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Now available in the Veritas series from Cascade Books: A Heart of Flesh: William Desmond and the Bible, ed. by Steven E. Knepper

Now available in the Veritas series from Cascade Books:

A Heart of Flesh: William Desmond and the Bibleedited by Steven E. Knepper

Purchase: Cascade / Amazon
The Irish philosopher William Desmond is one of the most compelling and adventurous Christian thinkers of our time. The essays gathered here undertake a journey through the Bible with Desmond that ranges across biblical theology, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, political theory, and literary studies. Some of the essays examine the place of the Bible in Desmond’s thought, considering his readings of the creation, the Abraham cycle, and the Beatitudes. Other essays bring Desmond’s ideas to bear on broad questions that emerge from the Bible about philosophy and revelation, exegesis, theopoetics, eschatology, and tyranny. Still others bring Desmond into conversation with influential philosophers who engage (or conspicuously do not engage) the Bible, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Tillich. Together, these essays show the rich possibilities of approaching the Bible with Desmond. All take their bearings from Desmond’s “metaxological” approach, which does not seek to claim the final word, which attends to the text rather than simply imposing on it, and which allows for an ongoing dialogue.
Contributors: Ryan Duns, SJ, William Franke (afterword), Caitlin Smith Gilson, Joseph K. Gordon,  William Christian Hackett, Steven E. Knepper, Renée Köhler-Ryan, Andrew Kuiper, Cyril O’Regan (foreword), Brendan Thomas Sammon, Terence Sweeney, Ethan Vanderleek, Erik van Versendaal, Robert Wyllie
Praise for A Heart of Flesh:

“For non-specialists, continental philosophy can be an imposing thing, filled with abstruse thinkers, neologisms, and the latest trendy European name. But this collection should prompt even the most determined avoiders of continental thought to reconsider. Uniformly strong, these essays demonstrate the immense fruitfulness of reading Scripture through William Desmond’s lenses. This book is a breakthrough that left me eager for more and deeply grateful to Desmond and the authors.” —Matthew Levering, chair of theology, Mundelein Seminary

“The fertile depths of William Desmond’s metaxological metaphysics are increasingly being discovered and excavated in rapidly expanding secondary literature, spanning his imposing and demanding corpus. However, Steven Knepper’s volume A Heart of Flesh breaks new ground through tapping the resources and potential of metaxological thinking in relation to biblical texts. Cyril O’Regan’s foreword alone justifies the existence of this volume. And yet there is so much more in this superb collection of essays. Highly recommended.” —Philip John-Paul Gonzales, lecturer in philosophy, St. Patrick’s Pontifical University

“This is a well-wrought collection of reflections, gathered under the well-informed and judicious editorship of Steven Knepper. Its different contributions offer the reader many insights on an impressive range of themes, handled with due consideration and attentive thoughtfulness. I am much taken with its offering of a diversity of surprising illuminations on matters theological and philosophical, both old and new. Very warmly recommended.” —William Desmond, chair in philosophy, Villanova University


Finitude’s Wounded Praise: Responses to Jean-Louis Chrétien

Now available in the Veritas series from Cascade Books, Finitude’s Wounded Praise: Responses to Jean-Louis Chrétien, edited by Philip John Paul Gonzales and Joseph Micah McMeans.

The late Jean-Louis Chrétien’s responsorial and polyphonic style of thinking is nothing less than a performance of gratitude, which manifests the many ways and manners that our wounded finitude is graced and blessed along the peregrine path of human existence. Finitude’s Wounded Praise: Responses to Jean-Louis Chrétien is a receptive celebratory response to the immense fecundity and potential of Chrétien’s “thank you” of gratitude. This volume gathers leading Chrétien scholars and thinkers to explicate, explore, think with, and commemorate his thought. The essays in the volume engage Chrétien’s work from three primary fields: phenomenological, literary/poetic, and theological. Finitude’s Wounded Praise is a diverse, exploratory, and impressive testament to the expansive and enduring richness of Chrétien’s oeuvre.

“Jean-Louis Chrétien is a uniquely important Catholic philosopher whose work is a profound response to the giftedness of the world. This collection of essays leads us into the great fecundity of Chrétien’s Christian phenomenology and poetry—an outstanding and original set of meditations on a philosopher of prayer, gratitude, and contemplation.”
—Simon Oliver, professor of divinity, Durham University

“The voice of Jean-Louis Chrétien resounds unceasingly and still awaits its response. Finitude’s Wounded Praise pays homage to the man who left us too soon and whose work remains at once phenomenological, poetic, and literary, as well as theological. There is a particular way of thinking and speaking in line with Chrétien. Each contribution included here bears witness to it, with the word ‘gratitude’ as the right attitude and key to the understanding.”
—Emmanuel Falque, honorary dean, Catholic University of Paris

“I have always respected Jean-Louis Chrétien as a man and scholar. Later, I could admire the philosopher and poet. Recently, I noticed that he had said many things I too have tried to say, though he had said them earlier and better. This book is a fitting tribute to his memory and a testimony to his presence.”
—Jean-Yves Lacoste, life member, Clare Hall

Book Details


Dr. Alexei Bodrov Festschrift: Theology of Freedom: Religious and Anthropological Foundations of Freedom in a Global Context

Now available, a Festschrift Honouring the 60th Birthday of Dr. Alexei BodrovIrina Yazykova: Theology of Freedom. Religious and Anthropological Foundations of Freedom in a Global Context, edited by Irina Yazykova.

