Now available: The Apocalypse of Wisdom: Louis Bouyer’s Theological Recovery of the Cosmos

Now available from Angelico Press, The Apocalypse of Wisdom: Louis Bouyer’s Theological Recovery of the Cosmos, by Keith Lemna.

Although the French Oratorian priest Louis Bouyer was one of the most comprehensive, influential, and prescient theologians of the twentieth century, only in recent years have some major European studies begun to uncover the rich treasury of his thought. In the present book, the first of its kind in English, Keith Lemna contributes to this body of scholarship a comprehensive study of Bouyer’s cosmological vision. Commencing with his seminal monograph Cosmos: The World and the Glory of God, Lemna explores in depth Bouyer’s sophiological and apocalyptic theology of creation, detailing especially his profound engagement with scientific, philosophical, religio-mythic, and poetic cosmologies. As the work of possibly the greatest twentieth-century Catholic “sophiologist,” the French theologian’s cosmology emerges as a path forward for a much-needed reintegration of human knowledge centered on the Mystery at the heart of God’s eternal Wisdom revealed in the economy of grace.

[Purchase: Angelico Press]

Praise for The Apocalypse of Wisdom:

“Keith Lemna provides a synthesis of a brilliant thinker as well as a new path forward for Christian theology in the West, the East, and at the edge of contemporary scientific inquiry into the nature and meaning of the cosmos.”
— Peter Casarella, University of Notre Dame

“Read Lemna’s pellucid work of love and learn how to read the wisdom of Christ in the pages of cosmic history.”
— Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary

“Bouyer’s reputation in liturgy is here deservedly augmented by Lemna’s thorough and extraordinary study of the world as gift that reflects the triune life of God in loving praise.”
— David W. Fagerberg, University of Notre Dame

“The Apocalypse of Wisdom is essential reading for both Bouyer scholars and contemplative seekers, who will find here an indispensable guide to a recovery of a ‘cosmicity’ that does full justice to the exigencies of faith, reason, and the mythopoetic imagination.”
— Adrian J. Walker, Catholic University of America

“Keith Lemna does a great service filling a lacuna in cultural memory by introducing us to this generous friend and fellow-pilgrim of so many Christian luminaries, from J.R.R. Tolkien to Jean-Luc Marion.”
— Cyrus Olsen, University of Scranton

“We can be grateful to Keith Lemna for making available to us Fr Bouyer’s comprehensive and coherent theological vision, one which is simultaneously intellectually and spiritually nourishing.”
— Msgr Michael Heintz, Mount St Mary’s Seminary

“The Apocalypse of Wisdom is a must-read for theologians, clergy, catechists, apologists, and everyone else whose vocation is to understand and convey the ineffable drama of creation and redemption.”
— David H. Delaney, Mexican American Catholic College

“Here are keys to the thought of the French theologian who has reached out further and deeper than Teilhard de Chardin in the critical field of cosmology, at the crossroads of science, culture, and faith.”
— Jean Duchesne, literary executor to Louis Bouyer

[Purchase: Angelico Press]

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New in the Veritas series: Cosmology without God?, by David Alcalde

David Alcalde: Cosmology without God?Now available in the Veritas series:
Cosmology without God?: The Problematic Theology Inherent in Modern Cosmology, by Fr. David Alcalde, with a foreword by Michael Hanby.

[Purchase: Wipf & Stock]

Is God a superfluous hypothesis for modern cosmology? According to the normal understanding of modern science, the answer should be affirmative because modern science is supposed to be free of metaphysical and theological presuppositions. However, despite its self-proclaimed neutrality regarding metaphysics and theology, modern science is full of metaphysical and theological presuppositions. These can be summarized as a mechanistic understanding of nature, a reduction of God to an external agent in competition with natural processes, and creation to a worldly mechanism. These presuppositions are deficient and untenable, and they remain unconscious for the most part in the dialogue between science and theology, making it intellectually impossible because of the reduced notions of God, nature, and creation assumed. Using the coherent and unreduced image of God and nature provided by the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo, Fr. David Alcalde intends to uncover and criticize the incoherent theological assumptions inherent in a concrete branch of modern science, which is modern cosmology. The author points out the presence of these inadequate theological presuppositions in both the theologians who use modern cosmology to offer scientific proof for the existence of God and the atheistic cosmologists who use their science to reject the idea of God.

