A Revisionist Account of Natural Law and Natural Right (CLJ)

I will attempt, in this essay, to sketch in short compass an account of the historical development of natural right in relation to the older notion of natural law. My contention will be that the latter notion has, until recently, always been more dominant than the former, and that for a long time natural right was usually thought of in the context of natural law. Even where notions of subjective right started to become more important in the Middle Ages, early modernity and the Enlightenment, they were not, as yet, often subjectively founded in the will or capacity of the individual, but still within conceptions of an objective cosmic right order, however etiolated this had often become—thereby indeed encouraging a subjective foundation of the subjective. But even where they were so subjectively founded, beginning already within the Middle Ages themselves, natural right necessarily presented itself as a revised notion of natural law or of cosmic order, albeit now perversely construed as a pure regime of power and willing. In this way, the link of ius, whether viewed as objective right (or law) or as subjective right, with conceptions of divine government did not immediately disappear…

The first of a six-part series by John Milbank is now available at the University of Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal.



Veritas Series: Love, Friendship, Beauty, and the Good

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

Love, Friendship, Beauty, and the Good
Plato, Aristotle, and the Later Tradition

By Kevin Corrigan

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This book tells a compelling story about love, friendship, and the Divine that took over a thousand years to unfold. It argues that mind and feeling are intrinsically connected in the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus; that Aristotle developed his theology and physics primarily from Plato’s Symposium (from the “Greater” and “Lesser Mysteries” of Diotima-Socrates’ speech); and that the Beautiful and the Good are not coincident classes, but irreducible Forms, and the loving ascent of the Symposium must be interpreted in the light of the Republic, as the later tradition up to Ficino saw. Against the view that Platonism is an escape from the ambiguities of ordinary experience or opposed to loving individuals for their own sakes, this book argues that Plato dramatizes the ambiguities of ordinary experience, confronts the possibility of failure, and bequeaths erotic models for the loving of individuals to later thought. Finally, it examines the Platonic-Aristotelian heritage on the Divine to discover whether God can love us back, and situates the dramatic development of this legacy in Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, and Dionysius the Areopagite.


Love, Friendship, Beauty, and the Good debunks the academic myth which has encased ancient philosophy and its later pagan and Christian permutations in a curio box, available for a sterile analytical examination, but devoid of relevance to the nitty-gritty psychology of our daily life. It takes a lifetime of experience and expertise to reexamine the relationship between being and thinking in the most Cartesian of ways. Corrigan does just this with reason and passion.” —Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, Florida State University

“In this small volume, Corrigan shows convincingly that . . . Plato and his successors held that such experiences as love, pleasure, and desire are entirely compatible with divine transcendence, without which there can be no real immanence and no real love of individuals without the vertical dimension that makes this possible.” —John D. Turner, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Kevin Corrigan, noted authority on both Plato himself and the later Platonist tradition, particularly Plotinus, has here produced a remarkable study of the role of love in both stages of that tradition.” —John Dillon, Trinity College Dublin

“In this multifaceted gem of a book, Corrigan expertly guides us to understand more deeply and anew the perennial themes of love and friendship both in Platonism and in our own lives. . . . This is a valuable book and a model of concision.” —Arthur Versluis, author of Platonic Mysticism

“[A]n arresting revisionist essay. . . . This book should be required reading for students of ancient philosophy and early Christian theology.” —John Peter Kenney, Saint Michael’s College

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Veritas Series: The Gift of Beauty and the Passion of Being

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

The Gift of Beauty and the Passion of Being
On the Threshold between the Aesthetic and the Religious