The problem of freedom has been a central theme of Christian theology from the very beginning. The interrelation of internal (e.g. freedom from sin, Jn 8:31-36) and external freedom, often neglected by the church; liberation theology emphasising social sin; freedom of God and man; the ontology of freedom: these and other questions continue to concern many theologians, philosophers, and thinkers. This book contains articles by leading contemporary authors – Jürgen Moltmann, Gerald O’Collins, George Pattison, Innokenty Pavlov, Ivana Noble, Conor Cunningham, Svetlana Konacheva, and others – who reflect on the philosophical and theological foundations of freedom, dignity and human rights, historical and contemporary aspects of the theology of freedom in a global context. This book is a Festschrift honouring the 60th birthday of Dr. Alexei Bodrov, founder and rector of St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute. All authors sent their articles specifically for this volume.

Table of contents

Philosophical-Theological Foundations

  • Jürgen Moltmann, Dimensions of Human Freedom in the Presence of God
  • Gerald O’Collins, The Freedom of Easter Faith
  • Paul S. Fiddes, Creation in Freedom and Love
  • Ivana Noble, Transfiguration and Freedom in the Theology of Light
  • Светлана Коначева, Само-бытие, небытие и свобода: онтология свободы Пауля Тиллиха и постмодерная теология
  • George Pattison, Existential Freedom: Sartre or Berdyaev?
  • Conor Cunningham, HOMO EX MACHINA: The Nightmare Dreams
  • Michael Kirwan, Ecclesiastical Action: Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Last Words on Evil and Freedom
  • Олег Давыдов, Благо и выбор: что первично?
  • Pavlo Smytsnyuk, Theology of Freedom: Can a Frightened Church Heal a Frightened World?
  • Romilo Knežević, Outside of God: A Theanthropic Scrutiny of Nietzsche’s Concept of Chaos and Berdyaev’s Notion of the Ungrund
  • Франсуа Эве, Богословие свободы
  • Frederick Lauritzen, The Byzantine Ontology of Freedom from Plotinus (6,8) to Maximus the Confessor (Opusculum 7)
  • Giandomenico Boffi, Divine Creation and Freedom of Mathematical Models
  • Александр Закуренко, Свобода и точка

Ecumenical and Global Issues

  • Dagmar Heller, Baptism and Reconciliation
  • Massimo Faggioli, The Sex Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church and the Global Context of Challenges to Religious Freedom
  • David A. Hoekema, What Does Freedom Mean in the Ethics of Development?
  • Dietrich Werner, Freedom for Diaconia – Social Witness and Christian Care in Church History and in the Ecumenical Movement – Potentials for a German-Russian Diaconia Learning and Exchange Process
  • Christian Krieger, Religion Engaging with Liberalism
  • Adalberto Mainardi, The Riddle of Freedom. The Task of Theology in a Postmodern Context

Human Dignity and Rights

  • Стефано Каприо, Свобода и потребность в истине у Августина и Фомы
  • Aristotle Papanikolaou, The Unfreedom of War and the Freedom of Virtue
  • Hans Thoolen, Human Rights a Basis for a Peaceful Coexistence of Religions?
  • Елена Степанова, Богословие свободы Льва Толстого
  • Hans Ulrich Gerber, Freedom, Justice and Faith. Impulses from Three Francophone, Thinkers over Three Centuries
  • Edward J. Mahoney, Radical Freedom. Saint Paul and the Modern Autonomous Subject
  • Антон Тихомиров, Сложность, слабость, свобода. Политическая проповедь: основные принципы и их применение в российском контексте
  • Antoine Fleyfel, Christians of the Middle East and Liberalism
  • Hugh Wybrew, Christ Has Set Us Free
  • Антуан Аржаковский, Необходима реформа православного богословия
  • Augustinos Bairachtaris, Jesus as Liberator: Towards the Spiritual Modification of the Church in Latin America

Past and Present

  • Edward Kessler, Religion and the Nation State: Standing at the Crossroads
  • Вячеслав Океанский, Жанна Океанская, «Il dit de l’Eglise est tres liberal…»: экклезиологический космизм А.С.Хомякова
  • Иннокентий Павлов, «Свидетельство Флавия» об Иисусе. Опыт историко-критического рассмотрения
  • Ирина Языкова, Свобода и канон в иконе: есть ли противоречие

Full table of contents also available here.

In order to purchase, please write directly to Vladimyr Andreev here:


Our Common Cosmos: Exploring the Future of Theology, Human Culture, and the Space Sciences

This volume collects an international body of voices, as a timely response to a rapidly advancing field of the natural sciences. The contributors explore how the disciplines of theology, earth and space sciences contribute to the debate on constantly expanding ethical challenges, and the prospect of humanity’s future.