Blurbs:

“The assumption persists that modern science is free of metaphysical and theological presuppositions, and therefore neutral in their regard. Appealing to the image of God and nature found in the Christian doctrine of creation, Fr. David Alcalde, trained as both a theologian and an astrophysicist, examines this assumption from both ‘sides’—and clearly exposes its problematic character.”
David L. Schindler, Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Washington, DC

“For anyone interested in the relationship between science and theology, this work is indispensable. In language that is mercifully free of academic jargon and scientific technicalities, the author unveils the non-neutrality of modern science… As a humanities type whose scientific education stopped in secondary school I found the argumentation of this work easy to follow. It will be of great value to scientists, theologians, and thoughtful Christians in general.”
Professor Tracey Rowland, University of Notre Dame (Australia)

“David Alcalde’s book stands amongst a growing body of writings which begin not with the mesmerizing discoveries of science, but with the foundational theological and metaphysical presuppositions of science… Alcade is a scientist, theologian and philosopher who calls for better science built on firmer metaphysical and theological foundations.”
Simon Oliver, Durham University

“One reason theologians and scientists so regularly speak past each other is that scientists tend to be unaware of the significant theological and metaphysical assumptions built into their thinking and practice, and theologians tend to have too little ‘expertise’ in science to be able to show them how and why they do. Fr. Alcade is the rare person who overcomes both deficiencies, and his book promises therefore to help this discussion finally bear genuine fruit.”
David C. Schindler, Pontifical John Paul II Institute (Washington, DC)

[Purchase: Wipf & Stock]

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Jeffrey Bishop: Tekne, Liturgy and Participation (7 June)

The distinction between tekhne and episteme reverberates through the history of Western philosophy; tekhne becoming the instrumental art of the sophist and episteme taking on the role of truth generation by the philosopher. Thinkers like Bernard Stiegler have argued that technology and culture, and thus technology and human beings have always coevolved hand in hand. Peter-Paul Verbeek claims that by offloading human moral intentionality onto technology we can better see how technology mediates moral subjectivity of the the human actor. In other work, Professor Jeffrey Bishop has argued that human moral subjectivity is obliterated and now instead of human culture being carried by technology, technological innovation rides on the human body. In this essay, Professor Bishop will show that Divine Liturgy as rightly ordered andrightly ordering technique avoids forms moral subjectivity, avoiding the problems of propositional humanism and yet enables human participation in culture making by enabling human participation in creation.

7 June 2019, the Hemsley, the University of Nottingham

All welcome.

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Notable: Kierkegaard’s Theological Sociology, by Paul Tyson

Now available from Cascade Books, Kierkegaard’s Theological Sociology: Prophetic Fire for the Present Age, by Paul Tyson.

Purchase: Cascade | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Kierkegaard developed a distinctive type of sociology in the 1840s—a theological sociology. Looking at society through the lens of analysis categories such as worship, sin, and faith, Kierkegaard developed a profoundly insightful way of understanding how, for example, the modern mass media works. He gets right inside the urban world of Golden Age Denmark, and its religion, and analyses “the present age” of consumption, comfort, competition, distraction, and image-construction with astonishing depth. To Kierkegaard worship centers all individuals and all societies; hence his sociology is doxological. This book argues that we also live in the present age Kierkegaard described, and our way of life can be understood much better through Kierkegaard’s lens than through the methodologically materialist categories of classical sociology. As social theory itself has moved beyond classical sociology, the social sciences are increasingly open to post-methodologically-atheist approaches to understanding what it means to be human beings living in social contexts. The time is right to recover the theological resources of Christian faith in understanding the social world we live in. The time has come to pick up where Kierkegaard left off, and to start working towards a prophetic doxological sociology for our times.

Blurbs:

“Everyone supposedly knows that Kierkegaard was an ‘individualist’ who had little understanding or appreciation of society. This book completely undermines that myth by showing us how much Kierkegaard has to contribute to social theory. The author also thereby helps us see that theology cannot only learn from sociology but has much to contribute to social theory in turn.” — C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University

“Tyson’s book reveals Kierkegaard at his most prophetic in the senses of being both subversive—confronting how we have come to think of ourselves and society—and eerily prescient and timely. Tyson argues that Kierkegaard’s theological sociology arising in the tinderbox of 1840s can be seen as a basic alternative to Marx’s contemporary, deeply secular, and epoch-making understanding of society. As such it provides an alternate vision of society in the wake of Marx and secular modern understandings of human society.” — Christopher Ben Simpson, Lincoln Christian University, author of The Truth is the Way: Kierkegaard’s Theologia Viatorum

“Kierkegaard does not only analyze individuals. In this book, the author first shows that Kierkegaard also has a profound understanding of the modern, liberal society. Then he applies this insight on our contemporary challenges in a highly meaningful way. This book boldly and creatively addresses the relation between theology and sociology and explores how we are impacted by our cultural and religious environment.” — Knut Alfsvåg, VID Specialized University

Purchase: Cascade | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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CFP: Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Conference

The Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Conference (PMR)
at Villanova University invites you to participate in its
44th International PMR Conference
October 18-20, 2019

As always, the PMR makes an OPEN CALL to scholars, institutions, and societies to propose Papers, Panels, or Sponsored Sessions in all areas and topics in LATE ANTIQUITY/PATRISTICS, BYZANTINE STUDIES, MEDIEVAL STUDIES, ISLAMIC STUDIES, JEWISH STUDIES, and RENAISSANCE & REFORMATION STUDIES.

