Alison Milbank, God & the Gothic, available for pre-order

God & the Gothic

Religion, Romance and Reality in the English Literary Tradition

Alison Milbank


  • Offers an original reworking of Gothic fiction, which is usually read as a secularizing genre, as instead doing creative theological work
  • Takes the story right back to the Reformation, and locates tropes such as the usurper, fleeing heroine who uncovers mysteries, and the imprisoning castle to the Dissolution of the monasteries, the female martyrs, and the conflicted attitude to the Catholic past as tyranny to be escaped but also as something valuable lost
  • The Victorian period’s ghost stories are read as an intensification of a religious analysis, in the face of rampant materialism, itself the result of the loss of the sacramental and mediating spiritual practices in Protestantism
  • Later Gothic is concerned to re-enchant the material and reconnect natural and supernatural spheres

Lecture: Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Ibn Taymiyya: Critiquing the Link

British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship Lecture

Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Ibn Taymiyya: Critiquing the Link
Dr Jon Hoover (University of Nottingham)

Presented by the University of Nottingham Department of Theology and Religious Studies and the Karimia Institute

6.30pm, Tuesday 16 October 2018
Keighton Auditorium, University Park Campus
University of Nottingham

Refreshments will be served from 6pm onwards. Registration is free.

Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) is the pre-modern Muslim scholar most frequently cited by jihadist movements like ISIS and al-Qaeda to justify their violence. Yet, Muslim scholars of different kinds argue that Ibn Taymiyya cannot be used to support such violence. This lecture will evaluate the arguments of both sides and show that jihadist readings of Ibn Taymiyya do not follow the pattern of his life and thought.

Dr Jon Hoover is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham. His areas of interest include Islamic intellectual history, the thought of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, and Christian-Muslim relations.

Click here to register.


BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking: What St Augustine teaches us

Anne McEvoy and guests explore ideas of tryanny, martyrdom, sin and grace. Historian Gillian Clark and theologian John Milbank discuss the legacy of Augustine of Hippo.

Find out more at


Sydney School of Theology, Culture & Public Engagement 2019

Held over three days, the ADM’s School of Theology, Culture & Public Engagement is a unique, curated program of masterclasses delivered by leading scholars working at the intersection of theology, culture and public engagement.

The STCPE creates space in a busy city for Christians to immerse themselves in theological reflection on the ideas shaping our culture. We want artists and academics, bankers and baristas, carers and CEOs. We want Christians who are hungry to explore the ways the good news of Jesus illuminates our work, our loves and our culture.

Be challenged to pursue deeper theological engagement with areas such as literature, psychology, politics and the arts. Be inspired to develop practical skills for more imaginative public engagement.

The STCPE is open to both women and men of all ages. There are no prerequisites or assessments. Everyone is welcome. Participants pay a registration fee for the entire STCPE program and can choose from the masterclasses on offer.

This summer, come together with Christians from a variety of fields in a space of hospitality and intellectual warmth. Meet mentors, peers, collaborators, and friends.

Stretch yourself. Go deeper. Find your voice for public engagement. Make time to reflect on the ideas and cultivate the skills which will help you better engage the world with Jesus.


ALISON MILBANK, Theology & literature: Re-enchanting the world
JOHN MILBANK, Political theology after liberalism
KATELYN BEATY, Publishing, editing & writing
BRIAN ROSNER, Known by God: Personal identity
BILL SALIER, Theology of character formation
KATE HARRISON BRENNAN, Christianity & politics (Panel event)
JENNY BROWN, Maturity for leaders
ANDREW JUDD, Why we keep disagreeing on the Bible
LAURA RADEMAKER, Aboriginal history & Christian churches
CHRISTOPHER MAYES, Political theology & ethics of food
ADRIAN MILLS, Communicating with impact & creativity
LACHLAN BROWN, Creative writing
STEPHANIE JUDD, Communicating the gospel
KIRSTY BEILHARZ, Music, theology & palliative care
LOUISE GOSBELL, Embodiment & senses in the gospels
LUKE BARNES, The fine-tuning of the universe

About ADM: The vision of Anglican Deaconess Ministries is to see women from generation to generation flourishing in Kingdom work. Our mission is to raise up women with theological formation for practical and public engagement. The STCPE is inspired by ADM’s over-100-year-old commitment to theological formation that is deeply pastoral, practical and public.

About CPX: The Centre for Public Christianity is a not-for-profit media company that offers a Christian perspective on contemporary life. CPX seeks to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith by engaging mainstream media and the general public with high quality and well-researched print, video and audio material about the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century.


For more info on speakers and masterclass topics, visit the STCPE official website:


‘Excellent Women’ Lecture Series at Westminster Abbey

Jane Austen’s Afterlife: Art, Culture and Religion

The Reverend Dr Alison Grant Milbank

5th June 2018, 6.30 – 7.45 pm, in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey

In this first lecture, the Reverend Dr Alison Grant Milbank, Associate Professor of Literature and Theology, University of Nottingham, discusses the work of Jane Austen (1775 – 1817).