The discussions offered in this volume see the ‘community’ as central to a sustainable and ethical approach to earth and space sciences, examining the role of theology in this communal approach, but also recognizing theology itself as part of a community of humanity disciplines. Examining the necessity for interaction between disciplines, this collection draws on voices from biodiversity studies, geology, aesthetics, literature, astrophysics, and others, to illustrate precisely why a constructive and sustainable dialogue is needed within the current scientific climate.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Foreword – Carl Pilcher, NASA Astrobiology Institute, USA
Introduction, Andreas Losch, University of Bern, Switzerland, Zoe Lehmann Imfeld, Centre for Space and Habitability, Switzerland
Part 1: Approaches
1. Conversations Along the Way: How and Why Science and Theology Need to Interact – Markus Mühling, Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel, Germany
2. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours’: Why the Differences of Science, Religion and Theology Must Not Be Blurred – Dirk Evers, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
3. Modelling the Relation between Theology and Science – Andreas LoschUniversity of Bern, Switzerland
4. Who’s Afraid of Reductionism’s Wolf? The Return of Scientia – Connor Cunningham, University of Nottingham, UK
Part 2: Interactions
5. Sustainability: Interaction Between Science, Ethics and Theology – Robert S. White, University of Cambridge, UK
6. About Continuous Creation, and Some Ethical Principles for Ecology – Fabien Revol, Catholic University of Lyon, France
7. Aesthetics at the Intersection of Science and Theology – Knut-Willy Sæther, Volda University College, Norway
8. Imagination as Co-Creation: Science and Theology Through the Lens of Science-Fiction Literature – Zoe Lehmann Imfeld, Centre for Space and Habitability , Switzerland
9. A Philosophical Outlook on Potential Conflicts Between Planetary Protection, Astrobiology and Commercial Use of Space – Erik Persson, Uppsala University, Sweden
10. The End of Copernican Mediocrity: How Modern Astrophysics Has Reinvigorated the Spiritual Dimension – Howard A. Smith, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Afterword: Our Place in the Universe – Tom McLeish, York University, UK

Theological Anthropology in Interreligious Perspective

What defines ‘humanity’ is a seemingly innocuous question and yet one which continues to attract controversy. Directed by this inquiry and bringing together theological insight in conversation with academic interreligious discourse, the present edited volume offers a unique contribution towards articulating the complex and myriad ways in which human life has been conceived and related to the greater vista of reality. Framed around Muslim-Christian theological dialogue, the volume results from a meeting of prominent international scholars, whose contributions investigate the origins of life through to death and beyond. Informed by classical and contemporary theological questions and interests, the volume offers scholarship in the humanities and sciences important insights into debates pertaining to human beings, their nature, future, and purposes.

Tim Winter: Introduction

Part I: Created in the Image: Human Wholeness
Christoph Schwöbel: ‘Theology … defines the whole and complete and perfect human being.’ Being Human in the Dispute between Theology and Philosophy: Variations on a Christian, Muslim and Jewish Theme – Recep Şentürk: Multiplex Human Ontology and Multiplex Self: An Alternative Understanding of Human Behaviour

Part II: Death and Human Becoming
Ivana Noble: Created to Be and to Become Human: A Christian Perspective – Lejla Demiri: ‘He Who has created death and life’ (Q 67:2): Death in Islamic Theology and Spirituality

Part III: Belief and Devotion
Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino: ‘The Prophet is closer to the believers than they are to themselves’ (Q 33:6): A Scriptural Inquiry into the Anthropological Foundation of the Ittibā ʿ al-Nabī (Sequela Prophetae) – Amina Nawaz: Mutual Influences of Christian and Muslim Anthropologies in History: A Case Study of Sixteenth-Century Morisco Devotions

Part IV: The Child in Human Becoming
Friedrich Schweitzer: The Anthropology of the Child: Opportunities and Challenges for a Neglected Topic in Christian-Muslim Dialogue – Mujadad Zaman: Children in the Medieval Islamic Imagination: A Path Towards Pedagogic Dialogue

Part V: Dignity and Sinfulness
Daniel A. Madigan SJ: ‘These people have no grasp of God’s true measure’ (Q 39:67): Does the Doctrine of Original Sin do Justice to God and to Humanity? – Ralf K. Wüstenberg: The ‘Fall’ of Mankind: Structural Parallels between the Narratives of Sin in Christianity and Islam

Part VI: Limits to Being, Limits to Naming God
Simone Dario Nardella: God, Man, Being: ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī’s Explanation of the Intellect’s Capacity to Know God in al-Wujūd al-Ḥaqq – Paul-A. Hardy: On Naming and Silencing – Conor Cunningham: Thomas Aquinas’ Anthropology: Stuck in the Middle with You

Part VII: Futures
Michael Kirwan SJ/Ahmad Achtar: ‘The wound where light enters’: A ‘Common Word’ for Being Human in Islam and Christianity


Analogy, Desire, and Imitation – Workshop Talks

Now presenting talks by John Betz, Grant Kaplan, Wolfgang Palaver, Joshua Furnal, Michael Kirwan, Philip Gonzales, and William Desmond, along with a roundtable discussion, from the workshop Analogy, Desire, and Imitation at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, in April 2023. The workshop was enabled by a grant under the Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology project, funded by Templeton Religion Trust.