The PMR committee this year makes a special invitation to scholars from all disciplines in these fields to address our plenary theme:

Faith in History:
Time, Narrative, History, Apocalypse

FEATURING

Gillian Clark
Professor Emerita and Senior Research Fellow
University of Bristol
Author of Christianity in Roman Society

&

Cyril O’Regan
Huisking Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame
Author of An Anatomy of Misremembering

“And these are the generations…” Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are saturated from their origins with a sense of time and history, but making sense of time and history is difficult. Similarly, as scholars of pre-modern culture, whatever our field or focus, we face the difficulties of telling the story of the diverse and complex interactions of faiths and cultures across Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation eras. PMR 2019 will focus in its plenary theme on questions both of history and historiography – how does faith appear in history? How does faith name history? And can we have faith in history?

While, as is our custom, the call for papers will be open, scholars are encouraged to propose papers and panels on the premodern Mediterranean and European cultures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, on their own sense of history and time, on the apocalyptic sensibility, the theology and philosophy of history, on their narrative forms of discourse. In addition, scholars are encouraged to propose papers or panels on the historiography of Late Antiquity, Medieval Studies, and the Early Modern period – can we still tell a compelling story of these periods, even as our understanding grows ever more complex? Is there room for faithful retrieval? Creative fidelity?

Deadline for submissions: June 21, 2019
Notice of acceptance will be made by July 19, 2019

For more information please visit
https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/mission/augustinianinstitute/conferences/pmr.html
Or Call : 610.519.4780 || email: pmr.conference@villanova.edu

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IAI panel: Trouble with Heaven: Why does the dark and dangerous attract us?

Trouble with Heaven:
Why does the dark and the dangerous attract us?

From Milton’s Paradise Lost to bad boys and femmes fatales, we are seduced by the dark and dangerous. Why does the devil have all the best tunes? Have we sanitised the good and made it vacuous, through religion as well as philosophy? Could we imagine a world where the good was exciting, dramatic and fun? Or are danger and denial somehow essential to being alive?

The Panel
Moral philosopher Christopher Hamilton, theologian and Zizek collaborator John Milbank, and author of Post-Human Ethics Patricia MacCormack debate darkness and light.

Watch it here.

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Alison Milbank’s Areopagus Lecture on Imaginative Apologetics

From the Areopagus Lectures page at Mars Hill Audio:

Alison Milbank on Imaginative Apologetics

“What I am calling ‘imaginative apologetics’ renews our mind. It begins when we ourselves stand apart from ourselves and receive our faith freshly, as if gifted to us for the first time, and when we use the difference of our religious culture to provoke the secularized person. So much of our missiology tells us to do the opposite — to give the people the familiar . . . to conform to contemporary modes . . . I’m suggesting the opposite: that we make our faith truly strange, first to ourselves and then to those we hope to attract. If someone lives a buffered existence within the fortress of materialism we have to help them question those limits to experience and the real, so that we may show them Christ in his true depth and beauty and strangeness.”
— Alison Milbank

This spring, theologian Alison Milbank presented the fifth Areopagus Lecture. In her talk “Imaginative Apologetics beyond C. S. Lewis,” Milbank offered an approach to defending the Christian faith that restores the imagination as a faculty inseparable from reason. By using C. S. Lewis as a conversation partner — along with Owen Barfield, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, G. K. Chesterton, and Novalis — Milbank explored how the imagination is not just an instrumental means to an objective end, but the ecstatic and receptive means by which we participate in what is True and Real.

In his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis wrote that the early Romantics “taught me longing – Sehnsucht; made me for good or ill, and before I was six years old, a votary of the Blue Flower.” The Blue Flower, a symbol popularized among the early Romantics by the poet Novalis, represented a transforming encounter with beauty that provoked feelings of desire and longing for transcendence. But, as Milbank explains in her talk, Lewis understood his initial encounters with beauty as separable from his later longing for heaven, toward which he redirected his earlier feelings after he converted to Christianity. For Lewis, while his initial encounters with beauty may have awakened him to longing and the absence of something, they did not bring him closer to the knowledge of heavenly realities.