To book (free):




theForum@LSE: Death


29 May | 6:30 pm8:00 pm

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

‘To philosophize is to learn to die’, writes Michel de Montaigne, in a lineage of death-preoccupied thinkers reaching back to Plato’s Socrates. Can philosophers fulfil such a lofty injunction? How might learning to die teach us how to live, or how to live-on while mourning another’s death? We bring together practitioners and thinkers to discuss how medicine, technology, art, and philosophy might make a good death possible.

Conor Cunningham, Associate Professor in Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham
Laura Salisbury, Professor in Medicine and English Literature, University of Exeter
Louise Winter, Funeral Director, ‘Poetic Endings’; Founder and organizer, Life. Death. Whatever Festival

Danielle Sands, Fellow, the Forum; Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.


Call for Applications: Living Freedom 2018

Living Freedom 2018 – APPLY NOW

We are encouraging applications for Living Freedom, the residential school for 18-25 year olds organised by the Academy of Ideas. The school takes place at the CIEE Global Institute in central London on 5 – 7 April 2018. See

Living Freedom provides a stimulating forum for around 40 young advocates of freedom to attend expert talks and participate in meaningful debates. As well as the chance to get to grips with the key thinkers and engage in a series of intellectual challenges the school provides a social forum, offering a chance to meet and socialise with peers from throughout the UK and beyond.

In particular, Living Freedom 2018 is an opportunity to explore contemporary conundrums around liberty and autonomy, using both the insights of ‘the best that is known and thought’ and the provocations of contemporary intellectuals, to get to grips with the complexities and contradictions of freedom in the twenty-first century. Freedom and tolerance are frequently asserted as fundamental values. In practice, however, aspects of freedom as they relate to different experiences or discrete groups are increasingly viewed as being in conflict. This has led many to question the virtues of an unconditional defence of tolerance or a no-holds-barred approach to the exercise of freedom. For example, if one culture or identity needs to be protected from appropriation by other groups, how does this effect universal notions or treating people equally? Or if an individual or group requires being shielded from potentially offensive remarks, then protecting the freedom of one depends on the denial of freedom to others. Such is the minefield of confusion around freedom today that what once were considered historic gains are now called into question: national sovereignty seems to conflict with rights to freedom of movement; sexual liberation with the right of women to be protected; the freedom not to be judged by gender or the colour of one’s skin with the demand for segregated safe spaces, whether on campus or public transport. Living Freedom aims to make the case for freedom today while providing plenty of opportunity for challenging discussion.

Lectures, panel debates and seminars include

What is freedom? . The classical conception of freedom . The Enlightenment and freedom: four short lectures on four classic texts . Stop Funding Hate: consumer boycott or censorship? . Freedom of conscience: religious freedom – a critical right or license to discriminate? . National sovereignty versus freedom of movement . Identity politics – finding ourselves or a threat to freedom? . Genetics, genomics and society – determinism versus free will . Generation snowflake – myth or reality? . The new gender wars . Decolonising the curriculum or racialising knowledge? . Silicon Valley: libertarian utopia or surveillance state? . Law & order vs liberty . What the papers say… . Is women’s liberation helped or hindered by #MeToo?

For a flavour of the event, please visit where you can view the 2017 programme.

The school is open to all 18-25 year olds regardless of whether students or in employment. To apply simply submit a short (300 words) statement. Deadline for applications is Monday 5 March.

Email application via

Attendees pay a nominal fee of £40 which includes provision of central London accommodation for two nights.

Should you have any queries please contact or call on 020 7269 9233.


CFA & CFP: 6th International Summer School & Conference – Beyond Secular Faith: ”Economy of Desire”

Call for Applications and Call for Papers

6th International Summer School and Conference – Beyond Secular Faith

“Economy of Desire”

17th – 25th June, 2018 – Granada (Spain)

Download: Poster | Programme | Call for Papers and Applications

Organizing Institutions

  • Institute of Philosophy Edith Stein, Granada
  • Faculty of Philosophy – The Pontifical University of John Paul II , Krakow
  • International Center for the Study of the Christian Orient, Granada

Honorific Collaboration
Komisja Krajowa NSZZ “Solidarność”, Gdańsk

With the Collaboration of:

  • Center of Theology and Philosophy, Nottingham
  • Editorial Nuevo Inicio, Granada
  • Institute of Theology Lumen Gentium, Granada
  • Centre for Thought of John Paul II, Varsovia
  • The Ecclesial University Project, Winnipeg (USA)
  • Saint Joseph’s College, Standish (USA)
  • Hotel Casa Pilar Toro, Granada

International Summer School and Conference

The title of our sixth annual Summer School and International Conference, Beyond Secular Faith is Economy of Desire. Our late capitalist and secular culture is based on an intense relationship of economy and desire. This is manifested most acutely in a virtual consumerism that has come to dominate our sense of self and our relations.