The Future of Christian Theology (Maynooth Conference)

St. Patrick’s Pontifical University is proud to host an international symposium which brings to Maynooth a talented group of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theologians to present their latest research in Systematic Theology. This event is ideal for postgraduate and doctoral students in Systematic Theology seeking new research pathways and potential supervisors at the top of the field.

Conference fee reduced to €175 – Two and half day conference including all catering and conference dinner

If you require on site accommodation please contact

Postgraduate students please contact for a reduced conference fee.

For tickets, see


THE PHENOMENOLOGY BOOTH — Emmanuel Falque: Finitude, Body, and Philosophy’s Passage into Theology

Zechariah Mickel writes:

The Phenomenology Booth is a virtual exhibit devoted to the philosophical field of phenomenology. The exhibit features a set of interviews with philosophers and theologians working in phenomenology, as well as a selection of Wipf and Stock’s books in phenomenology.

In our final phenomenology booth interview, I sit down for an extended conversation with the one and only Emmanuel Falque. Dr. Falque is on the philosophy faculty at the Catholic University of Paris and is the founder of the International Network in Philosophy of Religion. He is also the author of many volumes on phenomenology, including his new book with Cascade, By Way of Obstacles: A Pathway through a Work.

In this episode, Professor Falque and I discuss finitude, flesh, and the relationship of philosophy and theology, all done via an engagement with the work of the likes of Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and many more.

Click here to read a transcription of the interview or to listen to it in podcast form.


Now available for pre-order: By Way of Obstacles, by Emanuel Falque

Now available for pre-order from Cascade in the Veritas series: By Way of Obstacles: A Pathway through a Work, by Emmanuel Falque, translated by Sarah Horton, and with a foreword by Cyril O’Regan.

Pre-order here.


In By Way of Obstacles, Emmanuel Falque revisits the major themes of his work—finitude, the body, and the call for philosophers and theologians to “cross the Rubicon” by entering into dialogue—in light of objections that have been offered. In so doing, he offers a pathway through a work that will offer valuable insights both to newcomers to his thought and to those who are already familiar with it. For it is only after one has carved out one’s pathway that one may see more clearly where one has been and where one might be going.

Here readers will discover the profound relation between Falque’s emphasis on the human experience of the world and his desire for philosophy and Christian theology to enter into conversation. For only by speaking within the human horizon of finitude can Christianity be credible for human beings, and it is because Christian theology teaches that God entered into our finitude that it can also teach us something of what it is to be human. Contemporary phenomenology, Falque warns, over-privileges an encounter with the infinite that cannot be originary. Calling us back to finitude, he calls us to a deeper understanding of our humanity.

Praise for By Way of Obstacles:

“Complementing the earlier lovers’ quarrel with his mentors and French predecessors, in this new book, Emmanuel Falque responds instead to some of his contemporary critics. Writing ‘as an act of life,’ he forges for readers a pathway through his rich and extensive work, showing us ‘how things stand’ at the crossroads between phenomenology and theology.” —Christina M. Gschwandtner, Fordham University

“Emmanuel Falque gives us in By Way of Obstacles a way of negotiating his prolific work. Here, we see Falque being formed as a thinker by Miguel de Unamuno on the one hand, and by Mikhail Bulgakov and Nikolai Berdyaev on the other. Always, too, we find him meditating on the meaning of experience, the exposure to peril that marks all genuine philosophical and theological thought.” —Kevin Hart, The University of Virginia

“Anyone interested in French phenomenology and theology must read the work of Emmanuel Falque, and By Way of Obstacles is the place to begin. Summarizing and explicating Falque’s key questions, motivations, and innovations, By Way of Obstacles enables readers to come to grips with the dimensions of his project and his responses to aspects of critique. Sarah Horton’s translation remains faithful to Falque’s struggle while bringing its diverse resonances to light in English.” —Robyn Horner, Australian Catholic University

“With his characteristic intellectual bounty and passion, Falque demonstrates the generativity of the art of disputatio, shaping and sharpening his thought through debate and confrontation with a broad gathering of thinkers and methodologies—philosophical, theological, and psychoanalytic—across history. The resulting essay captures the dynamic vitality and orality of a raucous symposium; it bears witness to thinking in motion while also clarifying the ground from where Falque speaks.” —Tamsin Jones, Trinity College

Pre-order here from Cascade Books.


Now available: Wonder Strikes: Approaching Aesthetics and Literature with William Desmond by Steven E. Knepper

Now available: Wonder Strikes: Approaching Aesthetics and Literature with William Desmond by Steven E. Knepper, with a foreword by William Desmond.

Purchase: SUNY | Amazon


William Desmond argues that philosophy, religion, and art begin in wonder. Desmond is widely recognized for his original metaphysics and his provocative philosophy of religion. Desmond’s extensive writings on aesthetics, art, and literature, however, have received much less attention. Wonder Strikes is the first book-length examination of these dimensions of Desmond’s thought. It offers nuanced commentary on his treatment of beauty and the sublime; his accounts of tragedy and comedy; and his argument that, having asked too much” of art in modernity, we now ask too little.” Desmond claims that art, philosophy, and religion must recover their ancient kinship and their shared roots in wonder if they are to counter the destructive instrumentalism of our time.