Lewis famously wrote in an essay published in 1939 that “reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination, producing new metaphors or revivifying old, is not the cause of truth, but its condition.” In other statements and in his poem “Reason,” Lewis suggests that not only are reason and imagination distinct from each other, but that they are opposed and that we experience this opposition internally as an irreconcilable tension.

Lewis’s understanding of the imagination featured most prominently in what became known as “C. S. Lewis’ ‘Great War’ with Owen Barfield” (explored in depth by Lionel Adey in his book of the same title). Lewis’s view of the imagination differed from Barfield’s (and earlier Romantics, such as Coleridge and Novalis) in that the imagination was helpful when it came to aesthetic concerns, but unessential as a way of knowing the truth about things. By contrast, as George Tennyson explains in his essay “Owen Barfield: First and Last Inkling,” Barfield thought that the “Imagination” was the only means by which we could perceive or comprehend anything at all.

The distinction between these two views on the imagination can have significant consequences for how we view the rest of Creation. For Barfield, and for his predecessor Novalis, the Blue Flower both awakens us to an absence within ourselves and to a presence that resides in the creatures and things around us. As Dr. Milbank explains, “For Novalis, Nature is a magic petrified city which lies as if under a spell and it’s the task of the philosopher-poet to bring this frozen entity back to life by means of his imagination.” With the two-fold “longing for” and “awareness of” some other presence produced by the Blue Flower, the rational response is to enter into a relationship with the Blue Flower and to receive it as a loving gift, which, for the Christian, is then offered back with gratitude to God.

In her lecture, Alison Milbank challenges “disciples” of C. S. Lewis to consider additional, yet sympathetic voices on the role of the imagination in order to more fully defend the Christian life as a wholly transformative way of thinking and of living that has both human and cosmic ramifications.

You can listen to the entire lecture here, or access it streaming from the MARS HILL AUDIO app.

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Signs in the Dust by Nathan Lyons

Signs in the Dust

A Theory of Natural Culture and Cultural Nature

Nathan Lyons

  • Argues that the meaningful exchange of signs is not unique to humans and is present through all of nature
  • Counters the common understanding of nature and culture as completely separate
  • Draws from medieval philosophy, semiotics, biology, and modern evolutionary theory

Purchase:  OUP.comAmazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

 

Nathan Lyons is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Australia. He previously held postdoctoral positions at Durham University and the University of Cambridge.

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Registration Now Open for the New Trinitarian Ontologies Conference

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the
New Trinitarian Ontologies Conference
www.newtrinitarianontologies.com
Early-bird pricing ends 1st June

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“A Deeper South” by Pete Candler

IT BEGAN with an ending. We did not realize then how fortunate we were to see Johnny Cash one last time. His career was riding tailwinds then, and he sounded in full voice, but there were portents in the air. His own breath sometimes came up short. I did not know that August 10, 1997, at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, would be the last time Johnny ever played my hometown. […]

Read the full essay here.

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CFA & CFP: 7th International Summer School & Conference – Beyond Secular Faith

Call for Applications and Call for Papers

7th International Summer School and Conference – Beyond Secular Faith

“The Whole in the Fragment: Sacramental versus Contractual Logic”
23– 30 June, 2019 – Granada (Spain)

For more information and to register, click here.

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

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
Pontificia Università Lateranense, Roma
The Ecclesial University Project, Winnipeg (USA)
Saint Joseph’s College, Standish (USA)

International Summer School and Conference

The title of our seventh annual Summer School and International Conference, Beyond Secular Faith is The Whole in the Fragment: Sacramental versus Contractual Logic.

“God is Love”. This wager concerning the nature of God – theological in the deepest sense – is generated, not from an idea, but from the experience of the encounter with Jesus Christ, the primordial “sacrament” of the Father. It entails not only a judgment concerning the nature of God himself but a judgment concerning the nature and meaning of reality and of our embodiment. This Love, of which reality is a sign as Jesus is the sign of the Father, is rightly qualified as semper maior, a fact always greater than our ideas and predeterminations. As such, the sign of love always breaks open our contractual logic. This year’s summer school will be an attempt to think within the horizon of this semper maior, to pose the question of the human as bound up with the Love that is God himself and the world which is the concrete sign of that Love.”

For six 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.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS AND CALL FOR PAPERS
Deadline: 1st April 2019

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.

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL

Seminars

  • Marek Urban: In Search of the Whole. Between Human Thought and Eschatology
  • John Milbank: The Question of Trinitarian Ontology
  • Rocco Buttiglione: The Relative Truth of Relativism. A Philosophical/Theological Commentary of Cor. 1:19-20
  • Rodrigo Guerra López: Poverty and Christianity: Comprehension and Incomprehension of a Social and Religious Experience

ORGANIZATION AND FEES

Seminars will meet Monday through Thursday (4 hours a day). You can either choose to study for four 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. All International Summer students and professors will stay in a 4 star hotel with swimming pool, near the heart of the city.
The programme fee includes all tuition costs, your own private room with bathroom, a comprehensive orientation and social activities.

