Robert Detweiler is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts (ILA) at Emory University, and served as the Institute's director for eight years. A graduate of the University of Florida (M.A., 1960; Ph.D., 1962), he has taught at the University of Florida, Hunter College (CUNY), and Florida Presbyterian College (Eckerd College). He has held numerous visiting appointments, including three Fuibrights (University of Salzburg, University of Regensberg, and University of Copenhagen), two appointments at the University of Hamburg, and the American National Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the predecessor of the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities.
Detweiler has published extensively on the intersection of religion, literature and culture. Among his many books are John Updike (1972, 1979, 1984), Story, Sign and Self: Phenomenology and Structuralism as Literary Critical Methods (1978, 1984), Breaking the Fall: Religious Readings of Contemporary Fiction (1989), and Uncivil Rites: American Fiction, Religion, and the Public Sphere (1996). Breaking the Fall (reissued 1995) was honored with a 1990 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Religious Studies. In addition, Detweiler's life and work were celebrated in a 1994 festschrift, In Good Company . Along with co-author David Jasper of the University of Glasgow, Detweiler is currently at work on an introductory textbook/anthology on religion and literature.