The Philosophy of E. J. Lowe: a Memorial Conference

The Philosophy of E. J. Lowe: a Memorial Conference

Professor E. J. (Jonathan) Lowe (1950-2014) spent the last thirty four years of his life at Durham University, during which time he established himself as one or the world’s leading philosophers and inspired scholars all over the world. This conference will take place from Sunday 27-Tuesday 29 July and will celebrate his life and work. 

Confirmed speakers are as follows:

  • Professor Antonella Corradini (Catholic University of Milan)
  • Professor Tim Crane (University of Cambridge)
  • Professor John Heil (Washington University in St Louis)
  • Dr Penelope Mackie (University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Anna Marmodoro (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Peter Simons (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Dr Tuomas Tahko (University of Helsinki)
  • Professor David Robb (Davidson College)
  • Professor Peter van Inwagen (University of Notre Dame)

The conference will begin at 2pm on Sunday 27 July and conclude at 6pm on Tuesday 29th July. On the Sunday, there will be an opening lecture followed by several short speeches, a wine reception, a concert and a three-course dinner. On the Monday and Tuesday, there will be eight further papers by invited speakers. We will also include some further papers by current postgraduate students and recent PhD graduates.

All are very welcome to attend this conference. There is a small registration fee of £35 (waged) and £20 (student/unwaged). You can register and also book accommodation here (registration deadline Monday 14 July):

A full programme, along with further information, will be posted here:


Firth Lectures: Charles Taylor – ‘Theological Anthropology in the 21st Century’

Firth Lectures:
Professor Charles Taylor – ‘Theological Anthropology in the 21st Century’

Thursday 8 May and Friday 9 May 2014

5pm in Room A01, Highfield House, University Park, University of Nottingham
Charles Taylor is one of the leading philosophical theologians of our day and his lectures will be an attempt to assess where the Christian view of human beings stands today in relation to western secular civilisation.

Firth Lectures

The Firth Memorial Lectureship was founded by the Reverend John d’ewe Evelyn Firth in memory of his father, John Benjamin Firth, Historian of Nottingham and his mother Helena Gertrude Firth. The lecturer is appointed biennially by the Council of the University on the recommendation of the Senate of the University, and under the terms of the Trust he delivers a public lecture or lectures on some aspect of the Christian Faith in relation to contemporary problems.

The first person to hold the Lectureship was the renowned theologian Paul Tillich and there has been a series of eminent theologians and philosophers who have included among others Baroness Warnock and Professor Jϋrgen Moltmann.



Workshop: Figural Interpretation in the Gospels — Hijacking Israel’s Scriptures?

Hays-Workshop-ImageFigural Interpretation in the Gospels – Hijacking Israel’s Scriptures?

A workshop with Richard B. Hays, Dean of Duke University Divinity School, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament

Thursday 1 May, 5.00 p.m.
Keble College, Oxford

On this occasion Prof. Richard B. Hays, one of today’s best-known New Testament scholars and the Dean of Duke Divinity School, will lead a workshop on ‘Figural Interpretation in the Gospels’. The presentation will synthesize and bring to a point Prof. Hays’ recent series of Hulsean lectures in Cambridge on the Gospels’ Old Testament interpretation – drawing on material included in his forthcoming book on Scripture in the Gospels (Baylor University Press, 2014).

Our aim, as always, is to set out theology’s ‘shop window’ in order especially to attract present and potential graduate students, and to demonstrate that engagement with theology’s subject matter is both interesting and important.

While we are not in a position to subsidise transport or accommodation costs for the participants, we hope some may be able to receive assistance from their home departments. At the same time, anyone deterred solely by the cost of attending should please feel free to contact me.  We may also be in a position to assist in suggesting affordable accommodation.

Please note the usual limit of 60 places; early booking is advisable. As before, to register please send a one-line email to (one per place, please).

Download the event flier here [PDF]


Center of Theological Inquiry: Summer Young Scholar Workshops


Summer Young Scholar Workshops
June 2 – 6, 2014

With support from the John Templeton Foundation

Young scholars – current doctoral and post-doctoral students, and pre-tenured junior faculty in full-time or adjunct appointments – are invited to apply for one of two interdisciplinary workshops running concurrently at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ, in the first week of June 2014.
These advanced research workshops will be led by leading scholars in the Center’s program and offer young scholars the opportunity to engage with cutting edge inquiries across disciplinary boundaries.