By William Desmond

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This book gathers a set of reflections on the gift of beauty and the passion of being. There is something surprising about beauty that we receive and that moves the passion of being in us. The book takes issue with an ambiguous attitude to beauty among some who proclaim their advanced aesthetic authenticity. Beauty seems bland and lacks the more visceral thrill of the ugly, indeed the excremental. We crave what disrupts and provokes us, not what gives delight or even consoles. By contrast, attention is given to how beauty arouses enigmatic joy in us, and we enjoy an elemental rapport with it as other. Surprised by beauty, our breath is taken away, but we are more truly there with the beautiful when we are taken outside of ourselves. We are first receivers of the gift of surprise and only then perceivers and conceivers. My attention to the passion of being stresses a patience, a receptivity to what is other. What happens is not first our construction. There is something given, something awakening, something delighting, something energizing, something of invitation to transcendence. The theme is amplified in diverse reflections: on life and its transient beauty; on soul music and its relation to self; on the shine on things given in creation; on beauty and Schopenhauer’s dark origin; on creativity and the dynamis in Paul Weiss’s creative ventures; on redemption in Romanticism in the thought of Stanley Cavell; on theater as a between or metaxu; on redeeming laughter and its connection with the passion of being.


“This is a radiant book, as beautiful as it is profound. Indeed—as Desmond consistently demonstrates in all his work, but here with a special power—the profoundest philosophical reflection must necessarily be the most beautiful.” —David Bentley Hart, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

“In this profound and searching book, Desmond shows once again that he is a master at ‘dancing lightly in the service of thought’ (Kierkegaard). He does not hesitate to draw on everything that might lend itself—philosophy, poetry, drama, art, film, music, nature, and major and minor experiences of life—to make manifest the brilliant light of beauty, without for all that simply dispelling its mysterious darkness.” —D.C. Schindler, author of Love and the Postmodern Predicament: Rediscovering the Real in Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.

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Veritas Series: Embracing Our Finitude

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

Embracing Our Finitude:
Exercises in a Christian Anthropology between Dependence and Gratitude

By Stephan Kampowski

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Memento mori—remember death—this is how the medieval monks exhort us. Our life, given in birth and taken by death, is radically marked by finitude, which can be a source of great fear and anguish. Our finitude, however, does not in itself need to be something negative. It confronts us with the question of our life’s meaning and spurs us on to treasure our days. Our contingency, as evidenced in our birth and death, reminds us that we have not made ourselves and that there is nothing necessary about the marvelous fact that we exist. Particularly from a Judeo-Christian perspective, embracing our finitude will mean gratefully accepting life as a completely gratuitous gift and living one’s days informed by a sense of this gratitude.


“Kampowski is a thinker of rare acuity. Indebted to Hannah Arendt, his work consistently instructs. Here we find wisdom on natality and gratitude, the faith community’s ‘common sense,’ human action as ordered to interpersonal communion, marriage, and cultural diversity, the marital bond and human promising, the danger of loving humanity rather than humans, the nature and claims of the kingdom of God, and more. Every student of human and Christian flourishing must read this book.” —Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary

Embracing our Finitude draws together themes in both classical and contemporary philosophy, including Continental and Anglophone philosophy, to present a positive account of human finitude. . . . This book should be read by every humanities student who is searching for something different from the sterile narcissism of our Western anti-culture. It is beautifully written, avoids academic jargon, and is accessible to anyone with an interest in truth, beauty, and goodness.” —Tracey Rowland, University of Notre Dame, Australia

“What does it mean to be born and to have to die? These brilliant essays in Christian anthropology outline the path of an authentic wisdom wherein the human person, consenting to his finitude, assumes with gratitude the gifts received and the relations of dependence which they involve. When the desire of individuals for absolute independence engenders a mortal loneliness and undoes communities, Kampowski opens the way for a firm, rational, and Christian hope.” —Serge-Thomas Bonino, General Secretary of the International Theological Commission

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Veritas Series: Love and the Postmodern Predicament:

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

Love and the Postmodern Predicament:
Rediscovering the Real in Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

By D. C. Schindler

Wipf & Stock | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


The computer has increasingly become the principal model for the mind, which means our most basic experience of “reality” is as mediated through a screen, or stored in a cloud. As a result, we are losing a sense of the concrete and imposing presence of the real, and the fundamental claim it makes on us, a claim that Iris Murdoch once described as the essence of love. In response to this postmodern predicament, the present book aims to draw on the classical philosophical tradition in order to articulate a robust philosophical anthropology, and a new appreciation of the importance of the “transcendental properties” of being: beauty, goodness, and truth.

