Roth, John K(ing) 1940-

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ROTH, John K(ing) 1940-

PERSONAL: Born September 3, 1940, in Grand Haven, MI; son of Josiah V. (a Presbyterian minister) and Doris Irene (King) Roth; married Evelyn Lillian Austin, June 25, 1964; children: Andrew Lee, Sarah Austin. Education: Pomona College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1962; Yale University, attended Divinity School, 1962-63, M.A., 1965, Ph.D., 1966. Religion: Presbyterian.

ADDRESSES: Home—1458 Augusta Dr., Upland, CA 91786-2446. Office—Claremont McKenna College, 850 Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA 91711-3901. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, assistant professor, 1966-71, associate professor, 1971-76, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, 1976—. Visiting professor of philosophy, Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland, spring, 1973; Fulbright lecturer in American studies, University of Innsbruck, 1973-74; visiting professor of philosophy, Doshiva University, 1981-82; visiting professor of Holocaust studies, University of Haifa, 1982. Special advisor to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Washington, DC, 1980-85, member, 1995-98.

MEMBER: American Academy of Religion, American Philosophical Association, American Studies Association, California Council for the Humanities, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Danforth Graduate fellowship, 1962-66; Graves fellowship, 1970-71; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1976-77; Faculty Pairing grant, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, 1981-83; named U.S. National Professor of the Year, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1988; Fulbright scholar in American Studies, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, Oslo, Norway, 1995-96; Koerner fellowship, Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. L.H.D. from Indiana University, 1990, Grand Valley State University, 1998, Hebrew Union College, 1999, and Western University of Health Sciences, 1999.


Freedom and the Moral Life: The Ethics of William James, Westminster (Philadelphia, PA), 1969.

Problems of the Philosophy of Religion, Chandler Publishing (Scranton, PA), 1971.

(With Frederick Sontag) The American Religious Experience: The Roots, Trends, and Future of American Theology, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1972.

American Dreams: Meditations of Life in the United States, Chandler & Sharp (San Francisco, CA), 1976.

(With Frederick Sontag) God and America's Future, McGrath (Wilmington, NC), 1977.

A Consuming Fire: Encounters with Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust, John Knox Press (Atlanta, GA), 1979.

(With Robert H. Fossum) The American Dream, British Association for American Studies (Brighton, England), 1981.

(With Richard L. Rubenstein) Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy, John Knox (Atlanta, GA), 1987.

(With Frederick Sontag) The Questions of Philosophy, Wadsworth Publishing (Belmont, CA), 1988.

Ethics: An Annotated Bibliography, Salem Press (Pasadena, CA), 1991.

Private Needs, Public Selves: Talk about Religion in America, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1997.

Holocaust Politics, Westminster John Knox (Louisville, KY), 2001.


(And author of introduction) The Moral Philosophy of William James, Crowell (New York, NY), 1969.

(And author of introduction) The Philosophy of Josiah Royce, Crowell (New York, NY), 1971.

(And author of introduction) The Moral Equivalent of War and Other Essays, Harper Torchbooks (New York, NY), 1971.

(With Frederick Sontag) The Defense of God, Paragon (Fern Park, FL), 1985.

(With Robert C. Whittemore) Ideology and American Experience: Essays on Theory and Practice in the United States, Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy (Washington, DC), 1986.

(With Robert H. Fossum) American Ground: Vistas, Visions, and Revisions, Paragon (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Richard L. Rubenstein) The Politics of Latin American Liberation Theology: Challenge to U.S. Public Policy, Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy (Washington, DC), 1988.

(With Michael Berenbaum) Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications, Paragon House (New York, NY), 1989.

Masterpieces of World Philosophy, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Carol Rittner) Memory Offended: The Auschwitz Convent Controversy, Praeger (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Creighton Pedem) Rights, Justice, and Community, Edwin Mellen (Lewiston, NY), 1992.

(With Carol Rittner) Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust, Paragon (New York, NY), 1993.

Ethics (Ready Reference), Aperture (New York, NY), 1994.

American Diversity, American Identity: The Lives and Works of 145 Writers Who Define the American Experience, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.

Encyclopedia of Social Issues, six volumes, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Carol Ritter) From the Unthinkable to the Unavoidable: American Christian and Jewish Scholars Encounter the Holocaust, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1997.

Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak, Anker Publishing (Bolton, MA), 1997.

(With Stephen R. Haynes) The Death of God Movement and the Holocaust: Radical Theology Encounters the Shoah, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1999.

Ethics after the Holocaust: Perspectives, Critiques, and Responses, Paragon House (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Christina J. Moose and Rowena Wildin) World Philosophers and Their Works, Salem Press (Pasadena, CA), 2000.

