Richard Rader, Ph.D.

rader, r..pngRichard Rader, Ph.D. (Lecturer,
UCLA Dept of Classics/UCSB Dept of Classics), 
(Author, Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus)



2.2 – Gods & Aliens (11.4.10)
2.7 – Angels & Aliens (12.9.10)
2.10 – Alien Contacts (12.30.10)

3.2 – Aliens & Monsters (8.4.11)
3.5 – Aliens & Mysterious Rituals (8.25.11)
3.7 – Aliens, Plagues, & Epidemics (9.8.11)
3.9 – Aliens & Deadly Weapons (9.22.11)
3.14 – Aliens & the Undead (10.26.11)
3.15 – Aliens, Gods, & Heroes (11.16.11)

5.4 – Destination Orion (1.11.13)
5.5 – The Einstein Factor (1.18.13)
5.7 – Prophets & Prophecies (2.8.13)
5.9 – Strange Abductions (2.22.13)
5.13 – The Power of Three (9.30.13)
5.14 – The Crystal Skulls (10.7.13)
5.17 – The Satan Conspiracy (10.28.13)
5.18 – Alien Creations (11.1.13)
5.20 – Mysterious Relics (11.15.13)

6.3 – Aliens & Mysterious Mountains (12.13.13)
6.7 – Treasures of the Gods (2.14.14)
6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet (2.21.14)
6.11 – Alien Breeders (3.14.14)
6.15 – Faces of the Gods (7.11.14)
6.18 – The God Particle (8.15.14)

8.3 – Aliens & Robots (8.7.15)
8.4 – Dark Forces (8.14.15)

9.6 – Decoding the Cosmic Egg (6.17.16)
9.8 – The Mysterious Nine (7.8.16)




PhD Classics Ohio State University 2007
MA Classics Ohio State University 2002
BA Classics University of Virginia 2000


Visiting Assistant Professor UC-Santa Barbara 2012-pres.
Lecturer UCLA 2010-2012
Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow University of Southern California 2009-2010
Senior Lecturer Ohio State University 2007-2009



New Approaches to Greek Drama: A special volume of Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature, co-edited with James Collins (forthcoming)


‘Aeschylus in the Classroom, on Stage and Beyond: Rethinking a Paradigm’: Classical Journal 106.4 (2011): 465-82 (with a response by A.F. Garvie)

‘The Fate of Humanism in Greek Tragedy’: Philosophy and Literature 33.2 (2009): 442-54

‘“And whatever it is, it is you.” The Autochthonous Self in Aeschylus’s Seven Against Thebes’: Arethusa 42.1 (2009): 1-44

          • Exclusively reviewed in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: ‘Tragödie und ideologische Phantasie: Aischylos’ “Sieben gegen Theben” als Lehrstück der Selbstsuche’ (10.21.2009)


‘The Radical Theology of Prometheus Bound; or, On Prometheus’ God Problem’: in R. Rader and J. Collins (eds.), New Approaches to Greek Drama (forthcoming)

‘The Revisionist: Aeschylus on the Rhyme of Hope and History’: in S. Constantinidis and B. Heiden (eds.), The Tragedies of Aeschylus: The Cultural Divide and the Trauma of Adaptation (forthcoming)

‘The Ethics of Greek Drama’: in M. Hose and D. Schenker (eds.), Companion to Greek Literature (Wiley-Blackwell) (forthcoming)


Written in the Cosmos: Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus (monograph)


‘Scholarship on Greek Tragedy: 20th Century to the Present’: in H. Roisman (ed.), Encyclopedia of Greek Tragedy (Wiley-Blackwell) (forthcoming)

‘The Ethics of Greek Tragedy: Oedipus’: Greek Ethos (newsletter published by/for the Greek community in Columbus, OH) (2009)


Lauren Apfel, The Advent of Pluralism: Diversity and Conflict in the Age of Sophocles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011): Journal of Hellenic Studies 132 (2012): 259-61

Thalia Papadopoulou, Aeschylus: Suppliants (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2011): The Classical Review 62.1 (2012): 38-40

Simon Goldhill and Edith Hall (eds.), Sophocles and the Greek Tragic Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009): Bryn Mawr Classical Review (12.17.2009)

N.J. Sewell-Rutter, Guilt by Descent: Moral Inheritance and Decision Making in Greek Tragedy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007): Classical Journal Online (11.02.2008)

Elizabeth Wayland Barber & Paul T. Barber, When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005): Archiv für Religionsgeschichte Vol. 8 (2006): 348-51


UCLA Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award (2010, 2011)

Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship: University of Southern California (2009-10)

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Research Fellowship: Internationally competitive fellowship, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (2006-07)

AHEPA (American Hellenic Education Progressive Association) Scholarship in Greek Studies: Awarded to most outstanding student in Modern Greek Studies (2004)

Greek Studies Scholarship, University of Athens: Awarded for acceptance and participation in the Summer THYESPA program, a six-week introductory course to the Modern Greek language and the major archaeological sites of Greece (2003)

John Vaughn Travel Award: Awarded by Ohio State University Department of Classics (2003)



‘Towards an Existential Theology of Greek Tragedy’: UCLA Center for the Study of Religion (04.10.2012)

‘The Radical Theology of Prometheus Bound; or, On Prometheus’ God Problem’: Texas Tech University (04.28.2010), McGill University (01.29.2010)