The book begins with a reflection on the importance of metaphysics in our contemporary setting, and then presents the human person’s relation to the world under the signs of the transcendentals: beauty is the gracious invitation into reality, goodness is the self-gift of freedom in response to this invitation, and truth is the consummation of our relation to the real in knowledge. The book culminates in an argument for why love is ultimately a matter of being, and why metaphysical reason in indispensable in faith.


“Philosopher D. C. Schindler defies the dragon of modernity, whose dominant thought patterns induce a life- and culture-threatening loss of reality and self. He offers life-giving proposals regarding love, being, and the transcendentals to restore us profoundly to the world and to ourselves as humans. Buy the book—you may divest yourself of others. Digest it, and revel in your already-involvement with a responsive reality—an involvement of intimate encounter and communion; a reality that is love, fraught with beauty, goodness, and truth.” —Esther Lightcap Meek, Geneva College

Love and the Postmodern Predicament is a treasure trove of philosophical riches. Schindler does not merely indicate the need to return to metaphysics to wrestle successfully with what he carefully and accurately describes as our postmodern predicament, but in fact leads us out of that predicament. His profound and original reflections on love, grounded in the transcendental properties of being, are a radical refashioning of traditional metaphysical principles.” —Jonathan J. Sanford, University of Dallas

“In this rewarding little text, Schindler accomplishes something too rare among works of philosophy: he accommodates a wide audience and yet deftly draws the reader into deep metaphysical waters, into a consideration of some of the most profound and perennial philosophical concerns. Throughout, the timeliness of his reflections on love, beauty, God, and the good remains in clear view. This is a highly recommended work by an author of capacious intellect and generous spirit.” —Lee M. Cole, Hillsdale College

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Veritas Series: The Social Philosophy of Gillian Rose

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

The Social Philosophy of Gillian Rose
By Andrew Brower Latz

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Gillian Rose was one of the most important social philosophers of the twentieth century. This is the first book to present her social philosophy as a systematic whole. Based on new archive research and examining the full range of Rose’s sources, it explains her theory of modern society, her unique version of ideology critique, and her views on law and mutual recognition. Brower Latz relates Rose’s work to numerous debates in sociology and philosophy, such as the relation of theory to metatheory, emergence, and the relationship of sociology and philosophy. This book makes clear not only Rose’s difficult texts but the entire structure of her thought, making her complete social theory accessible for the first time.


“This book succeeds in providing a highly lucid and hugely instructive introduction to the unique and distinctive work of Gillian Rose. Brower Latz rightly champions Rose as one of the most original and important intellectuals of the late twentieth century, and his appreciation will be of interest to those working in social theory, the philosophy of law, and continental social philosophy.” —Keith Ansell-Pearson, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

“This book offers the most complete introduction to the unique thought of Gillian Rose . . . It rightly stresses Rose’s continuity with the Frankfurt school and her cleaving to the inescapability of political and historical exigencies in the face of idealistic delusions that can be covertly complicit with what they oppose . . . At the very least she urges us towards a necessary sifting and Brower Latz’s book will help to ensure that we still attend to her remarkable voice.” —John Milbank, Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Politics, University of Nottingham

“Gillian Rose has long been acknowledged as one of post-war Britain’s most original thinkers. In this excellent volume, Andrew Brower Latz meticulously explicates all of the many insightful lines of thought found across her complex writings. Though sometimes critical, he makes a persuasive and eloquent case for the ongoing significance of Rose’s contributions to social theory.” —Brian O’Connor, Professor of Philosophy, University College Dublin