(With David Aretha) The Holocaust Chronicle, Publications International, 2000.

(With Carol Rittner) "Good News" after Auschwitz?: Christian Faith within a Post-Holocaust World, Mercer University Press (Macon, GA), 2001.

(With Carol Rittner) Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust, Leicester University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Elisabeth Maxwell-Meynard) Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocides, Palgrave (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Carol Rittner and James M. Smith) Will Genocide Ever End?, Paragon House (St. Paul, MN), 2002.

Also consulting editor for Ethics, three volumes, Salem Press (Pasadena, CA), 1994.

SIDELIGHTS: John K. Roth is a professor of philosophy whose writings encompass the complex landscape of philosophy, religion, sociology, and history. His work includes writings about historical figures, social trends, modern religion, ethics, and genocide. He has a particular interest in the Holocaust, a tragedy that challenges all of his interests.

Roth's 1994 ethics handbook, Ethics (Ready Reference), was an effort to offer a comprehensive look at the history and dynamics of ethics for students from high school through college. It features more than 800 entries, with the long entries including their own bibliographies. A reviewer for Booklist praised the book for being thorough and engaging, and for including more nonwestern cultures than similar books cover. The reviewer was confident that this book would be an asset to any library, explaining, "The writing is suitable for students just grappling with knotty ethical problems." The critic added that "this set will enjoy frequent use in public, high-school and college libraries. The questions it addresses are timeless, and it will help readers come to informed, but probably not uniform, answers."

Roth applied a similar approach to presenting a breadth of information in his Encyclopedia of Social Issues. This six-volume work offers almost 1,500 entries written by 300 contributors covering issues, cases, and individuals. A reviewer for Booklist remarked, "The writing is surprisingly straightforward and clear," adding, "The tone of the work is objective; both sides of controversies are explored." The reviewer appreciated the way potentially volatile issues are handled fairly and with objective information whenever possible. The reviewer concluded, "Although this encyclopedia does not provide exhaustive or in-depth coverage, it should be a welcome addition to high-school and public libraries where basic questions on social issues are posed."

Ethics after the Holocaust: Perspectives, Critiques, and Responses is a collection of essays by six authors considering the role of morality and ethics with regard to the post-Holocaust years. The topics covered are both difficult and important, including commentary on the role of religion and the world's understanding of evil. Zev Garber of Shofar praised the book for the writers' presentation of their views: "The essayists want us to see good and evil in a variety of contexts—as a structural system, legal prescription, behavioral setting, religious beliefs, and literary fancy." Garber declared this volume a "commendable and communicative book."

Another of Roth's many books dealing with the Holocaust is Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide. This book contains 170 new essays by respected scholars and historians of the Holocaust. Roth's intention was to collect the best current information available in a single volume and enhance it with the insights and perspectives of knowledgeable, sensitive, and passionate experts. Mick Hume of the New Statesman referred to the book as a "frankly awesome" collection whose "expert analysis sprawls over issues ranging from food and gender in the camps, through the ethical dilemmas of Auschwitz doctors and Nazi priests, to the debates about Holocaust denial, Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust humour today." Richard Bessel of the Times Literary Supplement commended the "rich detail contained in the many articles" and added, "Given the size of this collection, that so high a standard of scholarship could be maintained is remarkable."



American Literature, March, 1996, p. 291.

Antioch Review, summer, 1996, p. 378.

Booklist, September 1, 1994, p. 68; June 1, 1997,p. 1758; October 1, 1997, p. 346; January 1, 1998,p. 737.

Choice, January, 1996, p. 751; July, 1997, p. 1779; June, 1998, p. 1726.

Library Journal, June 15, 1997, p. 60.

New Statesman, July 9, 2001, Mick Hume, "On the Moral High Ground," p. 51.

Reference & Research Book News, March, 1996, p. 59; August, 1997, p. 89.

School Library Journal, May, 1997, p. 162; February, 2001, Leslie Millrod, review of World Philosophers and Their Works, p. 85; winter, 2001, p. 155.

Shofar, fall, 2001, Zev Garber, review of Ethics after the Holocaust: Perspectives, Critiques, and Responses, p. 149; winter, 2001, Clark Williamson, review of The Death of God Movement and the Holocaust: Radical Theology Encounters the Shoah, p. 155.

Times Literary Supplement, March 15, 2002, Richard Bessel, "Anger at Twilight," p. 7.


University of Illinois Press, (May 16, 2003).

Palgrave Macmillan, (May 16, 2003).*