CTI-Flyer-screenshotWorkshop on Evolution & Human Nature
In Honor of Wentzel van Huyssteen

Theologians Wentzel van Huyssteen and Celia Deane-Drummond, and anthropologist Agustín Fuentes will offer intensive teaching sessions on the science of human evolution and its dialogue with theology, the topic of the Center’s yearlong interdisciplinary Inquiry in 2012-2013. Participants will also present and discuss their own papers on this topic.

Workshop on Religious Experience & Moral Identity
In Memory of Don S. Browning

Theologian Stephen Pope, philosopher Robert Roberts, and psychologist Michael Spezio will offer intensive teaching sessions on the interaction of psychology, theology, and philosophy in understanding religious experience and moral behavior, the topic of the Center’s current Inquiry. Participants will also present and discuss their own papers on this topic.


These two five-day residential workshops at CTI in Princeton are for doctoral and postdoctoral students, and pre-tenured junior faculty who are conducting their own research in one of the above fields of interdisciplinary theological inquiry.

The ten successful applicants for each workshop will receive financial assistance towards travel and lodging, based on need and support from home institutions.

Applications accepted to April 25, 2014.

Please visit for more details and to apply online.

Download the Summer Workshop Flyer [PDF]

The CTI News announcement may be found here.


‘David Jones: Christian Modernist?’ Conference in Oxford, 10-13 September 2014

David Jones: Christian Modernist?

Oxford: 10-13 September 2014

‘Modernism’ in literature and the arts is associated with cultural and political rebellion, ‘making it new’ through formal experimentation, and a widespread drive towards a regenerated New Era of human history. For many modernists, Christianity stood for a bygone era to be overcome; the reactionary, dead hand of the past.

Yet David Jones’s art, poetry and cultural theory subvert this neat dichotomy. He was a Catholic convert with a deep appreciation of the Church’s ancient liturgy and tradition; but he also conceived his Catholicism as a mode of cultural ‘sabotage’ and a sign of ‘contradiction’. His art and poetry is palimpsestic and fragmentary, inspecting ruins and traces, endlessly fascinated by dense, half-inaccessible layers of meaning stretching back through past cultures into the pre-history of human sign-making. Yet his theory of human culture as sign-making centres on Christ’s entry into the world of signs, epitomised in the Eucharist. Jones saw himself as living in an epoch in which man’s vocation as artist was being twisted out of shape by a technocratic, capitalist civilization obsessed with utilitarian means and ends. The modern artist therefore was a Boethius, shoring up the surviving fragments of the past to make a bridge into a different, regenerated future; a vision which helped Jones to assimilate a wide range of experimental modernist work which, like his own, looked both backwards and forwards at the same time.

This conference will examine the paradox of Jones the ‘Christian modernist’. Does the very concept of cultural ‘modernism’ perhaps need reassessment when confronted with his example? How is his experimental art, poetry and cultural theory relevant to theology? How does his work relate to the theological controversies of his day, especially the ‘modernist crisis’ within the Catholic church and beyond? How does the influence of other modernist art, theory and literature interact with Christian influences (whether theological or artistic) in his work? What was Jones’s influence upon other thinkers and creative artists, both those who shared his religious views, and those who did not? And is his complex vision of human beings as makers and artists who participate in divine creativity through their sign-making – while also hiding this from themselves – still relevant today? Or should it rather be analysed as a product of its time, an unfortunate idealisation that at one point even led Jones to affirm a limited sympathy for the ‘fascist and Nazi revolutions’?

It is the aim of this conference to confront the paradoxes and pleasures of reading and studying Jones head-on, in order to refine and extend our critical vocabulary to encompass an artist, poet and thinker who continues to challenge our preconceptions. Finally, perspectives that challenge the fruitfulness of the whole idea of Jones as ‘Christian modernist’ are also welcome. Are there reasons for steering clear of both terms? Is Jones’s work perhaps better seen as transcending or collapsing such categories?


  • Thomas Dilworth (University of Windsor)
  • Paul Fiddes (University of Oxford)
  • Alison Milbank (University of Nottingham)
  • Micheal O’Siadhail (Poet, critic and linguist)
  • Anne Price-Owen (University of Wales)

Contributions are welcome not only from Jones specialists, but also from across modernist studies, theology, religious studies, philosophy, art history, intellectual and political history, aesthetics, poetics, and genetic manuscript studies.

Papers should be timed at 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for discussion.

The deadline for registration is 15 June 2014. Registration after this date is not guaranteed and will raise the registration fee by GBP 50. Please register as soon as possible: we need at least 50 resident participants to run this conference.

Please register to participate in this conference HERE

To contact the organisers, go HERE


[UPDATE] Forthcoming Journal: Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences


UPDATE: The first issue of this journal will soon be released in April 2014.

