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme. My interest in the arts informs my approach to the philosophy of religion. I am especially interested in the relationship between literary form and theological/philosophical content, and in the complexities of re-presenting.

Subject area and speciality

Philosophy of Religion specialists:

Research Interests

Søren Kierkegaard, particularly:

  • The way his works poetically perform or enact the kenotic imperative that characterises his Christian anthropology or philosophy of becoming
  • His understanding of the Good (which he variously thematises as becoming, freedom, love and God), and how this relates to the idea of the Good in Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy
  • Anxiety
  • Silence
  • Grace

Philosophy, theology and literature

Kenosis, nothingness, self-emptying


  • Kierkegaard's Teleological Suspension of the Ethical - Access workshop for Year 12 students, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, January 2018
  • Supervisor, A8:Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 2017 - 2018
  • 'How good is it to be good? Søren Kierkegaard and the teleological suspension of the ethical' - a Philosophy of Religion Masterclass, delivered as part of a Year 12 Study Day at Christ's College, Cambridge, April 2017

Other Professional Activities

Conference Papers and Talks

  • 'Love’s Work and Works of Love: Gillian Rose’s Kierkegaardian literary praxis', at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, Georgetown University, Washington DC, March 2019
  • (with Dr Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal) 'Kierkegaard on existential kenosis and the power of the image: Fear and Trembling and Practice in Christianity', at the D Society Seminar, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, November 2018
  • 'Silence, Nothingness, and Kierkegaard's Second Aesthetics', at the Eighth International Kierkegaard Conference, St Olaf College, Minnesota, June 2018
  • '"God in heaven, let me really feel my nothingness": Desire and kenosis in Kierkegaard', at Desire: A Philosophy and Theology Graduate Study Day, University of Nottingham, May 2018
  • 'Kierkegaard’s maieutic suffering: Anxiety as education in love', at Suffering Diminishment and the Christian Life, University of Durham, January 2018
  • 'The Art of Silence: Reading Kierkegaard's Discourse on on the Birds of the Air and the Lily of the Field', at Silence(s): Analyses & Articulations, Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge, November 2017
  • 'Kierkegaard and the Ambiguity of Anxiety', Emerging Research Seminar Series, Christ's College, Cambridge, May 2017
  • 'Rowan Williams and the possibilities of literature: self-knowledge and God-knowledge', at Lines in Sand: Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, University of Glasgow, September 2016


  • Summer Research Fellow, Hong Kierkegaard Library at St Olaf College, Minnesota, June 2018
  • Co-Editor, Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics, Vol. 5, 2018
  • Organiser, Graduate Symposium: Silence(s): Analyses & Articulations, Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge, November 2017
  • Participant, 'The Good Life and the Good Society', a Learning Together course held at HMP Whitemoor, Cambridgeshire, January - March 2017
  • Co-organiser, Søren Kierkegaard reading group, Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge, 2016-2017

Key Publications


  • (Online February, print October 2019) Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal and Ruby Guyatt, ‘Kierkegaard on Existential Kenosis and the Power of the Image: “Fear and Trembling” and “Practice in Christianity”’, Modern Theology, October 2019


  • (Not peer-reviewed) Ruby Guyatt, 'The Gift of Recognition: Learning Together at HMP Whitemoor', Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics, Vol. 4, 2017, pp. 112-119


  • (Commissioned) Ruby Guyatt, 'Sylvie Weil, Selfies' (Paris: Les Fugitives, 2019), Review 31.
  • Ruby Guyatt, 'Looking at Life from the Inside: Clare Carlisle, Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard' (London: Allen Lane, 2019) 288pp.' Review 31, July 2019
  • (Not peer-reviewed) Ruby Guyatt, 'Lexi Eikelboom, Rhythm: A Theological Category (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 272 pp.', Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics, Vol. 5, 2018, pp. 33-35



Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.