“This is a book of exemplary clarity and comprehensiveness about one of the most important British thinkers of the last fifty years. Andrew Brower Latz traces Gillian Rose’s unusual intellectual evolution and patiently expounds her notoriously demanding prose to display a powerful, coherent and enormously timely social vision, much needed in a culture of growing political barbarism.” —Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

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Veritas Series: Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher

Highlighting publications in the Veritas series from the last year:

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher
EDITED BY Sotiris Mitralexis, Georgios Steiris, Marcin Podbielski, Sebastian Lalla

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The study of Maximus the Confessor’s thought has flourished in recent years: international conferences, publications and articles, new critical editions and translations mark a torrent of interest in the work and influence of perhaps the most sublime of the Byzantine Church Fathers. It has been repeatedly stated that the Confessor’s thought is of eminently philosophical interest. However, no dedicated collective scholarly engagement with Maximus the Confessor as a philosopher has taken place—and this volume attempts to start such a discussion. Apart from Maximus’ relevance and importance for philosophy in general, a second question arises: should towering figures of Byzantine philosophy like Maximus the Confessor be included in an overview of the European history of philosophy, or rather excluded from it—as is the case today with most histories of European philosophy? Maximus’ philosophy challenges our understanding of what European philosophy is. In this volume, we begin to address these issues and examine numerous aspects of Maximus’ philosophy—thereby also stressing the interdisciplinary character of Maximian studies.

Contributors include:

Fr. Maximos Constas, Justin Shaun Coyle, Vladimir Cvetković, Natalie Depraz, Demetrios Harper, Michael Harrington, Georgi Kapriev, Karolina Kochańczyk-Bonińska, Nicholas Loudovikos, Andrew Louth, John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Michail Mantzanas, Smilen Markov, Sotiris Mitralexis, Marcin Podbielski, Dionysios Skliris, Georgios Steiris, Stoyan Tanev, Torstein Theodor Tollefsen, Jordan Daniel Wood


“This groundbreaking volume correctly identifies an odious convention in the division of disciplines: while major thinkers such as Augustine or Aquinas self-evidently make their way into being part of philosophy’s legacy, equally major thinkers that are categorized as ‘religious’ are exiled to the hermetically sealed domain of theology, even if their contribution to classical philosophical problems is unique, pertinent, and most fecund. The book at hand delivers on its promise of reclaiming Maximus the Confessor for philosophy and of recognizing his oeuvre as a critical contribution to its history; as such, it is one of those endeavors that contribute to nothing less than a paradigm change.” —Grigory Benevich, The Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities

“This rich and diverse set of essays goes far in demonstrating not only the depth and nuance of Maximus the Confessor’s philosophical theology in its own context but its relevance to a wide array of contemporary theological concerns. They indicate very well why the study of Maximus has experienced a profound renaissance in the past several years, as this is a thinker whose stature matches the far more studied figures of Augustine and Aquinas. From metaphysics to theological anthropology, from apophaticism to ethics, this collection is a fine contribution to the expanding research on Maximus and will further generate interest in the Confessor among historical theologians, philosophers, and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines.” —Paul M. Blowers, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College

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Also by Sotiris Mitralexis:
Ever-Moving Repose: A Contemporary Reading of Maximus the Confessor’s Theory of Time


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

Purchase: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com


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 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000d42


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: https://deaconessministries.force.com/s/lt-event?id=a4E0K000000stBrUAI


‘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): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/excellent-women-lecture-series-tickets-45678454487?aff=es2




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 http://www.academyofideas.org.uk/events/living_freedom_2018

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 https://goo.gl/TN3Qgp 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 http://www.academyofideas.org.uk/events/living_freedom_2018

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

Should you have any queries please contact alastairdonald@academyofideas.org.uk 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: secretaria@institutoifes.es
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: http://www.audubon.org/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 bordersandboundaries2018@gmail.com. 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: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk]

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: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk]



(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

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(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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