The hope of this International Summer School and Conference is to take the current anthropological crisis as an opportunity to repose the question of the deeper theological relation of economy and desire. Our goal is to eschew the reduction of our two terms in order recover to them their polyvalent and genuinely human, incarnate reality.

For five years our summer school has facilitated a rich and friendly theological, philosophical and cultural dialogue in freedom, in the unique setting of Granada, a breathtakingly beautiful city that lies at the historic crossroads of modernity and the Christian tradition.


Deadline: 30th April 2018

We invite graduate and PhD students as well as postdoctoral researchers to take part in the International Summer School and Conference

Please send a short CV and a letter of intent to:
If you would like to present a paper, please also send an abstract (400 words) on a topic related to the theme.

Successful candidates will be informed as soon as possible.



  • Miłosz Hołda: “Divine Hiddenness and Human Desires”
  • John Milbank: “Economy: Theological and Political”
  • Rocco Buttiglione /Michal Łuczewski: “The Phenomenology of Desire. John Paul II and Late Capitalism”
  • Rodrigo Guerra López: “Building a New Common Home: Geopolitics, Economics & Social Justice in Times of Pope Francis”

Keynote lectures

  • Alison Milbank – “Can Beauty Save the World? A Theological Response to Commodity Fetishism”
  • Joanna Mysona Byrska -“An Attempt to Overcome the World of Consumerism?”


Keynote lectures

  • Marek Urban – “Christian Thought and Philosophical Reflection – Hans Urs von Balthasar”
  • Robert Wozniak – “The Name of God and Economy of Human Desire: Toward a Trinitarian Matrix of Society”
  • Mátyás Szalay – “Typology of Desire – Imagination of Social Order”
  • Norm Klassen – “Medieval for Now: Chaucer’s Pilgrimage Ontology and the Problem of Greed”
  • Timothy Mosteller – “Metaphysics, Markets and Mondragon”
  • Zbigniew Stawrowski – “Plato’s Order of Desires”

Presentation of papers


Seminars will meet Monday through Friday (4 hours a day). You can either choose to study for five days or you can also participate and attend a 3-day International Congress at the end of the summer course.

A key feature of the IFES Summer School is the out-of-class learning which will be an integral part of each module. The content will vary but excursions include visits to the tropical beaches in Granada, flamenco show at the Sacromonte caves, Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. All International Summer Students and the professors will live in several hotels or apartments right in the heart of the city, near the Albaycín, the old Moorish quarter of the city and only few minutes’ walk from library facilities, shops, restaurants, theatres, and social areas.

The programme fee includes all tuition costs, your own private room with bathroom, a comprehensive orientation and social activities, and optional fields trips. There will also be the possibility to pay just for the courses without the trips and cultural activities as some of you might have already seen the city and its precious monuments.

  • BLOCK 1 (17-22 June) – Summer School – Room & Board: 450€/person
  • BLOCK 2 (22-25 June)- Conference – Without Room & Board: 100€/person
  • BLOCK 1 & 2 (17-25 June) – Summer School & Conference – Room & Board: 550€/person
  • BLOCK 3 (17-25 June) – Summer School & Conference – Room & Board & Cultural Activities: 650€/person

Academic Board:

Mátyás Szalay (Director), Marcelo López Cambronero, Artur Mrówczynski – Van Allen, Aaron Riches

Academic Advisory Board:

Rocco Buttiglione, Carmina Chapp, Rocío Daga, Ildefonso Fernández-Figares, Jarosław Jagiełło, Michał Łuczewski, Alison Milbank, John Milbank, Timothy Mosteller, Teresa Obolevitch, Kirsten Pinto- Gfroerer, Enrique Rico Pavés, Zbigniew Stawrowski. David Widdicombe.


Eva Martínez García

More details available.


‘All there is today is a lack of the All.’

John James Audubon, “Ruby-throated Humming Bird” from Birds of America:


John Milbank’s essay, The All: A philosophico-political polemic is now available to read online at The Immanent Frame, as part of their special project ‘Is this all there is‘.



Overcoming the Fear: A Tale of Muslim Britain, a talk by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

Overcoming the fear: a tale of Muslim Britain


The Trust Building Forum invites you to:

Overcoming the fear: a tale of Muslim Britain

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

Former Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth and author of The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain.

Thursday 15 March, 6.45-8pm
B52, Business School South, Jubilee Campus

Presented by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies, and the University Chaplaincy

For details and to book: click here.


Call for papers: Borders and Boundaries in Ancient Israel

Borders and Boundaries in Ancient Israel

University of Nottingham
5th-6th June 2018

Abstracts are invited for a two-day interdisciplinary conference on the theme “Borders and Boundaries in Ancient Israel” to be held at the University of Nottingham, 5th-6th of June, 2018. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Prof. Christopher B. Hays (Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Ca.), Prof. Mahri Leonard-Fleckman (Providence College, Rhode Island) and Prof. Shayna Sheinfeld (Centre College, Danville, Ky.).