Steven E. Knepper is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies at the Virginia Military Institute.


“Wonder Strikes would serve very well as an overall introduction to my work, as well as a particular illumination of its aesthetic concerns, and all through the elegant writing of a thinker whose attentive mind and searching grasp add to the exploration their own eloquent thoughtfulness. I would recommend the work as an excellent introduction in those terms, and yet it has its own singular register, which comes across through its special focus on aesthetic concerns.” — William Desmond, from the foreword

Knepper has written a beautifully crafted study of the work of William Desmond, particularly the thread within the distinguished Irish philosopher’s work concerned with how and why philosophy relates to art and religion and how it is impoverished without having constructive relations with them, even if it is not determined by either. Wonder Strikes is not only informative and judicious in its selections of topics in Desmond and apt in quotation, it is throughout a pleasure to read.” — Cyril O’Regan, University of Notre Dame

A dynamic cross-section between art, philosophy, and religion requires a kind of existential attunement. One’s voice from a particular field—if it is to say anything meaningful about that mysterious space of transcendence—must be open to irreducible richness of multiplying voices from the other fields. Only then, one can strike a harmony where one’s reciprocity with others is a liberating symphony. Knepper’s Wonder Strikes is saturated with such transformative voicing of the intermediation between literature, philosophy, and religion. More than just illustrating Desmond’s concepts, his attentiveness to the literary particulars shows a distinct way forward for metaxological thinkers.” — Takeshi Morisato, University of Edinburgh

Two decades after the ‘religious turn’ in literary studies, Steven E. Knepper reports on its various pathways and evaluates its affordances and limitations. William Desmond’s thought illuminates this investigation with the critical insight that art, philosophy, and religion necessarily interanimate each other. Knepper is the rare scholar capable of taking this directive and cultivating it across these disciplines, plus political and social theory. Much more than an adroit guide to Desmond’s oeuvre, Wonder Strikes critically synthesizes recent ventures in the reenchantment of the world while constructively articulating key features of this adventure: epiphany, tragedy, and laughter. In his lucid, creative animation of recent theoretical, theological, and philosophical insights, Knepper inspires the kind of delight and wonder with which David Lodge’s Small World must have struck its academic readers in 1984. Like that ‘academic romance,’ Wonder Strikes makes happy beach reading for anybody who intuits that literature, philosophy, and religion need each other.” — Ryan McDermott, Associate Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh, and director of the Genealogies of Modernity Project

Purchase: SUNY | Amazon


Seminar: Form as the Grammar of Change by Lexi Eikelboom

Form as the Grammar of Change:

Holding Together Reflection and Experience with Hegel

Location: University of Nottingham, A22 Humanities Building
Date: Monday 27th June 2022 (14:00-15:30)

Join guest speaker Lexi Eikelboom for the seminar Form as the Grammar of Change: Holding Together Reflection and Experience with Hegel

Abstract: Many thinkers have relied on the concept of form to communicate some of their most complex and profound ideas about the nature of reality. But what kind of concept is form? And what kind of work do we ask this concept to do and why? This paper interrogates Hegel’s use of form in the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Science of Logic to propose that we think about the concept as a grammar for mediating the relationship between reflection and experience in our attempts to think about desire and change.

This event will take place in person and online. For the Teams link to attend, email Michael Burdett.

About the speaker:

Lexi Eikelboom is a Research Fellow in Religion and Theology at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University. She completed a doctorate in Theology (Modern Doctrine) at the University of Oxford in 2016, following a Master’s in Christian Ethics also from Oxford. Before coming to ACU, she taught theology and interdisciplinary humanities at the John Wesley Honors College.

Eikelboom investigates points of intersection between theological and artistic discourses in order to understand how categories of significance to the arts might expand and challenge Christian doctrine. Her first book, Rhythm: A Theological Category, brings analyses of rhythm in poetry into conversation with social theory and phenomenology in order to argue for rhythm’s theological significance as well as for a particular approach to the study of rhythm in theology. Her current research investigates the intersection of metaphysical and artistic meanings of the concept of “form” by bringing Thomas Aquinas and Hans Urs von Balthasar into conversation with art and literary criticism, particularly concerning the gender implications of how the category is constructed. Her other research interests include collaborative work with artists to challenge assumptions about what constitutes religious or spiritual knowledge, and the ways in which religious ritual shapes embodiment at the intersection of nature and culture.

See the official Event Page on the University of Nottingham’s website.


Conference: Pavel Florensky for the 21st Century

Pavel Florensky for the 21st Century

14 – 16 September 2022, Cambridge

An on-site event taking place in Cambridge at Wesley House (14 and 16 September 2022) and Westcott House (15 September).

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof John Milbank (University of Nottingham)
  • Prof Andrew Louth (Durham University)
  • Prof Bruce Foltz (Eckerd College, FL)
  • Dr Avril Pyman (Durham University)
  • Dr Anke Niederbudde (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
  • Dr Clemena Antonova (Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna)
  • Dr Alexei Nesteruk (University of Portsmouth)
  • Dr Christoph Schneider (IOCS)
  • Prof Paul Gavrilyuk (University of St Thomas, MN)

Conference organisers: IOCS with Prof Bruce Foltz (Eckerd College, FL).