Forthcoming from Mohr Siebeck:

Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences (PTSc)

Edited by Celia Deane-Drummond (Notre Dame), Dirk Evers (Halle-Wittenberg), Niels H. Gregersen(Copenhagen), Gregory R. Peterson (Brookings)

Managing Editor: Dirk Evers

Associate Editors: Conor Cunningham (Nottingham), David Fergusson (Edinburgh), Agustín Fuentes (Notre Dame), Peter Harrison (Queensland), Kristian Köchy (Kassel), Nancey Murphy (Pasadena), Robert J. Russell (Berkeley), Mikael Stenmark (Uppsala), Günter Thomas (Bochum), Wesley Wildman (Boston),Gayle E. Woloschak (Chicago)

Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences (PTSc) is a new peer-reviewed biannual journal which provides a platform for constructive and critical interactions between the natural sciences in all their varieties (from physics and biology to psychology, anthropology and social science) and the fields of contemporary philosophy and theology. It invites scholars, religious or non-religious, to participate in that endeavor. The journal provides the rare opportunity to examine together the truth claims found in theology, philosophy, and the sciences, as well as the methods found in each disciplines and the meanings derived from them.  Each issue will have a topical focus. The first four issues will be on “Naturalism”, “Human Nature and Evolution”, “Neuroscience and Morality”, and “Contingency”.

For more information about this journal, and how to subscribe, click here.


Now available from Eerdmans: Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction by Nicholas M. Healy

Now available from the Interventions series, Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction, by Nicholas M. Healy (Eerdmans; March 2014; 154pp)

[Purchase: | |]

Book description:

Stanley Hauerwas is one of the most important and robustly creative theologians of our time, and his work is well known and much admired. But Nicholas Healy — himself an admirer of Hauerwas’s thought — believes that it has not yet been subjected to the kind of sustained critical analysis that is warranted by such a significant and influential Christian thinker. As someone interested in the broader systematic-theological implications of Hauerwas’s work, Healy fills that gap in Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction.

After a general introduction to Hauerwas’s work, Healy examines three main areas of his thought: his method, his social theory, and his theology. According to Healy, Hauerwas’s overriding concern for ethics and church-based apologetics so dominates his thinking that he systematically distorts Christian doctrine. Healy illustrates what he sees as the deficiencies of Hauerwas’s theology and argues that it needs substantial revision.


“A must-read! Healy interprets Hauerwas as mirroring Schleiermacher. It’s a provocation so clearly argued that this will become a touchstone, not just for future interpretation of Hauerwas but for our engagement with a great deal of contemporary theology.”  — R. R. Reno, editor of First Things

“Theological controversy is an art in which few are skilled. This (very) critical response to a much-admired contemporary, however, exemplifies the virtues necessary to mount a substantial challenge without straying into invective: it keeps calm; it concentrates on matters of substance; it manifests sympathetic understanding of the body of writing which it seeks to contest; and — more than anything — it articulates its puzzlements and disagreements on the basis of convictions about God and the gospel.” — John Webster, University of St. Andrews

[Purchase: | |]


New from Cyril O’Regan: Anatomy of Misremembering: Von Balthasar’s Response to Philosophical Modernity. Volume 1: Hegel

Now available: Anatomy of Misremembering: Von Balthasar’s Response to Philosophical Modernity. Volume 1: Hegel, by Cyril O’Regan (The Crossroad Publishing Company; March  2014; 688pp).

[Purchase: |]

Book Description:

This compelling work is the most comprehensive and sophisticated account to date of the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar—a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest—and the German philosopher Georg Hegel. While underscoring the depth and breadth of Balthasar’s engagement with the philosopher, author Cyril O’Regan argues that Balthasar is the most concertedly anti-Hegelian theologian of the 20th century. For him, it is essential to engage Hegel because of his corrections of sclerotic forms of premodern Christian thought, but even more importantly to resist and correct his systematic thought, which represents a comprehensive misremembering of the Christian thought, practices, and forms of life. An important and original work, this book addresses a topic that puts the possibility of an authentic postmodern theology at stake.