Abstracts of 250 words for short papers (c. 20 minutes), are welcome from any field of study that addresses the conference theme, including, but not limited to, Theology, Archaeology, History, and the Social Sciences. The deadline for submission of abstracts is the 15th March 2018.

Submissions might include, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

  • Interaction between Israel and Judah, or Israel/Judah and the surrounding nations.
  • Inter/Intra-national movement of peoples, including migration, deportation and invasion.
  • Studies involving literal, ritual, or metaphorical borders/boundary markers.
  • The use of borders or boundaries in the construction of identity in the biblical texts.
  • Any aspect of the relationship between territory/land/space and identity in ancient Israel.

Abstracts should be sent to Enquiries should be addressed to Cat Quine. A limited number of bursaries will be available for student presenters who would otherwise not be able to attend the conference. Application forms may be requested via email and bursaries will be awarded on the basis of need.

Download and distribute the flyer here.


Russian translation of Conor Cunningham’s Darwin’s Pious Idea now available

Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get It Wrong, by Conor Cunningham, has now been translated into Russian, which also now includes a new 40-page afterword by the author.

See the full description here, which also includes a link to the table of contents and the book’s introduction.

Purchase the Russian translation here.

Дискуссию между религией и эволюцией в наше время полностью монополизировали экстремисты: на одной стороне мы видим верующих-фундаменталистов, с порога отвергающих эволюцию, противостоят же им атеисты-фундаменталисты, заявляющие, что теория Дарвина исключает возможность существования Бога. Обе стороны абсолютно неправы, – утверждает Конор Каннингем, одновременно христианин и твердый сторонник теории эволюции. Автор выдвигает неотразимо убедительные аргументы в пользу как творения, так и эволюции, искусно подкрепляя свою позицию великим множеством философских, богословских, исторических и естественно-научных источников.

«С неотразимым юмором, свидетельствующим о необыкновенно сильном и бодром уме, Конор Каннингем демонстрирует, почему при наличии христианского Бога эволюционное объяснение жизни является необходимым. … Предложенная им богословская трактовка творения станет, на мой взгляд, классической».

Стэнли Хауэрвас, Университет Дьюка

«В этой книге спор о сущности дарвиновской эволюции ставится в связь с христианским богословием творения. … Каннингем показывает, что представление о Боге как о великом Конструкторе артефактов, принятое некогда Пейли, а ныне общее для ультрадарвинистов и креационистов, находится в глубоком противоречии с христианством».

Чарльз Тейлор, автор «Секулярного века»

«Несмотря на солидный объем, «Благочестивая идея Дарвина» – книга читабельная, захватывающая, порой беспощадно остроумная. … Богатство ее материала само по себе доставляет наслаждение. Последняя, богословская по преимуществу глава – настоящий шедевр сжатости изложения и плотности мысли, ее следует рекомендовать всем, кто хотел бы видеть логику классического ортодоксального синтеза, представленную с интеллектуальной глубиной – и даже лиризмом. … Более интересной и вдохновляющей книги о пограничье науки и религии, я никогда не встречал».

Роуэн Уильямс, Times Literary Supplement.

Конор Каннингем (род. в 1972 г.) – профессор, директор Центра богословия и философии при Ноттингемском университете (Англия), автор многих книг и сценария популярного документального фильма «Убил ли Дарвин Бога?» (ВВС).


Now available: The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faerie

Now available from Angelico Press: The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faerie, by Jonathan S. McIntosh.

[Purchase: |]

J. R. R. Tolkien was a profoundly metaphysical thinker, and one of the most formative influences on his imagination, according to this new study of his works, was the great thirteenth-century theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas. Structured around Tolkien’s Middle-earth creation myth, the Ainulindalë, The Flame Imperishable follows the thought of Aquinas as a guide in laying bare the deeper foundations of many of the more familiar themes from Tolkien’s legendarium, including sub-creation, free will, evil, and eucatastrophe. More than merely using Aquinas to illuminate Tolkien, however, this study concludes that, through its appropriation of many of the philosophical and theological insights of Aquinas, what Tolkien’s literary opus achieves is an important and unique landmark in the history of Thomism itself, offering an imaginative and powerful contemporary retrieval, interpretation, and application of Thomistic metaphysics for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


“McIntosh’s comprehension of Tolkien’s Legendarium is masterly; his appropriation of Aquinas is superb; his knowledge of the most important works in recent theology is staggering.” — RALPH C. WOOD

“In a tour de force for religious and non-religious readers alike, McIntosh illuminates Tolkien’s own metaphysical thought and how it pervades the entire fictive world of his legendarium.” — JASON FISHER

“Breathtakingly original, this book deserves to be a landmark. With a boldness supported closely by a wealth of reasoned argument, McIntosh highlights the singularity and magnitude of Tolkien’s achievement both as an artist and as a speculative thinker.” — MARK SEBANC