Conference Abstract

The conference will explore the significance of Pavel A. Florensky’s work for both thought and life in the twenty-firstcentury. In 1904, at the age of twenty-two, he wrote that his aim was ”to establish a synthesis of ecclesiality (tserkovnost’) and worldly culture” and ”to honestly embrace all the positive teaching of the Church and the scientific-philosophical worldview together with the arts, etc.“ A decade later, in his early magnum opus, he begins by prescribing what he calls “living religious experience”—accessible through ascetic practice—as the “sole legitimate” path to retrieve the treasures of Christian knowledge. These statements by the young Florensky capture the main thrust of his intellectual oeuvre. His thought is characterized by a bold and extraordinary cross-fertilization among philosophy, mathematics, science, art, and a wide range of other disciplines that is rooted in a theological vision of the world.

Trained in mathematics and physics, Florensky employed the scientific and mathematical paradigm changes that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century to articulate his integral Christian worldview and to set out his understanding of reality, knowledge, cult and human culture. Human existence, he believed, unfolds at the boundary of immanence and transcendence, and the one-sided, post-Kantian attempt to investigate the world sub specie finiti has ran its course with little to show for its efforts. Florensky, however, was convinced that both these revolutionary scientific discoveries and the direct experience of spiritual realities served to undermine the anti-metaphysical and positivist orientation that dominated the second half of the nineteenth century, paving the way for what he would later call a ‘concrete metaphysics’.

Much of his work remains under-researched, especially in the West where his writings are only beginning to be translated, and the conference seeks to help overcome this gap. The main aim will be to investigate the fruitfulness of his ideas for the task of thinking in the twenty-first century. Speakers are invited to analyse any aspect of Florensky’s work. For instance, how far can Florensky’s notion of “living religious experience” be grasped as a reinterpretation, or development, of the noetic illumination of Byzantine mysticism? To what extent does his understanding of “experience” resonate with the phenomenological reduction that originated in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century? Can Florensky’s ‘concrete metaphysics’ be read as a metacritique of the post-metaphysical orientation that dominates—in the wake of Wittgenstein and Heidegger—contemporary philosophy? Are there affinities between Florensky’s “concrete metaphysics” and William Desmond’s metaxaology and his notion of the “intimate universal”? How valuable are Florensky’s theological reflections on sacrament and liturgy articulated in his lesser-known anthropodicy? How are we to (re)interpret Florensky’s work within the horizon of contemporary thought? And not least, to what extent does Florensky’s appeal to “immediate experience,” as purified through asceticism, help to “pass a damp sponge over the ancient writings” that the Church has treasured, unlocking the riches of patristic spirituality for contemporary life?

Online participation is also available, as the event will be broadcast via Zoom.

For more information and to enroll, please see the official conference website.


Now available: The Great Divide and the Salvation Paradox, by David P. Griffith

Now available from Pickwick Publications (Wipf & Stock): The Great Divide and the Salvation Paradox, by David P. Griffith (April 2022; 350pp+).

[Purchase: Pickwick Publications | Amazon]


The church in its first centuries split on whether Christ saved everyone or a few, Universalism versus Exclusivism. In the sixth century, the church settled the issue seemingly and held that Universalism was heresy. This book reviews this history as well as what provoked it–Scripture, on its face, gives two contradictory accounts of salvation’s extent: everyonea is ultimately saved and everyone is not. In contrast to both Exclusivism and Universalism, the book takes Scripture’s two accounts of salvation’s extent as true–that is, as a paradox. This is the approach the church has taken with other scriptural paradoxes. Saying one God is three, or one Son is both God and man, appeared to be contradictory too, but, to embrace Scripture entirely, these were seen as paradoxical. The Trinity modeled how one can be three, and the hypostatic union modeled how one can be two. For the paradox of salvation’s extent, the answer lies in the individual’s divisibility in the afterlife, one can be two. That is, in ultimate salvation, each individual can be both saved and unsaved.

Praise for The Great Divide and the Salvation Paradox:

“This subtle, learned, and intriguing analysis not only invites us to ponder anew some of the ultimate mysteries of the Christian revelation, but to see how the concept of paradox can encompass a wide range of apparently contradictory scriptural truths in order to underscore God’s gracious salvation in Christ. Those who follow David Griffith’s reasoning in this highly accomplished study will be enlightened and enrichened.” — D. Densil Morgan, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, emeritus

“Griffith’s innovative take on the Christian paradox of exclusive or universal salvation is to find the paradox applied to every individual. A person’s eternal life and character are divisible and thus subject to both divine acceptance and judgment. This is a fascinating exercise in constructive theology and in defining a person in relationship to the eternal God.” — J. Andrew Dearman, Fuller Theological Seminary

“‘Who then can be saved?’ The question reverberates through Christian history from New Testament times. Taking Scripture seriously and employing a whole host of ancient as well as modern sources, David Griffith offers a fresh and original approach to the Bible’s apparent advocacy of both a universal and an exclusive salvation. Erudite, stimulating, and lucid, the discussion is both constructive and provocative. Careful reading will yield insights into theological anthropology as well as Christian soteriology.” —Robert Pope, Westminster College, Cambridge

“This is a novel book with a fascinating argument. As Griffith indicates, the stalemate in Christianity between universal and limited salvation seems to be an intractable issue without resolution. However, Griffith has provided an original way forward that deserves recognition and careful consideration. A timely piece and a tour de force.” — Michael Burdett, University of Nottingham


[Purchase: Pickwick Publications | Amazon]



Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with Prof. Cyril O’Regan

Dr Philip Gonzales, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, spoke to Prof. Cyril O’Regan (University of Notre Dame) ahead of the upcoming Future of Christian Thinking conference at St Patrick’s, Maynooth this April.


Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with David Bentley Hart

Dr Philip Gonzales, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, spoke to Dr. David Bentley Hart ahead of the upcoming Future of Christian Thinking conference at St Patrick’s, Maynooth this April.


Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with John Milbank

Dr Philip Gonzales, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, spoke to Professor John Milbank, Theologian and Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham, ahead of the upcoming Future of Christian Thinking conference at St Patrick’s, Maynooth this April.


Upcoming Postgraduate Courses by Edith Stein Institute of Philosophy

Two courses organized by the Edith Stein Institute of Philosophy and certified by the Pontifical University of Salamanca:

“We are proud to announce that the Pontifical University of Salamanca (UPSA) certifies this postgraduate course offering 5 ECTS (credits) which can be transferred to any European or American university. It is true that we must comply with our financial obligations with this university, but I would like to let you know that students with a recommendation can be offered a scholarship. We sincerely consider that money cannot be an impediment to study with us.”

Course descriptions:


As Pope Saint John Paul II claimed, the decisive character of all cultures is the way it is related to the greatest mystery, the mystery of God. The renewal of culture therefore implies a radical reconsideration of this fundamental relationship in all the dimensions of human existence.

This course would like to contribute to the discussion that began some sixteen years ago in Granada at the “Meetings for a New Beginning,” where Archbishop Javier Martínez Fernández brought together American Protestant theologians of various denominations, English Anglican theologians belonging to the Radical Orthodoxy movement, and Catholic theologians from America and Europe.

In times when faith is often reduced to a “personal matter,” people who still think that the Church represents hope for society, need to “reclaim the world by situating its concerns and activities within a theological framework” (Radical Orthodoxy manifesto). Thus, we invite you to listen to lectures that illuminate theology’s vital link to the natural and social sciences, politics, aesthetics, poetry, economy, and metaphysics. Our team of excellent professors will critically analyze the contemporary liberal view on certain key issues by demonstrating how revelation’s concrete implications and the Church’s rich heritage are as inspiring to us as ever when we seek to radically rethink current problems and renew our own lives.

  • Course Flyer
  • Full course table of contents, with subjects taught by John Milbank, D. Stephen Long, David Alcalde Morales, Kelly Johnson, William Cavanaugh, Charlie Collier, Conor Cunningham, Therese Lysaught, Ildefonso Fernández-Fígares Vicioso, Alessandro Rovati, Alison Milbank, William Hackett, Beáta Tóth, Robert Wozniak, Alessandra Gerolin



The aim of this course is to offer a clear and well-articulated line of reasoning in support of the relevance of John Paul II’s thought and testimony for Catholic Culture as well as for contemporary philosophy. The first part of this series of lectures, which are presented by an international team of experts in Wojtyła’s oeuvre, illuminates the realist phenomenological tradition by focusing on the sources of Wojtyła’s philosophy. A short introduction to Reinach, Stein, Conrad-Martius, and Scheler will help us to gain a broader perspective of the philosophical discussion in which Wojtyła was participating. As John Paul II, he would go on to introduce realist phenomenology into Church history by implementing its results and method into his own cultural and pastoral agenda. The second part of this course is dedicated to critically evaluating the amazingly rich legacy of John Paul II by concentrating on key issues like personalism, poetry, politics, the philosophy of religion, and more. To demonstrate the continuing influence of his philosophical and theological ideas, a special lecture is devoted to analyzing the continuity between the papacies of Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis. The introduction and conclusion of this overview course is presented by Prof. Dr. Rocco Buttiglione, one of the top Wojtyła specialists and author of the now-classic volumes Il pensiero di Karol Wojtyła (1982) and Karol Wojtyła: The Thought of the Man Who Became Pope John Paul II (1997).

  • Course Flyer
  • Full course table of contents, with subjects taught by Rocco Buttiglione, Mariano Crespo, Bulcsú Hoppál, Anna Varga-Jani, Emilio Fernando Morales de la Barrera, Miłosz Hołda, Jeffrey Wilson, Władysław Zuziak, Michał Łuczewski, John Crosby, Alfred Wierzbicki, Rodrigo Guerra López, Balázs Mezei, Joseph Papa

Program Director: Prof. Dr. Beáta Tóth

Coordinator: Dr. phil. hab. Mátyás Szalay

  • Academic quality
    Course taught by experts on the subject of international reputation
  • Personalized follow-up
    We offer theoretical training as well as personalized support with a tutor to answer questions and provide follow-up in the learning process.
  • Official recognition
    Course organized by the Edith Stein Institute of Philosophy and certified by the Pontifical University of Salamanca, offering 5 ECTS credits
  • Online modality
    15 classes taught through google Meet that allows you to connect from wherever you are.
  • Price
    220 €
    Academic Excellence Schoarships
  • Contact

Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic Online Seminar (7 Feb 2022)

Cyril O’Regan on Apocalyptic and Metaphysics

MONDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2022, 15:00-17:00 GMT (10:00-12:00 EST)

Professor Cyril O’Regan’s work has been persistently occupied with the “spaces of apocalyptic” in modern theology. In this paper O’Regan explores the relationship between (Pauline inflected) apocalyptic theology and metaphysics. What are the potential promises and perils of bringing these two themes together?