BLOCK 1 (23-28 June) – Summer School – Room & Board: 550€/person*
BLOCK 2 (27-30 June) – Conference – Room & Board: 390€/person*
BLOCK 1 & 2 (23-30 June) – Summer School & Conference – Room & Board: 695€/person*
BLOCK 3 (27-30 June) – Conference – Without Room & Board: 100€/person
* Early payment discount. Payments must be made before 1st May 2019

Academic Board:
Mátyás Szalay (Director), Marcelo López Cambronero, Artur Mrówczynski – Van Allen

Academic Advisory Board:
Rocco Buttiglione, Carmina Chapp, Rocío Daga, Ildefonso Fernández-Figares, Rodrigo Guerra, Balázs Mezei, Jarosław Jagiełło, Michał Łuczewski, Alison Milbank, John Milbank, Timothy Mosteller, Teresa Obolevitch, Kirsten Pinto-Gfroerer, Enrique Rico Pavés, Aaron Riches, Zbigniew Stawrowski, David Widdicombe.

Secretary:
Eva Martínez García

With kind regards,

Eva Martínez García
Secretaría
Instituto de Filosofía Edith Stein-Academia Internacional de Filosofía
Paseo de Cartuja, 49. 18011 (Granada) España
secretaria@institutoifes.es
www.institutoifes.es
Tel: +34 958 160 978
Fax: +34 958 185 023

For more information and to register, click here.

For a full dossier on the International Summer School, click here [PDF].

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New in Veritas: by Charles Péguy: Notes on Bergson and Descartes

Now out in the Veritas series:

Notes on Bergson and Descartes:
Philosophy, Christianity, and Modernity in Contestation

by Charles Péguy
translated by Bruce K. Ward
with a foreword by John Milbank

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

Charles Péguy (1873–1914) was a French religious poet, philosophical essayist, publisher, social activist, Dreyfusard, and Catholic convert. There has recently been a renewed recognition of Péguy in France as a thinker of unique significance, a reconsideration inspired in large part by Gilles Deleuze’s Différence et répétition, which ranked him with Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. In the English-speaking world, however, access to Péguy has been hindered by a scarcity of translations of his work. This first complete translation of one of his most important prose works, with accompanying interpretive introduction and notes, will introduce English-speaking readers to a new voice, which speaks in a powerful and original way to a modern West in a condition of cultural and spiritual crisis. The immediate circumstance of the writing of this last prose essay, unfinished at the time of Péguy’s early death, was the placing of Henri Bergson’s philosophical works on the Catholic Index, and Péguy’s undertaking to defend his former teacher from his critics, both Catholic and secular. But the subject of Bergson is also a springboard for the exploration of the perennial themes—philosophical, theological, and literary—most central to Péguy’s thought.

Blurbs:

“Bruce Ward’s excellent translation of Charles Péguy is timely and welcome. For the English reader who has only encountered Péguy’s translated poetical texts, this book will shed a brilliant new light on a figure of outstanding significance.” — Aaron Riches, Assistant Professor of Theology, Benedictine College, Kansas, author of Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ (2016).

“Charles Péguy, a significant thinker in turn-of-the-20th-century France, remains an enigmatic figure in the English-speaking world. Notes on Bergson and Descartes contains Péguy’s defense of his former teacher, philosopher Henri Bergson, in an effort to protect the latter from the Catholic Index. Péguy vigorously supported Bergson’s insistence on thinking about the most important questions, and the included essays more generally display how Péguy took up in his own way Bergson’s efforts to ‘re-deepen’ the heritage of Christianity while exposing the spiritual bleakness of modernity. We are indebted to Ward for translating these important if demanding works, by one of the truly profound men of our time.” — David L. Schindler, Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology, John Paul II Institute, The Catholic University of America

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by John Milbank  ix
  • Acknowledgements  xxxv
  • Introduction  1
  • Note on Bergson and the Bergsonian Philosophy  26
  • Conjoined Note on Descartes and the Cartesian Philosophy  56
  • Appendix: “The Secret of the Man of Forty” — Annette Aronowicz  235

Click here to view Google Books’ look inside preview of this book.

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

 

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Methexis Institute’s Inaugural Conference – Church & Academy: Deepening Our Dialogue

We here announce the arrival of our sister institution in the United States as well as the inaugural conference entitled “Church & Academy: Deepening our Dialogue”:

The Methexis Institute, based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Methexis means participation. Our sharing and exchanging with each other and with the natural world is rooted in our sharing in and symbolization of God. This is the basis for any true cultural order, without which, as we see today, society falls apart and the environment  is severely damaged. The Methexis Institute is committed to upholding and restoring this order.”

