Apocalyptic Theology and the Construction of the Church
Today’s lecture is the first of three lectures by Cyril O’Regan in the Taylor Lectures series entitled “Apocalyptic Theology and the Construction of the Church” The first lecture compares and contrasts the two forms of apocalyptic theology that have dominated Protestant theology in the last thirty years, the European form of apocalyptic theology presented by Jürgen Moltmann, and the North American form of apocalyptic theology presented by John Howard Yoder and reshaped by Stanley Hauerwas. It will highlight their common critique of the Constantinian church and the theological tradition that indemnified the power and rule of such a church, and the different ways in which they seek to recover the original apocalyptic dimension of Christianity.
Cyril O’Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology at Notre Dame will deliver the 2014 Nathaniel W. Taylor Lectures in theology. O’Regan specializes in the intersection of religion and literature, mystical theology, and postmodern thought. Among the main purposes of his Taylor Lectures is (1) to show the surge in the apocalyptic inflection of contemporary theology not only in non-fundamentalist Protestantism, but in Catholicism and Anglicanism as well; (2) to provide representative apocalyptic examples from each of the three Christian confessions, and where possible illustrate within each the tension between different forms of apocalyptic in different epistemic registers, with variable ethical commitments, and above all, with very different configurations of the church; (3) to examine the role the biblical text plays, directly and indirectly, in the construction of an apocalyptic theology, and assess the preferences — if any — for particular texts and modes of interpretation; (4) to investigate the role philosophy plays in the construction of the construction of the various apocalyptic theologies, and identifying the various specimens, critically evaluate their use.
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