Professor Judith Wolfe (University of St Andrews) and Dr Ry Siggelkow (University of St Thomas) will offer responses and lead in the conversation.

For more information, visit:


Available now: Outside the Gates, by W. C. Hackett

Now available: Outside the Gates, by W. C. Hackett.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The gates of Drancy Internment Camp in the northeast suburbs of Paris served as a holding pen for thousands of Jews during the German occupation of France in World War II. Jean Wahl, philosophy professor, poet, bachelor at the top of Parisian society before his arrest, was among those very few who escaped.

In this searing historical novel by W. C. Hackett, the story is told in Wahl’s own voice, from the moment he passed beyond the gates of the camp to his harrowing flight for the Free Zone in the south. Based on extensive archival research, Outside the Gates binds by spell in a work of vast interior proportions, bringing the reader face to face with the defining mortal questions Jean Wahl himself faces recollecting his year of trial.

Praise for Outside the Gates:

“What happens when the angst of existentialism meets the agony of existence in a time of secular fundamentalist tyranny? William Hackett’s thought-provoking novella, set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied France during World War II, offers penetrating answers to this perennially relevant question.” — JOSEPH PEARCE, author of Benedict XVI: Defender of the Faith

“In a rich and intricate debut, Hackett combines the terrifying urgency of a WWII prisoner’s escape with deep psychological and spiritual insight. The struggle of Jean Wahl will serve as a mirror into the reader’s own complex humanity.” — ELEANOR BOURG NICHOLSON, author of A Bloody Habit and Brother Wolf

Outside the Gates can only be described as a philosophical thriller. You can’t put down Hackett’s fast-paced story, based on true events, of Jean Wahl’s harrowing escape from Nazi-occupied France. And you can’t help but pick it up a second time, to meditate more slowly with Hackett’s Wahl on the mysteries of life and death, of good and evil. This novel crackles with spiritual intensity. It is a transcendent debut in the fullest sense of the word.” — STEVEN KNEPPER, Virginia Military Institute

“Riveting and ruminative by turns, Hackett’s novella immerses us in those most extraordinary moments of Jean Wahl’s life, as the body and the soul of this celebrated French philosopher elude his Nazi captors. Every tense look can be felt in this hair-raising suspense novel, yet Hackett also raises our minds to what it means to live. Here we have one literary philosopher’s remarkable tribute to another, and extraordinary white-knuckled spiritual reading for everyone else.” — ROBERT WYLLIE, Ashland University

W. C. HACKETT is a philosopher and writer living in rural Indiana. His theoretical exercises include Philosophy in Word and Name: Myth, Wisdom, Apocalypse and Quiet Powers of the Possible: Interviews in Contemporary French Phenomenology. He has also translated works from French to English, including Jean Wahl’s Human Existence and Transcendence. He works at a Benedictine monastery. Learn more about the stories he tells by finding him online.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The Future of Christian Thinking (Maynooth Conference)

Today, perhaps more than ever before, Christian thought faces unprecedented challenges; ranging from a denial of metaphysics, to previously unforeseen ethico-moral questions arising from contemporary science and ever-advancing technologies, to a full-blown economizing of the political, to name just some of the most obvious.Couple this with the fact that amongst Christian thinkers there is no real consensus on the meaning, definition and end of Christian thinking and the future of Christian thinking looks hazy, unclear and tenuous.The theme of this conference seeks to think from out of these unprecedented challenges while, simultaneously, straining to look into a nebulous and unforeseen future.In order to do this, a vast array of many of the foremost thinkers engaged with Christian thought and beyond have been invited to speak on these issues.These thinkers are representative of many different schools, approaches and styles of Christian thought, across confessional divides.The vast array of thinkers invited is itself a testimony of the polyphonic vitality of Christian thought today and, together, the ever-pressing question of the future of Christian thinking will be pondered from within an intellectually polyphonic and ecumenical conversation and perspective.Speakers include:Rowan Williams, Eleonore Stump, DB Hart, Robert George, John Milbank, Cyril O’Regan, William Desmond, Thomas Joseph White, DC Schindler, Francesca Aran Murphy, Conor Cunningham, Judith Wolfe, Patrick Lee, Rudi te Velde, Therese-Anne Druart, Philipp Rosemann, Mette Lebech, Caitlin Smith Gilson, Gyula Klima, John Knasas, Philip John Paul Gonzales, Gaven Kerr out more by clicking here or the image above.



(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

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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