“In this exciting and lucidly written study, Jonathan McIntosh flings open a door that has remained all but sealed, bringing together the doctor of creation, Thomas Aquinas, with the artist of creation, J.R.R. Tolkien.” — CRAIG BERNTHAL

“This is a trustworthy guide to the radiant sense of being in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, which truly illuminates the realism of Tolkien’s project.” — ALISON MILBANK

The Flame Imperishable is a most valuable addition to Tolkien scholarship.” — HOLLY ORDWAY

“This book is absolutely essential reading to anyone who takes Tolkien seriously enough to want to understand him more deeply.” — JOSEPH PEARCE

The Flame Imperishable is not just another in a long line of books about J.R.R. Tolkien, but a truly seminal book that will be remembered as such long after the ephemera surrounding Peter Jackson’s work has come and gone. It will be canon.” — BRADLEY J. BIRZER

[Purchase: |]


Job: Assistant Professor in Religious Ethics

The Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham is seeking to enhance and complement its existing strengths in teaching and research with the appointment of a new Assistant Professor in Religious Ethics. The successful candidate will be well grounded in the methods and theory of the study of religion, design and deliver modules at the undergraduate level, attract and supervise postgraduate research students, provide students with pastoral care, conduct outstanding research and publish and otherwise disseminate the results of that research and thereby make a significant contribution to the next Research Excellence Framework and subsequent such assessments, and contribute to the efficient and harmonious administration of the Department.

Candidates must have a PhD successfully completed in a relevant subject area. They must show evidence of the ability to make a strong contribution to future REF or other research assessment exercises and to make a strong contribution to the undergraduate curriculum in religious ethics. They must also display training in the methods and theory of the study of religion and the ability to integrate this into undergraduate teaching. The PGCHE or other Higher Education teaching qualification is desirable.

Applicants are invited to upload a current Curriculum Vitae, a covering letter and an up to date publications list in application for this post.

This is a full-time permanent post due to commence on 1 September 2018. Job share arrangements may be considered for this post.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Jon Hoover, tel: 0115 951 5886 or email Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


CALL FOR PAPERS: The 2018 Telos Europe Conference

Friday, August 31, to Sunday, September 2, 2018 Ragusa, Sicily

The Endurance of Empire

 Conference Description

The end of the two world wars saw the fall of mighty empires—from the Tsarist Empire, the Kaiserreich and the Ottoman Empire to the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire. This was followed by the dissolution of the French and British empires in the 1950s and 1960s. After 1989, the demise of the Soviet Union—dubbed the “evil empire”—seem to confirm the triumph of liberal democracy over tyranny and of national independence over imperial domination. The age of revolution from 1789 to 1989 appeared to mark the end of empire.

But at the same time, the post–Cold War era is often characterized as the hegemony of the Anglophonic liberal empire led by the United States of America. Officially, the United States denies that it is in the business of building an empire, arguing that the independent United States came into existence precisely to throw off the shackles of colonial rule and to fight imperialism everywhere. Donald Rumsfeld famously said in 2003, “We don’t seek empires. We’re not imperialistic. We never have been.” In the same year however, Karl Rove—adviser to George W. Bush’s—was quoted as saying that “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

According to the historian Niall Ferguson, “the United States is an empire in denial, and U.S. denial of this poses a real danger to the world. An empire that doesn’t recognize its own power is a dangerous one.” If so, then this has implications for Trump’s America and just as much for both contemporary Russia and China. Putin’s actions in Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria suggest that there is a profound continuity with the Soviet Union and Tsarist Russia. And the “Chinese Dream” invoked by Xi Jinping is the idea that the “Middle Kingdom” will regain what many in China see as her ancient birth-right since the Qin dynasty—a global primacy at the heart of world affairs.

Much of nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy and history focused on the decline and fall of empires and civilizations. Faced with the resurgence of imperial politics, a question for the twenty-first century is rather about the endurance of empire both in theory and practice. From Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of empire as multitude via Pierre Manent’s work on the metamorphoses of Western political organization to ideas of liberal empire in International Relations (John Ikenberry or Michael Ignatieff), the attempt to renew this theme requires critical engagement.

Today there is a further twist. Alongside the resurgence of old empires and the emergence of new ones, we are also witnessing the return of nationalism and a reaffirmation of the nation-state as the natural locus of sovereignty. Brexit and the election of Donald Trump reflect popular unrest and a rejection of dominant elites in the name of “taking back control” and “making America great again”—a consequence of the liberal imperium. This raises questions about the endurance of both nationalism and imperialism. Appeals to imperial traditions have often met with ridicule. “Neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire,” Voltaire quipped. Yet this ignores long-standing continuities in terms of both ideas and institutions, which were marginalized by revolutions but never entirely destroyed.

The 2018 Telos Europe conference will explore the endurance of empire, its nature and meaning. Among others, the questions that will be debated include the following: Are we witnessing the resurgence of old empires or the formation of new ones? Are empires based on economic power and military might, or on ideology and cultural appeal? Winston Churchill remarked that the empires of the future would be “empires of the mind.” Can power be contained or is it inherently imperial?