– John Milbank


Church & Academy

INAUGURAL CONFERENCE

CHURCH & ACADEMY:
DEEPENING OUR DIALOGUE

APRIL 4 & 5, 2019
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The Methexis Institute’s inaugural conference initiates an effort to deepen the dialogue between Church and academy – seeking clarity and generativity. Leading clergy, laity, and scholars from different backgrounds and areas of expertise will gather to interact (formally and informally) and explore ways to bring more Church into our scholarship and more scholarship into our Church – disclosing wisdom through the Church and beauty in the world.

The Methexis Institute is delighted to collaborate with Mars Hill Audio – hosting Alison Milbank as the presenter for this spring’s Areopagus Lecture Series.

PRESENTERS

  • John Milbank (The Methexis Institute)
  • Revd Dr Graham Ward (Oxford University)
  • Revd Canon Simon Oliver (Durham University)
  • Alison Milbank (University of Nottingham)
  • David Bentley Hart (Notre Dame)
  • Ken Myers (Mars Hill Audio)
  • Revd Dr Peter Leithart (Theopolis Institute)
  • Johannes Hoff (University of London)
  • William Desmond (Villanova University)
  • Revd Dr Andrew Davison (Cambridge University)
  • Thomas Pfau (Duke University)
  • Michael Northcott (University of Edinburgh)

For more information about the conference and for details on how to register, click here.

See the conference schedule here.

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A Saint for East and West: Maximus the Confessor’s Contribution to Eastern and Western Christian Theology

Based upon a conference sponsored by the Centre of Theology and Philosophy:

A Saint for East and West:
Maximus the Confessor’s Contribution to Eastern and Western Christian Theology

Edited by Daniel Haynes
with an introduction by Andrew Louth, FBA

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

Book description:

In 1054 CE, the Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity occurred, and the official break of communion between the two ancient branches of the church continues to this day. There have been numerous church commissions and academic groups created to try and bridge the ecumenical divides between East and West, yet official communion is still just out of reach. The thought of St. Maximus the Confessor, a saint of both churches, provides a unique theological lens through which to map out a path of ecumenical understanding and, hopefully, reconciliation and union. Through an exposition of the intellectual history of Maximus’ theological influence, his moral and spiritual theology, and his metaphysical vision of creation, a common Christianity emerges. This book brings together leading scholars and thinkers from both traditions around the theology of St. Maximus to cultivate greater union between Eastern and Western Christianity.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Andrew Louth, FSB

Part One: Reception and Influence

  • Ch. 1: Eriugena’s Appropriation of Maximus Confessor’s Anthropology, Adrian Guiu
  • Ch. 2: Saint Maximus the Confessor, the Filioque, and the Papacy, Edward Siecienski
  • Ch. 3: A Logician for East and West, Christophe Erismann

Part Two: Anthropology, Christology, and Spirituality

  • Ch. 4: The Imitation of Christ according to Saint Maximus the Confessor, Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy Ware)
  • Ch. 5: Freedom and Heteronomy, Adam Cooper
  • Ch. 6: Maximus the Confesor on the Will, David Bradshaw
  • Ch. 7: The Action of the Holy Spirit in Christ, according to Saint Maximus the Confessor, Luis Granados Garcia

Part Three: Ontology and Metaphysics

  • Ch. 8: Remarks on the Metaphysics of Saint Maximus the Confessor, Melchisedec Törönen
  • Ch. 9: Nature, Passion, and Desire, Rowan Williams
  • Ch. 10: Christianity and Platonism in East and West, John Milbank
  • Ch. 11: Theuric Attunement as Eucharistic Gnosiology, Nikolaos Loudovikos
  • Ch. 12: The Metaphysics of Maximus, Torstein T. Tollefsen
  • Ch. 13: Maximus the Confessor’s View on Participation Reconsidered, Vladimir Cvetković
  • Ch. 14: Christ and the Contemplation of Nature in Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua to John, Joshua Lollar

Blurbs:

“St. Maximus the Confessor is not only one of the most profound Christian theologians of Late Antiquity, but one who uniquely, in his own lifetime and again today, unites both East and West. The essays gathered here together are likewise from eminent Eastern and Western theologians, and show a common spirit in their engagement with the texts, theology, and legacy of their common Father.” — John Behr, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, New York

