Tae Sung

Tae Sung, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Office Phone: (951) 343-2194
Email: tsung@calbaptist.edu
Department: Arts & Sciences
Office Location: Tyler Plaza, Suite 200
Office Hours: By appointment


Degree Major Emphasis Institution Date
Ph.D. English University of California, Irvine 2014
M.A. Theology Fuller Theological Seminary 2006
B.A. Literature University of California, San Diego 2001

Additional Education


Michael and Stacey Koehn Endowed Fellowship in Critical Theory, UCI (2013-2014). 

Donald and Dorothy Strauss Endowed Fellowship in English, UCI (2013-2014). 

Regents' Fellowship, English, UCI (2007-2012). 

Frederick and Bernice Bush Scholarship of Theology, Fuller (2005). 

Classes Taught

I am the course lead for the following: 

ENG233 - Survey of American Literature I 

ENG313 - Multicultural Literature 

ENG401 - Literary Theory and Criticism 

ENG440 - Modern American Literature 

COM340 - Rhetoric & Persuasion 

COM405 - Rhetorical Criticism 

Academic Areas / Scholarly Interests

American literature, religion, and philosophy.

History of rhetoric, literary criticism, and critical theory.

Theology of culture, pragmatism, phenomenology, pneumatology. 

Research, Presentations, and Publications


Religion and Pragmatism: A Non-Economic Rhetoric of Gifts in Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James.

     Preface. What Has Pragmatism To Do with Religion? 

     Chapter 1. "A Gospel of Power": Literary Pragmatism and Modern Gift-Theories 

     Chapter 2. "A Golden Impossibility": The Rhetoric of Dynamic Gifts in Emerson 

     Chapter 3. The Flow of Gifts: Beyond Derrida and Milbank 

     Chapter 4. "A New Sphere of Power": The Hermeneutics of Dynamic Gifts in James 

     Chapter 5. The Direction of Gifts: Beyond Rorty and Taylor 



Review of Emerson's Metaphysics: A Song of Laws and Causes, by Joseph Urbas. Religion and Literature (forthcoming). 

"'A New Sphere of Power': Religious Experience and the Language of Dynamic Gifts in William James." William James Studies, vol.12, no. 2, fall 2016, pp. 52-79. 

"Emerson's 'Self-Reliance' and American Literature." Colonial Era to the 19th Century in American Literature. Ed. Laura A. Leibman. Gale Researcher, 2016. 

"The Study of World Religions in a Time of Crises: An Interview with Jack Miles." Books and Culture 22.3 (2016). 

"Our Shared Brokenness: On Mass Incarceration." Rev. of Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. Books and Culture 22.2 (2016). 
“Belief and Poetry: II. Early Modern to the Present.” Co-authored with Michael P. Clark. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Fourth edition. Ed. Roland Greene. Princeton UP, 2012. 

"Pragmatism and the Gift: Toward a Charismology of Dynamic Gifts in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Religion." Diss. University of California, Irvine, 2014. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2014. 

"Discipline, Improvisation, and Style: the Language of Identity and Democracy in Ralph Waldo Ellison." MA thesis. University of California, Irvine, 2006.  



"'The Gift, To Be True': A Non-Economic Theory of Gifts in Ralph Waldo Emerson," presentation at Transcendentalist Intersections conference at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2018). 

"What Has Pragmatism To Do with Religion?" presentation at the American Literature Association, San Francisco, CA (2018). 

"Shall We Flee or Plunder? A Parable (Loosely) about Augustine, Benedict, and Emerson," presentation at the Conference on Christianity and Literature at George Fox University, Portland, OR (2018). 

"A Gospel of Power: Dynamic Gifts in Literary Pragmatism and Philosophical Hermeneutics," presentation at the Pacific and Ancient Modern Langauge Association at Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI (2017). 

"Multiculturalism, Pragmatism, and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man," colloquium lecture at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA (2016). 

"Carpe Aeternitatem," convocation lecture for Enduring Questions and Ideas series at Concordia University, Irvine, CA (2016). 

"On Gadamer's Truth and Method: Recovering Philosophical and Rhetorical Hermeneutics for Today," presentation at the Conference on Christianity and Literature at California Baptist University, Riverside, CA (2016). 

"Christianity and American Pragmatism," colloquia lecture for the MA in English program at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA (2015). 

"The Rhetoric of Divine Grace and Dynamic Gifts in Emerson and James," presentation at Sacred Literature, Secular Religion: A Conference on Cultural Practices at the Le Moyne College Religion and Literature Forum, Syracuse, NY (2015). 

“The Rhetoric of Gratitude in the Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois and Sui Sin Far,” presentation at the International Society for the History of Rhetoric in Bologna, Italy (2011).

“Kenneth Burke and the Epilogue to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man,” guest lecture for English 102D, “The Age of Ralph Ellison,” undergraduate course by Professor Michael Szalay at UCI (2011). 
“For What Has Already Been Given: Religion and the Rorty Papers,” invited presentation at the UC Humanities Research Institute in celebration of the Richard Rorty archives in UC Irvine (2010). 
“Whence the Twain Shall Meet? Rhetoric and Biblical Hermeneutics in Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana,” presentation at the International Society for the History of Rhetoric in Montreal, Canada (2009).