The specific topics of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The meaning of empire and imperial power
  • The legacy of empire
  • Westphalia and the rise of national states and transnational markets?
  • Empire, church/mosque/temple/synagogue, and city-state as alternatives to the Westphalian system of states and markets?
  • The Atlantic West as a liberal empire? Are liberalism and empire contradictory or compatible?
  • Western vs. non-Western empires (Russia, China, Muslim caliphate)
  • Old and new empires—ideology and cultural appeal
  • Nationalism, imperialism, and capitalism
  • Contemporary conceptions of empire in philosophy, politics, and IR

Conference Speakers

Speakers will include:

Russell Berman (Stanford University and Telos)
Christopher Coker (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Lord (Maurice) Glasman (Common Good Foundation; House of Lords, London)
Adrian Pabst (University of Kent and Telos)
David Pan (University of California, Irvine, and Telos)
Nicholas Rengger (St. Andrews University)
Richard Sakwa (University of Kent)

Abstract Submissions

We invite scholars from all disciplines to submit 250-word abstracts along with a short c.v. to by March 30, 2018. The criteria for selecting abstracts are as follows:

  • relevance to the conference theme
  • original analysis and argument (not summary or description)
  • focus (conference presentations should be no longer than 15–20 minutes)

Conference Details

The Telos-Paul Piccone Institute will host this conference in Ragusa, Sicily. Additional details about the conference venue, accommodations, and registration fees will be posted soon.


Available for pre-order: Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World, by Timothy Stacey

Available for pre-order from Routledge: Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World: Beyond Religious and Political Division, by Timothy Stacey.

In the context of the rise of reactionary politics across the globe, this book seeks new ways of developing solidarity across religious, political and economic differences. Drawing on an increasingly influential Christian theological movement, postliberalism, it claims that the dominance of liberal, secular rationality has blinded people to the fundamental role of transcendence and myth in developing solidarity. The result is either atrophy, or a retrenching in divisive myths of faith, race, nation or economic status.

Liberalism is now a dominant force across the globe. But its resonance in the Anglo-Saxon West, from which it originates and has been most fully realized, is relatively underexplored. The book thus follows two simultaneous lines of enquiry. Firstly, a genealogical study of social scientific and policy iterations of the relationship between belief and solidarity in the Anglo-Saxon West, placing postliberal theory into dialogue with the sociology and anthropology of religion, politics and economics. Secondly, it draws from original ethnographic research with groups in London, UK, that seek to develop solidarity in the face of deep-seated difference.

By bringing a new way of framing these contentious debates about contemporary society, this research offers tools for more productive conversations around religious and political topics, in particular concluding with a clear policy proposal. It is, therefore, a useful resource for both academics of theology and religious studies, political philosophy, sociology and anthropology; and for politicians, policy makers and practitioners hoping to develop solidarity in the modern world.


‘This book neatly juxtaposes the search for sources of solidarity in the West, not in a return to Christianity, as some have proposed, but in innovative movements and initiatives emerging out of a diversity of religion, belief and non-belief. The concept of myth is borrowed from religion and deployed in empirical investigations of both religious and non-religious settings. This opens up a valuable space for thinking again about categories and sources of solidarity in the public realm which for a while had gone missing, and will allow scholars, students and interested activists to think deeply about the possibilities.’ Adam Dinham, Professor of Faith and Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

‘This book addresses head-on the peculiar situation of the current west. We now see that even our replacements for religion, capitalism and libertarianism, are dubious and damaging myths. Yet with their demise, our sense of the emptiness left by the absence of real faith merely intensifies. Tim Stacey’s modest proposal is that we try to link some renewed sense of transcendence to local practices of mutual support, respecting human dignity and the natural world. It is not a bad starting-place for renewal.’ John Milbank, Research Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham, UK


Now available: An Economics of Justice and Charity, by Thomas Storck

Now available from Angelico Press: An Economics of Justice and Charity: Catholic Social Teaching, Its Development and Contemporary Relevance, by Thomas Storck, with a foreword by Peter Kwasniewski.

[Purchase: Amazon |]

Since Pope Leo XIII’s landmark encyclical Rerum Novarum of 1891, a significant part of Catholic social doctrine has focused on man’s economic life and the challenge of building a well-ordered society rooted in correct first principles and animated by the twin virtues of justice and charity. The Church has boldly engaged the ideologies of the modern age—not only anarchism, communism, and fascism, but also the seductive alternatives of liberalism and libertarianism.

Understanding and applying Catholic social doctrine presents special difficulties. The sheer mass of material is a steep mountain to climb for the non-expert. Developments over time and the different styles of papal authors can give an impression of inconsistency or even contradiction. Agenda-driven commentators ignore or distort whatever they dislike, creating an ersatz magisterium. An Economics of Justice and Charity offers readers a compact, objective summary of the economic teaching of the Popes from Leo XIII to Francis that makes manifest its inner unity, its intended authority, and its perennial applicability. It bears witness to the Church’s living history of ethical wisdom, care for workers and the poor, and urgent desire to “penetrate and perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel.”