“In this exceptional book, Professor Cyril O’Regan unites extraordinary erudition on gnosticism and apocalyptic with contemporary constructive thinking on von Balthasar and Hegel. There is no existing work like this. It will be impossible to read von Balthasar in the future without this profound study on his relation to Hegel and on the book of Revelation. This amazing book is indispensable for understanding four major moments in the Western tradition: apocalyptic, Valentinian gnosticims, Hegel, and von Balthasar.” — David Tracy, Greely Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

“With breath-taking ambition, matched with both erudition and a forensic incisiveness, O’Regan gathers together the premodern tradition and the fragments of it that modernity can never shake off, to prescribe a new basis for a genuinely post-modern theology. What is promised in a future volume on Balthasar and Heidegger, and what is already delivered in this book, is nothing short of amazing. The scholarly commitment it demonstrates provides the Church with a new way of proceeding that is as important as it is significant.” — Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford

“O’Regan’s brilliant study is by far the most in-depth and sophisticated exploration of the complex role that Hegel plays in Balthasar’s thought yet to appear.” — David C. Schindler, Junior Associate Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University

“O’Regan’s telling of this theological story is nothing less than a tour de force!” — John Thiel, Professor of Religious Studies, Fairfield University

[Purchase: |]


Ratzinger Symposium 2014

Ratzinger Symposium 2014

The Christian Vision of Humanity

Date: Saturday April 12th

Venue: Divine Word Missionaries, Moyglare Road, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland


All Welcome

09.00-09.30 Arrivals and Registration

Welcome: Rev Dr Vincent Twomey SVD (Professor Emeritus, Moral Theology, Maynooth)

09.30-10.00 Paper 1: Mr Philip Cremin (WIT): Being and Becoming: Speaking Freedom to an Existentialist Culture.

10.15-10.45 Paper 2: Dr Mary McCaughey (SPCM): Christological and Ecclesial Perspectives on the Human Person in Joseph Ratzinger


11.00-11.30 Coffee

11.30-12.00 Paper 3: Dr Mary Frances McKenna: Mary: Person in Community – An Exploration of Ratzinger’s Notion of Person through Mary and the Church


12.15-13.00 Panel Discussion

13.00-14.30 Lunch and Break

14.30-15.00 Paper 4: Rev Dr Sean Corkery: The Church as the Locus of Freedom


15.15-15.45 Paper 5: Rev Dr Vincent Twomey: Conscience, Truth and the Human Person

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30-17.00 Final Panel Discussion

17.00-17.30 Evening Prayer

17.30 Depart

****Note: Should you require accommodation it is available in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (5 minutes walk). Please book separately through the Conference Centre, Maynooth. Details at:


Journal Article: “The Problem with NeuroLaw”

“The Problem with NeuroLaw,” by David W. Opderbeck, who is Professor of Law, Seton Hall University Law School, and Director, Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology; Prof Opderbeck is also currently a PhD student in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham.

This Article describes and critiques the increasingly popular program of reductive neuroLaw. Law has irrevocably entered the age of neuroscience. Various institutes and conferences are devoted to questions about the relation between neuroscience and legal procedures and doctrines. Most of the new “neuroLaw” scholarship focuses on evidentiary and related issues, and is important and beneficial. But some versions of reductive neuroLaw are frightening. Although they claim to liberate us from false conceptions of ourselves and to open new spaces for more scientific applications of the law, they end up stripping away all notions of “selves” and of “law.” This Article argues that a revitalized sense of transcendence is required to avoid the violent metaphysics of reductive neuroLaw and to maintain the integrity of both “law” and “science.”

Read the article here [PDF]


New Second Edition: Desire, Dialectic, & Otherness: An Essay on Origins, by William Desmond

Desmond_DesireDialecticOtherness_2ndEdA new, second edition of William Desmond’s Desire, Dialectic, & Otherness: An Essay on Origins  has recently been published (Wipf & Stock, 2013, 292pp)

Book description:

Many philosophers since Hegel have been disturbed by the thought that philosophy inevitably favors sameness over otherness or identity over difference. Originally published at a time when the issue was not so widely discussed in the English-speaking world, William Desmond here offers a constructive and positive approach to the problem of difference and otherness. He systematically explores the question of dialectic and otherness by analyzing how human desire inevitably seeks immanent wholeness in a manner that opens it to irreducible otherness. He faces the difficulties bequeathed to Continental thought by Hegelian dialectic and its tendency to subordinate difference to identity, whether appropriately or not. Unlike many recent critics of Hegel, he argues that we must preserve what is genuine in dialectic. Granting the positive power of dialectic, Desmond offers his first articulation of a further philosophical possibility—what he terms the metaxological—a discourse of the “between,” a discourse doing justice to desire’s search for wholeness without any truncating of its radical openness to otherness. In a wide-ranging yet unified discussion, Desmond tackles such issues as the nature of the self, the ambiguous restlessness and inherent power of being revealed by human desire, desire’s relation to transcendence, its openness to otherness in agapeic good will and in relation to the sublime as an aesthetic infinitude. Finally, Desmond brings this metaxological understanding to bear on the metaphysical question of the ultimate origin.