“The essays in this collection prove that there is much work yet to be done on Maximus the Confessor, and that his legacy in Eastern and Western Christian thought is both deep and wide. Fresh insights are offered here into an array of classic themes in Maximus’s theology, from his cosmology and metaphysics to his theological anthropology and ascetical doctrine. Veteran and younger scholars weigh in on issues that continue to compel modern theological retrieval of this prolific Byzantine thinker. This book is a welcome addition to the continuing renaissance of Maximus studies in recent decades.” — Paul M. Blowers, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Milligan College

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

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

Edited by Zoë Lehmann Imfeld, Andreas Losch

Purchase: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | T&T Clark

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, Zoë 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 Losch, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 4. Who’s Afraid of Reductionism’s Wolf? The Return of Scientia – Conor 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
Index

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Announcing New Trinitarian Ontologies Conference (Sep 2019)

ANNOUNCING
New Trinitarian Ontologies Conference
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Divinity
13-15 September 2019

Follow and find out more on Twitter and Facebook.

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New and forthcoming in the INTERVENTIONS series

New from Philipp W. Rosemann in the Interventions series, with a foreword from John Milbank:

Charred root of Meaning:
Continuity, Transgression, and the Other in Christian Tradition

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Description:

Ecologists tell us that periodic wildfires, though devastating, are necessary to the rhythm of nature. The death of the old allows something new to grow, sometimes straight back from the charred roots. Christian tradition functions much the same way, says Philipp Rosemann. In this book he examines how transgression and destruction are crucial in the foundation and preservation of tradition.

Theories of tradition have emphasized the handing-down of identity rather than continuity through difference. Rosemann shows that divine revelation occurs as an irruption that challenges the existing order. The preservation of tradition, he argues, requires that this challenge be periodically repeated. Offering a historical, theological, and philosophical approach to Christian tradition, Charred Root of Meaning shows how transgression and reformation keep the Christian faith alive.

Reviews:

“ ‘Transgression’ is constitutive of the Christian tradition, Philipp Rosemann argues, yet transgression is nothing without the tradition whose roots it seeks to lay bare. From close reading of Scripture to unpacking an anonymous early gloss on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, from Denys the Carthusian’s mystical reading of his scholastic forbears to Luther’s influence on Heidegger, from Dionysius the Areopagite to Foucault and Derrida, Rosemann crosses conventional academic boundaries with sure-footed ease to make his case. Anyone who cares how the Christian tradition holds together will be provoked, stimulated, and informed by what he says here.” — Bruce D. Marshall, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

“In this remarkable and arresting book, Philipp Rosemann rewrites accounts of tradition in the unfolding of the Christian legacy. As he shows, its continuity does not preclude decisive episodes of both rupture and return, nor of ambiguity, in which universal liberation may entail new and specific repressions. With great originality, Rosemann argues that catholic truth resides somewhere between revolutionary ‘despoliation’ and a renewed ‘literal’ respect even for the apparently superseded other.” — Catherine Pickstock, University of Cambridge

“This is a marvelous meditation on tradition and transgression, whose inextricable connection is explored with respect to the Christian tradition from Jewish origins to problematic postmodernism. Its range extends from Foucault, Heidegger, and Kant to Peter Lombard, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Augustine. . . . It is as alert to the connection of devotion and transgression in the Middle Ages as it is to the empty impertinence of some contemporary forms of transgression. . . . A remarkable, indeed outstanding book. Very warmly recommended.” — William Desmond, Villanova University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

“Philipp Rosemann is a very unusual historian of theology and philosophy whose work is always informed by strongly theoretical interests, deeply explored, yet lightly borne and lucidly expounded, as the reader of this book will quickly discover. . . . The remarkable unity of Rosemann’s ultimate vision shines through all the careful scholarly precision and ecclesial good sense of this work.” — John Milbank (from the foreword), University of Nottingham

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Forthcoming later this month:


Reimagining the Analogia Entis: The Future of Erich Przywara’s Christian Vision
by Philip John Paul Gonzales, with a foreword by Cyril O’Regan

Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Description:

In 1932 German theologian and philosopher Erich Przywara penned his Analogia Entis, a vision of the analogy of being and a metaphysical exploration of the dynamic between God and creation. A translation into English in 2014 made Przywara’s brilliant and influential work available to more people than ever before.

In this book Philip Gonzales calls English-speaking readers to embrace the Christian treasure of the Analogia Entis and to reimagine what it offers Christians today. Gonzales brings Przywara’s text into dialogue with debates in contemporary philosophy and theology, engaging in conversation with Edith Stein, Karl Barth, Martin Heidegger, the Nouvelle théologie, Vatican II, and leading figures in postmodern theology and the Continental turn to religion. The first book of its kind in English, Reimagining the “Analogia Entis” articulates a Christian vision of being for the postmodern era.