“This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand the Catholic concept of social justice, particularly how it applies to the realms of economics and politics. Thomas Storck has delivered a concise explanation showing how the Church’s social teaching has been clear and consistent.” — DAVID W. COONEY, Editor, Practical Distributism

“In 1991, St. John Paul II encouraged a New Evangelization that included ‘a proclamation of the Church’s social doctrine.’ In the modern world, however, rarely have these teachings been presented holistically. Thomas Storck’s commitment to thinking with the mind of the Church and masterful curation of the best of the social tradition make him a notable successor to his intellectual heroes from the golden age of social thought.” — RICHARD ALEMAN, Editor-in-chief, The Distributist Review

An Economics of Justice and Charity comes at a time when both the reality and the ideology of capitalism are increasingly being questioned. Its critique of capitalism stands outside the usual left/right dichotomy, providing an opportunity for a deeper analysis of our economic and social woes. For those new to the Church’s ‘best kept secret,’ Storck has produced a clear but philosophically sophisticated introduction to the major contributions and ideas within this tradition.” — CHARLES M. A. CLARK, Professor of Economics, St John’s University

“This is a superb exposition of the major social encyclicals, both in their historical development and in their application to our current situation. For those not familiar with the teachings, it provides a brief but brilliant introduction; for those who have studied these texts, Mr. Storck raises many interesting questions. Be sure not to skip the appendices, which shed new light on usury (the besetting sin of finance capitalism) and put forward a refutation of the neo-liberal interpretation of Centesimus Annus.” — JOHN MÉDAILLE, University of Dallas

[Purchase: Amazon |]


Now available: The Architectonics of Hope, by Kyle Gingerich Hiebert

Now available from Cascade BooksThe Architectonics of Hope: Violence, Apocalyptic, and the Transformation of Political Theology, by Kyle Gingerich Hiebert, with a foreword by Cyril O’Regan.

[Purchase: Wipf and |]

The Architectonics of Hope provides a critical excavation and reconstruction of the Schmittian seductions that continue to bedevil contemporary political theology. Despite a veritable explosion of interest in the work of Carl Schmitt, which increasingly recognizes his contemporary relevance and prescience, there nevertheless remains a curious and troubling reticence within the discipline of theology to substantively engage the German jurist and sometime Nazi apologist. By offering a genealogical reconstruction of the manner and extent to which recognizably Schmittian gestures are unwittingly repeated in subsequent debates that often only implicitly assume they have escaped the violent aporetics that characterize Schmitt’s thought, this volume illuminates hidden resonances between ostensibly opposed political theologies. Using the complex relationship between violence and apocalyptic as a guide, the genealogy traces the transformation of political theology through the work of a surprising collection of figures, including Johann Baptist Metz, John Milbank, David Bentley Hart, and John Howard Yoder.


“Theologians must be political because they are embroiled in politics; and they are embroiled in politics because politics is saturated with religious resonances. So here is a new and courageous voice in political theology, taking on the giants—Schmitt, Metz, Radical Orthodoxy, and Yoder—and presenting them with a passionately argued freshness. The book courts controversy, and its dramatic genealogical unfolding of the apocalyptic and violent within political theology intensifies that controversy. But we need younger, confident, theologically astute thinkers to generate the right kind of contestation, and Gingerich Hiebert does that with well-crafted elegance and integrity. His vision of a new and hope-filled way of seeing opens a new chapter in political theology and isn’t fearful of exposing the deficiencies of older accounts. The book deserves to be read widely, reviewed widely, and debated widely, because only that way might we move forward in a world steeped in violence with faith, hope, and what he calls ‘charitable theological argument.’” — Graham Ward, Regis Professor of Divinity, Christ Church, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

“Kyle Gingerich Hiebert’s compellingly-written, nuanced genealogical account of the connections between violence and apocalyptic in early and late twentieth century political theologies displays an intimate grasp of the relevant conceptual and critical theoretical issues and offers a constructive perspective on what is at stake in this contested terrain.” — Travis Kroeker, Professor, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

“This well-argued book offers a fundamental contribution to the expanding field of political theology, by uncovering the influence of Carl Schmitt on a variety of thinkers like Metz, Yoder, and Milbank. In doing so, Gingerich Hiebert connects traditions of thought that seemed non-comparable before. Furthermore, he provides a way to retrieve Schmitt, who is the proverbial elephant in the room in many types of contemporary theology. In this way, Gingerich Hiebert shows an undercurrent in modern political theology that needed to be uncovered.” — Stephan van Erp, Professor of Fundamental Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

“Gingerich Hiebert creatively puts Schmitt, Metz, Milbank, Hart, and Yoder into conversation with the result that we not only understand each of them better, but more importantly we have a better grasp of what is at stake in political theology. This book is destined to become a key text for all concerned with political theology.” — Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke University, Durham, USA

Kyle Gingerich Hiebert (PhD, University of Manchester) is Director of the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre at the University of Toronto.