‘The Banality of Freedom: the Fate of Humanism in Greek Tragedy’: University of North Carolina, Greensboro (11.23.2009)

‘The Rhyme of Hope and History in Aeschylus’ Persians’: Tragedy, Translation, Ethnicity and Imperialism, Symposium hosted by Ohio State University Department of Theater (11.20.2009)

‘Fate and Freedom in Greek Tragedy (once again)’: University of Southern California (11.02.2009)


‘On the Margins of Academia: Labor and Life Off the Tenure Track’: APA Roundtable Discussion (2013)

‘Disce ut doceas: Preparing to TA in Latin’: American Classical League (2006)

‘Don’t Forget Your Towel: Preparing for Success in the Interview Process’: CAMWS (2006)


‘On the Possibility of Atheist Tragedy?’: Comparative Drama Conference (2010); UCLA (2011)

‘The Image of Prometheus and the Shadow of the Future’: Classical Myth and Psychoanalysis, Institute of Advanced Study, University of London (09.07.2009)

‘The Undead Past in Aeschylus’ Persians’: CAMWS (2008)

‘Eyes Wide Shut: Blindness and Pleasure in Menander’s Aspis’: Ohio State University Graduate Student Colloquium (2005); Ohio Classical Conference (2006)

‘Mysperception, Malaise, Miles’: CAMWS (2005)

‘Malaise Gloriosus: The End of Innocent Visions and the Beginning of Guilty Indifference’: Ohio State University Interdisciplinary Conference: ‘The End of Innocent Visions’ (2004)

‘Meretricious Fantasies’: CAMWS (2004)


University of California, Santa Barbara (2012-pres.)
Greek 101 Introduction to Greek Poetry: Homer Greek 102 Reading in Greek Literature Greek 253 Aeschylus (Graduate reading course) Greek 273 Hellenistic Poets: Apollonius (Graduate reading course) Classics 40 Greek Mythology

University of California, Los Angeles (2010-2012)
Greek 2-3 First Year Greek (15 Students)
Greek 101B Homeric Hymns (15 Students)
Greek 206 Ethics, Existentialism and Sophocles (Graduate seminar – 6 Students)
Latin 1-3 First Year Latin (40 Students) Latin 108 Roman Elegy (15 Students)
Classics 30 Classical Mythology (350 Students)
Classics 144 Die Hard: The Life and Death of the Hero (40 Students)
Classics 144 Conviction, Conversion, Confession (60 Students)
Classics 167 Magic in the Ancient World (70 Students)
Classics 375 Teaching Apprentice Practicum (5-9 Students)

University of Southern California (2009-10)
Greek 362 Homer (2 Students)
Classics 545 Dramatic Theology in Greek Tragedy (Graduate seminar – 5 Students)

Ohio State University (2000-09)
Greek 101-103 First Year Greek (20-25 Students)
Greek 221 Attic Prose: Lucian (5 Students)
Greek 293 Homer (2 Students)
Greek 293 Independent Study: Historians (8 Students)
Latin 101-104 First Year Latin (25 Students)
Latin 210 Cicero (25 Students)
Classics 101 Masterpieces of Greek Literature (120 Students)
Classics 210 Medical and Scientific Terminology (200 Students)
Classics 222 Classical Mythology (700 Students)
Classics 222E Classical Mythology (overload course: 30 Students)
Classics 224 Greek Civilization (25 Students)
Classics 240 Archaeology of the Mind in Antiquity (20 Students)
Classics 301 Greek and Roman Epic (30 Students)
Classics 301E Greek and Roman Epic (overload course: 8 Students)
Classics 322 The Hero in Myth (35 Students)


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Documentary interviews (2012-13)
Special feature interview for Supernatural, Season 7 DVD (2012)
‘Path of the Gods’: Special feature for Wrath of the Titans DVD (2012)
‘It’s No Myth’: Special feature for Immortals DVD (2011)
The History Channel: Regular guest on series Ancient Aliens (2010-pres.)
‘The Myth Comes Alive!’: Special feature for Clash of the Titans DVD (2010)


American Philological Association (2006-pres.)
Association of Literary Scholars and Critics (2007-09)
Classical Association of the Middle, West and South (2003-pres.) [1] 


1 - Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus

Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus: Written in the Cosmos

Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus revivifies the complex question of fate and freedom in the tragedies of the famous Greek playwright. Starting with Sartre’s insights about radical existential freedom, this book shows that Aeschylus is concerned with the ethical ramifications of surrendering our lives to fatalism (gods, curses, inherited guilt) and thoroughly interrogates the plays for their complex insights into theology and human motivation. But can we reconcile the radical freedom of existentialism and the seemingly fatal world of tragedy, where gods and curses and necessities wreak havoc on individual autonomy? If forces beyond our control or comprehension are influencing our lives, what happens to choice? How are we to conceive of ethics in a world studiously indifferent to our choices?

In this book, author Ric Rader demonstrates that few understood the importance of these questions better than the tragedians, whose literature dealt with a central theological concern: What is a god? And how does god affect, impinge upon, or even enable human freedom? Perhaps more importantly: If god is dead, is everything possible, or nothing? Tragedy holds the preeminent position with regard to these questions, and Aeschylus, our earliest surviving tragedian, is the best witness to these complex theological issues.




Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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