Reviews:

“I could give no better endorsement of Philip Gonzales’s excellent study of Erich Przywara than to quote from it. For anyone ‘seeking an antifoundationalist postmodern understanding of Christian philosophy,’ or how to strike an analogical balance between the discourses of philosophy and theology, ‘Przywara surely takes us forward.’ In this book Gonzales tells us with gusto why and how this is so. For decades Przywara has been neglected, and until now few have recognized the profound relevance of his thought for contemporary philosophy and theology. With the publication of this book—among the first significant receptions of his thought in the Anglophone world—it is safe to say that that time has now passed. With this pioneering study Christian philosophers and theologians can now get on with the task of appreciating Przywara’s gift to the church.” — John Betz, University of Notre Dame

“It is hugely opportune that this excellent book should appear now. It is the perfect complement to the recent appearance of Erich Przywara’s Analogia Entis in its first English translation (also with Eerdmans). Gonzales has a superb knowledge of Przywara and offers an illuminating account of his work that helps us understand its complexity and richness. He paints a richly informed picture of the context of Przywara’s thought and offers a compelling dialogue between Przywara and Edith Stein, illuminating the contrast between sapientia and scientia. The book makes a convincing case for the relevance and continued importance of Przywara’s thought to current debates. An impressively thoughtful and indispensable contribution, very highly recommended.” — William Desmond, Villanova University

“Philip Gonzales has here achieved a remarkable expansion and updating of the analogical metaphysics of Erich Przywara. Analogy comprises both being and revelation and a tensionality not just between God and creation but between essence and existence, past and future, potential and fulfillment. Therefore a metaphysics of analogy must be as much believed in as argued for, lived as much as believed, and hoped for through a welcoming of the fire of sanctity as much as lived. More radically than ever, Gonzales suggests that the biblical, Catholic horizon offers the only credible philosophy that is not a mere surrender to despair.” — John Milbank, University of Nottingham

“Gonzales is that rare combination of exceptional scholar and visionary philosopher; he has shaken the dust off the analogia entis and, like Przywara, opened up worlds of conversation, communion, and nuance. Breathtaking, exhilarating, and grounded in the Christocentric substance which alone discloses truth, this book is indeed an analogia caritatis—an essential, graceful, and rewarding journey.” — Caitlin Smith-Gilson, University of Holy Cross, New Orleans

“Erich Przywara responded to the crisis of modernity with a profound and creative philosophy that sprang from the heart of the faith. In this book Philip Gonzales springs from the theological heart of Przywara’s philosophy to respond to the thinkers of postmodernity; in so doing, Gonzales offers the valuable service of making Przywara’s notoriously difficult thought more widely accessible.” — D. C. Schindler, Pontifical John Paul II Institute

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John Milbank Lecture in Hong Kong 2019


The McDonald Faith and Global Engagement Distinguished Lecture Series

Can We Save Our World? Religion and Ecology

Prof. John Milbank (University of Nottingham)

28 January 2019 (Monday) | 7pm-8:30pm
HKU Rayson Huang Theatre

In light of the ongoing environmental crisis and climate change, many have suggested that we now live in the age of the Anthropocene, an age in which the geology and ecosystem of the natural world are significantly shaped by human activities and technology. How should human beings interpret their place in this changing world? How should we as human beings understand our relation to ‘nature’? In this lecture, Professor John Milbank, a world-renowned theologian and philosopher, will consider how the idea of creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing) found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam can help us rethink our role and responsibilities as human beings in relation to the ecological crisis. If it is us human beings who have put the world into a crisis, it is only us who can save it.

Admission Free. Registration required.

REGISTER

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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.

 

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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

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

Description:

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.

Blurbs:

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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Welcome to CENTRE of THEOLOGY and PHILOSOPHY

(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:
www.nottingham.ac.uk/theology

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

Recent Posts

New in the Veritas series: Cosmology without God?, by David Alcalde
July 2, 2019
Jeffrey Bishop: Tekne, Liturgy and Participation (7 June)
May 29, 2019
Notable: Kierkegaard’s Theological Sociology, by Paul Tyson
May 10, 2019
CFP: Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Conference
May 6, 2019
IAI panel: Trouble with Heaven: Why does the dark and dangerous attract us?
April 17, 2019
Alison Milbank’s Areopagus Lecture on Imaginative Apologetics
April 12, 2019
Signs in the Dust by Nathan Lyons
April 9, 2019
Registration Now Open for the New Trinitarian Ontologies Conference
April 4, 2019
“A Deeper South” by Pete Candler
March 18, 2019
CFA & CFP: 7th International Summer School & Conference – Beyond Secular Faith
March 5, 2019

(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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