This book is a remarkable introduction to Desmond’s metaxological philosophy, prefiguring many of the ideas with which his later thought is associated. This second edition contains a substantial new preface and an afterword to each chapter in which Desmond reflects on the material from the standpoint of his current thinking.


“What splendid news that William Desmond’s admirable, insightful, engaging, and—because of its Hegelian involvements—exasperating book is republished! It invites reflection on those conversations with others in which we become other to ourselves. . . . Desmond’s book initiates just such a badly needed conversation with his readers.” — ALASDAIR MACINTYRE, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

“At the time of its publication over twenty years ago Desire, Dialectic, and Otherness represented the appearance of a truly important and original philosophical voice. It exhibited critical mastery of the entire philosophical tradition and a rare ability both to sift through it and to penetrate to its original and originating core. It was a portend of much to come. And in hindsight, one can see in this still amazingly fresh work the seeds of Desmond’s great trilogy in metaphysics, which has made him one of the essential philosophers of his generation.” — CYRIL O’REGAN, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

 Download the flyer here [PDF]

[Purchase from Wipf & Stock]


Montefiore Lecture 2014

Montefiore Lecture 2014

You are cordially invited to the 2014 Montefiore Lecture which will be given by Reverend Dr Giles Fraser.

‘Between two worlds: A reflection on assimilation.’

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Tony Kushner

Tuesday 4 March 2014 – 6pm

The Montefiore Lecture is part of the Parkes Institute annual lecture series and is the oldest lecture in the University’s calendar.

This year’s lecture will be given by Reverend Dr Giles Fraser who is a priest of the Church of England and a journalist for The Guardian newspaper. He is currently a parish priest at St Marys in London and writes a weekly Saturday column as well as frequently appears on BBC Radio 4. He is also a visiting professor in the anthropology department at the London School of Economics.

If you wish to attend this lecture please email as soon as possible to reserve a place.

Avenue Campus
Building 65
Lecture Theatre A

Will be served in the North Corridor before and after the lecture.



New from Caitlin Smith Gilson: The Philosophical Question of Christ

Just published within the last month: The Philosophical Question of Christ, by Caitlin Smith Gilson (Bloomsbury Academic, January 2014, 256pp).

Publication description:

Does the figure of Christ provide philosophical reason with its ultimate philosophical challenge? What can thought as thought say about the picture of Christ in the Gospels? Gilson argues that the forgotten hermeneutic of perfection provides the key to a re-thinking of the fundamental categories of reason and faith.

From a strictly philosophic perspective Gilson examines the figure of Christ in the gospels as a unique essence no longer either traceable or reducible to any contributing influences; so unique as to transcend while incorporating all comparative genera; so unique as to carry within itself not its own self-evidence but its own inescapability. The Philosophical Question of Christ examines the fundamental ideas expressed in Christianity: the idea of the Man-God, the meaning of faith, the nature of Grace, death, resurrection, sin and forgiveness. The hermeneutic of perfection discoverable pre-thematically in the Greek tragedies, exemplified in Dostoyevsky, found methodologically in Anselm, Aquinas, Pascal and Kierkegaard is discussed in its epistemological and metaphysical nature. The alternative merely philosophical faith, as exemplified in Karl Jaspers and Eric Voegelin, is discussed, analyzed and shown to be deficient, both philosophically and theologically.

The Philosophical Question of Christ is a profound text – challenging, brave, creative and insightful. Highly recommended.” –  Conor Cunningham, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham, UK, and author of Darwin’s Pious Idea (2010)

[Purchase from Bloomsbury Academic | Purchase from | Purchase from]

Also from Caitlin Smith Gilson:

The Metaphysical Presuppositions of Being-in-the-World: A Confrontation Between St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Heidegger (Bloomsbury Academic, 2010, 236pp).


“I am unaware of any previous successful attempt to confront Heidegger’s massive critique of metaphysics at such depth and range. Dr Smith-Gilson’s conception of the four-fold intentional presupposition at the heart of metaphysics is an original conception of great merit and her work will be of immense interest to scholars of Heidegger, St Thomas, and well as to epistemologists and metaphysicians across a wide spectrum.” — Prof. Juan Andrés Mercado, Associate Professor of Modern Philosophy, The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, Italy