[Purchase: Wipf and |]


Searching for a New Ontology – the Revival of Analogy and Sophiology

Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Ontologie – zur Aktualität von Analogielehre und Sophiologie / Searching for a New Ontology – the Revival of Analogy and Sophiology / A la recherche d’une nouvelle ontologie – la renaissance de l’analogie et de la sophiologie

Ein Expertengespräch zur Vorbereitung einer internationalen Tagung
A Study Day for preparing an International Conference
Une journée d’études pour préparer un Colloque international

Datum / Date : Juni 2018 / June 2018 / juin 2018

Mehrere Mitglieder im Doktoratsprogramm arbeiten im theologisch-philosophischen Grenzbereich und suchen in ihren Forschungen aus westkirchlicher oder ostkirchlicher Perspektive nach einer neuen Ontologie oder Naturphilosophie, die im postmetaphysischen Zeitalter als glaubwürdige philosophische Grundlage für theologische Aussagen dienen kann. Dabei zeichnet sich eine Renaissance der klassischen Analogielehre ab und eine neue Aktualität der Sophiologie. Das Doktoratsprogramm nutzt die Mitwirkung von Doktorierenden westkirchlicher und ostkirchlicher Tradition, um diese Fragen im Rahmen einer Expertentagung zu erörtern. Das ganztägige Expertengespräch im kleineren Kreis im Jahre 2018 dient zur Vorbereitung einer größeren internationalen Tagung 2019 oder 2020.


Plusieurs membres du programme doctoral situent leurs projets dans la relation entre théologie et philosophie et cherchent du point de vue occidental ou orientale une nouvelle ontologie ou philosophie de la nature, qui – à l’époque post-métaphysique – peut servir de fondement philosophique crédible pour les affirmations théologiques. Dans ce cadre, on observe une renaissance de la doctrine classique d’analogie ainsi qu’une nouvelle actualité de la sophiologie. Le programme doctorale profite de la participation de doctorant-e-s venant des Églises d’Occident et d’Orient pour discuter ces questions lors d’un colloque entre experts. Le colloque d’experts en 2018 sert à préparer un colloque international plus grand en 2019 ou 2020.


Divine Creation & Linguistic Creations: A Conference in Celebration of Prof. Janet Soskice’s Work

1 December 2017, Cambridge UK

This celebration of Prof. Janet Soskice’s theological career and work brings together scholars from Yale, Notre Dame, the University of Cambridge, and beyond. Topics drawn from her oeuvre include theological language and poetics, liturgy and symbolics of gender, creation ex nihilo, Soskician legacies, and the future of theology.

To book and for more information, see:



(Show Centre’s Description)

‘Every doctrine which does not reach the one thing necessary, every separated philosophy, will remain deceived by false appearances. It will be a doctrine, it will not be Philosophy’, (Maurice Blondel, 1861-1949)

The Centre of Theology and Philosophy is a research-led institution organised at the interstices of theology and philosophy. It is founded on the conviction that these two disciplines cannot be adequately understood or further developed, save with reference to each other. This is true in historical terms, since we cannot comprehend our Western cultural legacy, unless we acknowledge the interaction of the Hebraic and Hellenic traditions. It is also true conceptually, since reasoning is not fully separable from faith and hope, or conceptual reflection from revelatory disclosure. The reverse also holds, in either case.

The Centre is concerned with:

  • The historical interaction between theology and philosophy.
  • The current relation between the two disciplines
  • Attempts to overcome the analytic/ Continental divide in philosophy
  • The question of the status of ‘metaphysics’. Is the term used equivocally? Is it now at an end? Or have 20th Century attempts to have a post-metaphysical philosophy themselves come to an end?
  • The construction of a rich Catholic humanism

The Theology Department of the University of Nottingham, within which the COTP is situated, was awarded the top 5* A grade in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2001). Nottingham was one of only two theology Departments who submitted all its staff and was rated 5* A.

For all enquiries, please email Conor Cunningham:

To return to the Nottingham Theology Department:


Humanities Building, home of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre of Theology and Philosophy

Recent Posts

Lecture: Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Ibn Taymiyya: Critiquing the Link
September 26, 2018
BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking: What St Augustine teaches us
September 19, 2018
Sydney School of Theology, Culture & Public Engagement 2019
August 13, 2018
‘Excellent Women’ Lecture Series at Westminster Abbey
May 31, 2018
theForum@LSE: Death
May 24, 2018
Call for Applications: Living Freedom 2018
February 28, 2018
CFA & CFP: 6th International Summer School & Conference – Beyond Secular Faith: ”Economy of Desire”
February 21, 2018
‘All there is today is a lack of the All.’
February 19, 2018
Overcoming the Fear: A Tale of Muslim Britain, a talk by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
January 29, 2018
Call for papers: Borders and Boundaries in Ancient Israel
January 24, 2018

(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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