“This work gives a needed voice to the still-true and still misunderstood pre-modern understanding of man, world, being, and God. Where the earlier Thomistic revivals confronted modernity by employing scholastic terminology to restate its vision, Dr. Smith-Gilson’s work of retrieval confronts, at the highest intellectual level, modernity and especially its phenomenological presentation, with the words of philosophy simpliciter. This work is an apologia for the Thomistic vision of man, God, and being which is not itself apologetic or defensive. This is a profound and difficult work, but one that richly rewards the reader who gives himself to its meditation.” — Herb E. Hartmann, Professor of Philosophy, Southern Catholic College, GA, USA

“The confrontation between Classical and Heideggerian understanding of Being shows Smith Gilson’s superb capacity to get into the mind of philosophers of different schools of thinking and mastering their philosophical language. With great balance, this book neither merges the two in some facile reconciliation, nor makes Heidegger a straw man with which to beat modernity in favor of a 13th century theology, but highlights the similarities and differences of their conceptual frameworks, without getting stuck in terminological equivocalness. The reader will find in these rich and dense pages a sound and substantial dialog between Heidegger’s philosophical standpoint and medieval metaphysics.” — Prof. Francisco Fernández Labastida, Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Italy

[Purchase from Bloomsbury Academic | Purchase from | Purchase from]


University of Nottingham: Dept of Theology & Religious Studies Newsletter 2013-14

Theology and Religious Studies@Nottingham
Department of Theology and Religious Studies Newsletter 2013-14



Click here to read the TRS’s Newsletter 2013-14 [PDF].



Just published: Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics (Vol. 2, No. 1)

Radical Orthodoxy:
Theology, Philosophy, Politics

Vol. 2, Number 1. January 2014


Cynthia Nielsen
“Foucault’s Polyphonic Genealogies and Rethinking Episteme Change via Musical Metaphors”

Peter John McGregor
“The ‘Spiritual Christology’ of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI: An Exposition and Analysis of its Principles”

Nathan Jennings
“Divine Economy, Divine Liturgy: Liturgical Theology as a Retrieval of Figural Interpretation”

Paul Tyson
“Can Modern Science be Theologically Salvaged? Reflections on Conor Cunningham’s Theological and Metaphysical Evaluation of Modern Evolutionary Biology”

David Wilmington
“Adorno’s Culture Industry: An Anthropological Critique”


Neil Turnbull
“The New Politics of Association: An Interview with Maurice Glasman”

Review Essay

William Christian Hackett
“What’s the Use of a Skeleton Key for Christian Theology?: A Report on an Essential Problematic in Kathryn Tanner’s Christ the Key

Read the current issue here.

Previous issues:

  • RO:TPP Vol. 1, No. 3 — Featuring contributions from: Cyril O’Regan, David L Schindler, Alessandra Gerolin, Christopher Ben Simpson, Matyas Szalay, Ben Schewel, Enda McCaffrey, Robert Don Adams, Steven Knepper, William Christian Hackett, and Paul Tyson.
  • RO:TPP Vol. 1, Nos. 1 & 2 — ”What is Life? A Double Special Issue” — Featuring contributions from: Tracey Rowland, Alessandra Gerolin, Graham Ward, Louis Dupré, Beáta Tóth, John Milbank, Adrian J Walker, Agata Bielik-Robson, William Christian Hackett, Evandro Botto, Marcia Pally, Lorenzo Ornaghi, Adrian Pabst, David C Schindler, Paul Tyson, Ian Warlick, Stratford Caldecott, Neil Turnbull, William Desmond, and Christopher Ben Simpson.

Two Study Days at the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University

The Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, is hosting two Study Days:

The Theology and Practice of Prayer in the Catholic Tradition
A Study Day for Clergy, Laity and Students of Theology
Saturday 15 March, 2014

Postgraduate Study Day: Catholicism and Critical Theory
Monday 28 April, 2014

All are welcome to attend. Details of both study days are below. Please advertise these events and pass on the details through your own networks.

Post-graduate Study Day
Hosted by the Centre for Catholic Studies
Catholicism & Critical Theory
Monday 28th April, 2014

Keynote Speakers

  • Julie Clague (Glasgow)
  • Prof Johannes Hoff (Heythrop)

The Debating Chamber, Palace Green
Durham University

£22 with buffet lunch
£15 without buffet lunch

CALL FOR PAPERS: Postgraduates are invited to submit proposals for 20 minute papers in any aspect of contemporary Catholic theology and/or Catholic studies.

To book, or for more information, please contact Dr Michael Canaris: Tel: 0191 334 3968

This post-graduate study day is one of a series that is being jointly organised by: the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University; the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow; the Digby Stuart Research Centre, University of Roehampton; Heythrop College, University of London; the Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge; St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, and Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, in association with the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain.

The Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University
in association with
The Newman Association
The Departments of Spirituality, Formation, and Education of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
and The National Board of Catholic Women
are hosting
“The Theology and Practice of
Prayer in Catholic Tradition:
A Study Day for Clergy, Laity, and Students of Theology”

Saturday 15 March, 9.15am-5.45pm

Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH

Including a launch celebration for Eamon Duffy’s book,
The Heart of Pilgrimage: A Prayerbook for Catholic Christians


  • Prof Eamon Duffy
  • Prof Karen Kilby
  • Prof Paul D Murray
  • Sr Avril O’Regan RLR
  • Kathryn Turner

All are welcome. Pre-booking is essential.

The cost is £50 per person and includes a buffet lunch and refreshments. A limited number of concessions are available to students and those on low income.

To book, or for further details, please contact Michael Canaris or call 0191 334 3968


Taylor Lectures: Cyril O’Regan

Apocalyptic Theology and the Construction of the Church

Today’s lecture is the first of three lectures by Cyril O’Regan in the Taylor Lectures series entitled “Apocalyptic Theology and the Construction of the Church” The first lecture compares and contrasts the two forms of apocalyptic theology that have dominated Protestant theology in the last thirty years, the European form of apocalyptic theology presented by Jürgen Moltmann, and the North American form of apocalyptic theology presented by John Howard Yoder and reshaped by Stanley Hauerwas. It will highlight their common critique of the Constantinian church and the theological tradition that indemnified the power and rule of such a church, and the different ways in which they seek to recover the original apocalyptic dimension of Christianity.

Cyril O’Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology at Notre Dame will deliver the 2014 Nathaniel W. Taylor Lectures in theology. O’Regan specializes in the intersection of religion and literature, mystical theology, and postmodern thought. Among the main purposes of his Taylor Lectures is (1) to show the surge in the apocalyptic inflection of contemporary theology not only in non-fundamentalist Protestantism, but in Catholicism and Anglicanism as well; (2) to provide representative apocalyptic examples from each of the three Christian confessions, and where possible illustrate within each the tension between different forms of apocalyptic in different epistemic registers, with variable ethical commitments, and above all, with very different configurations of the church; (3) to examine the role the biblical text plays, directly and indirectly, in the construction of an apocalyptic theology, and assess the preferences — if any — for particular texts and modes of interpretation; (4) to investigate the role philosophy plays in the construction of the construction of the various apocalyptic theologies, and identifying the various specimens, critically evaluate their use.

Taylor Lectures: Cyril O’Regan

Be sure to follow Yale Divinity School on Livestream to receive an email alert about the next two Taylor Lectures.


Now Available: French Translation of After Writing, by Catherine Pickstock

Serge AverintsevNow available: Après l’écrit : De l’achèvement liturgique de la philosophie, by Catherine Pickstock, translated by Gérard Joulié and Anne-Sophie Gache, with a preface by Jean-Yves Lacoste (Ad Solem, 2013, 347pp).

Nous serions-nous trompés (nous, héritiers de la Grèce, artisans ou praticiens de la métaphysique) en accordant une centralité au phénomène de la voix et en traitant l’écrit comme substitut de celle-ci ? L’erreur qui aurait été commise reçoit chez Jacques Derrida le nom de « phonocentrisme ». Derrida ne voulait pas passer pour un archéologue, et la question était celle d’une priorité phénoménologique : du dit ou de la trace écrite, quel est le phénomène le plus originaire ? Mieux vaudrait ne pas raidir la différence. Ici et là, sous la forme du « dit » et sous la forme de l’ « inscrit », un même phénomène – celui de la parole – trouve deux apparitions aussi solidaires que distinctes. Catherine Pickstock prend pour exemple la prière liturgique, dont la voix fait éclater les limites du texte. Cette voix nous est donnée «après toute écriture», parce que sa présence n’est pas pour l’interprétation : la prise de parole liturgique veut nous offrir les mots dans leur gloire. Et en même temps, il n’y a pas de liturgie sans textes liturgiques. Celui qui célèbre est un lecteur, dont la personne est intégrée à la personne d’un autre : in persona Christi. La liturgie offre une alternative théologique à tout primat naïf de la voix. Elle donne aussi les moyens de critiquer tout primat naïf de l’inscrit. Vive et inscrite à la fois, la prière liturgique constitue aussi bien un acte de parole qu’un acte de présence. Celui qui aura lu, avec l’attention qu’il mérite, le livre de Catherine Pickstock, s’en convaincra aisément.

 Jean-Yves Lacoste

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CFP: Paul Tillich: Theology and Legacy

Paul Tillich:
Theology and Legacy
A conference in Oxford engaging with Tillich’s work.

14th-15th July 2014 –

Paul Tillich features on anyone’s list of most significant and influential 20th Century theologians. In an age where it is tempting to retreat into intra-theological discussion or dismiss the secular world, Tillich’s vision for a theology which engages with culture and connects religious language with philosophical reflection continues to influence and provoke contemporary theological reflection.

This conference aims to stimulate and provide a platform for current work on Paul Tillich in anticipation of the commencement of the publication of the Collected Works in English from 2015, as well as providing space and time for scholars with an interest in Tillich’s work to meet, get to know each other, and discuss their work.

Call for Papers: Alongside keynote speakers (Reinhold Bernhardt, Marc Boss, Douglas Hedley, Anne-Marie Reijnen, and Christoph Schwöbel), we welcome the submission of abstracts for 20 minute papers which will provoke engagement with and discussion of Paul Tillich’s theology. For example:

  • Explorations of aspects of Tillich’s theology
  • Tillich’s intellectual development
  • Tillich’s influence on other thinkers
  • Applications of Tillich’s approach

Please send abstracts of between 300 – 500 words to by Friday 14th February 2014, with a short biographical note.

This conference is sponsored by Ertegun House, St Benet’s Hall and the Oxford Centre for Theology and Modern European Thought, and convened by Werner G. Jeanrond (St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford), Russell Re Manning (Aberdeen) and Samuel Shearn (Ertegun House, Oxford).

For more information and to register for this conference, see:

Download and distribute the Call for Papers here [PDF].


Conference: ‘For the Greater Glory of God and the More Universal Good’

Conference: ‘For the Greater Glory of God and the More Universal Good’

A celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation of Heythrop College and the Jesuit Educational Tradition

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 June 2014

Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

During the academic year 2013-2014, Heythrop College is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the English Jesuits in Louvain in 1614.To commemorate this notable anniversary, Heythrop College and the Institute of English Studies of the University of London are organising a conference, involving leading scholars from Britain and overseas. The conference will explore the history of the College and the impact of Jesuit education on philosophy, theology, science, literature and the arts, with the following speakers:

Professor Michael Barnes SJ (Heythrop College):
The Jesuits and Interreligious Dialogue: The Case of Fr Thomas Stephens

Professor Kathleen Comerford (Georgia Southern University):
The Jesuits and Their Libraries

Dr Guy Consolmagno SJ (Papal Observatory):
The Jesuits and Science

Dr Philip Endean SJ (Centre Sèvres, Paris):
The Reception of Ignatian Spirituality in Britain

Professor John Haldane (University of St Andrews and University of Notre Dame, USA):
The Jesuit Contribution to Philosophy

Professor Dayton Haskin (Boston College):
The Jesuits and English Literature – John Donne and Ignatian Spirituality

Professor Karen Kilby (University of Durham):
Is There a Jesuit Tradition in Theology?

Dr Robert A. Maryks (Jesuit Institute, Boston College):
Jesuit Education and Classical Literature

Professor Nicholas Sagovsky (Roehampton University):
Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ: The Poet as Theologian

Mr Michael Walsh (Heythrop College):
The History of the College: From the Move to Stonyhurst to the Present Day

Professor Maurice Whitehead (University of Swansea):
The History of the College: Until the Move to Stonyhurst in 1794

Dr Rowan Williams (Magdalene College, Cambridge):
Liberal Education: the Jesuit Response to a Theological Imperative

The cost for the two-day conference is £50. Concessions are £35.

Early booking is essential at



(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 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

Firth Lectures: Charles Taylor – ‘Theological Anthropology in the 21st Century’
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Workshop: Figural Interpretation in the Gospels — Hijacking Israel’s Scriptures?
April 8, 2014
Center of Theological Inquiry: Summer Young Scholar Workshops
April 1, 2014
‘David Jones: Christian Modernist?’ Conference in Oxford, 10-13 September 2014
March 25, 2014
[UPDATE] Forthcoming Journal: Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences
March 24, 2014
Now available from Eerdmans: Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction by Nicholas M. Healy
March 18, 2014
New from Cyril O’Regan: Anatomy of Misremembering: Von Balthasar’s Response to Philosophical Modernity. Volume 1: Hegel
March 18, 2014
Ratzinger Symposium 2014
March 7, 2014
Journal Article: “The Problem with NeuroLaw”
March 4, 2014
New Second Edition: Desire, Dialectic, & Otherness: An Essay on Origins, by William Desmond
March 2, 2014

(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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