The word kalos (καλὸς) means beautiful. It is the call of the good; that which arouses interest, desire: “I am here.” Beauty brings the appetite to rest at the same time as it wakens the mind from its daily slumber, calling us to look afresh at that which is before our very eyes. It makes virgins of us all, and of everything—there, before us, lies something that we never noticed before. Beauty consists in integritas sive perfectio [integrity and perfection] and claritas [brightness/clarity]. It is the reason why we rise and why we sleep—that great night of dependence, one that reveals the borrowed existence of all things, if, that is, there is to be a thing at all, or if there is to be a person at all. Here lies the ground of all science, of philosophy, and of all theology, indeed of our each and every day.
This series will seek to provide intelligent-yet-accessible volumes that have the innocence of beauty and true adventure, and in so doing remind us all again of that which we took for granted, most of all thought itself.
Conor Cunningham, Eric Austin Lee, and Christopher Ben Simpsons
Books in KALOS:
|An Ocean Vast of Blessing: A Theology of Grace, by Steven D. Cone
“Inviting us to see grace with new eyes, Cone gathers up numerous–and in many cases neglected–insights from the past, weaving them together with the work of more recent theologians to yield a theological vision that elucidates the purpose of our own lives, of human history, and of created reality in its entirety. For those seeking a robust understanding of the doctrine of grace, this thought-provoking, wide-ranging book will serve as a welcome guide.” — J. Michael Stebbins, author of The Divine Initiative
|Returning to Reality: Christian Platonism for our Times, by Paul Tyson
“Paul Tyson is an academic with a passion. He wants us to think hard and long about overcoming dualistic thinking and not to buy into the sacred-secular divide. He thus advocates a personal faith with public implications and longs to see us enter ways of knowing that combine transcendent truth and a passion for justice.” — Charles Ringma, Professor emeritus, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada
“Paul Tyson has written an impressive essay on Christian metaphysics. He is aware of the widespread charges against Platonism, metaphysics, and Christianity but he addresses them with a balanced combination of sound common sense, theological acumen, and philosophical finesse. He shows how Christian Platonism is richly concerned with the things of reality we know, while yet seeing them in the light of a wisdom that is more than human. His thoughtful voice is both accessible and penetrating and the human wisdom of the author shines through. Warmly recommended.” —William Desmond, Professor of Philosophy, Katholieke Universteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium and David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
“Paul Tyson’s Returning to Reality is an excellent introduction to the fundamental existential and intellectual crisis facing Christianity and the West: whether meaning and intelligibility are intrinsic to reality and thus whether truth is anything but pragmatic success. Simultaneously beautiful, whimsical, and profound, Returning to Reality provides an important witness to the unity of life in Christ and the life of the mind and compelling evidence that only Christian faith in its fullness can now save reason.” — Michael Hanby, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science, Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
“Everyone does metaphysics. For Paul Tyson, therefore, the crucial question becomes whether we fall in line with the one-dimensional (1DM) physicalist outlook of modernity or open our horizons to the three dimensions of morality, physicality, and spirituality that make up the 3DM outlook of Christian Platonism. This is a passionately written book, calling for nothing less than a ‘life-world rebellion.’ Those gripped by Tyson’s uncovering of the mythos of modernity find here a convincing alternative to the amoral instrumentalism that characterizes much of contemporary society.” — Hans Boersma, J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada
|Gifts Glittering and Poisoned: Spectacle, Empire, and Metaphysics, by Chanon Ross
“Gifts Glittering and Poisoned is an astonishing read–and an interdisciplinary tour de force that establishes Chanon Ross as one of the most exciting practical theologians of his generation. Dense and delicious as chocolate lava cake, this book begs to be savored, line by unexpected line, as Ross reveals his unflinching gift for seeing our contemporary reflection in the ancient Roman culture of spectacle. Gifts Glittering and Poisoned is a dizzying and exhilarating ride through pagan metaphysics, Augustinian views on the demonic, Abercrombie and Fitch, ecstasy, vampires, Coldplay, exorcism, American politics, and the Eucharist’s power to turn human consumption on its ear. These pages left me breathless, convicted, and hopeful. Prepare to be amazed.” — Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary
“Gifts Glittering and Poisoned offers spot-on theology for the contemporary church, a church disenchanted with disenchantment but so often unaware of the idols by which we are bound. Ross takes us on a journey of the spectacular from Augustine to Bono, and he has the theological and spiritual insight to provide us with a sure guide along the way.” — Beth Felker Jones, Wheaton College
“Chanon Ross sees connections the rest of us cannot–between spectacle, then and now, between metaphysics and youth culture, between postmodern theology and demons (of all things!). But once he shows us, we cannot not see them. This book shows the mind of a theologian and the heart of a pastor.” — Jason Byassee, Duke Divinity School
|Socrates and Other Saints: Early Christian Understandings of Reason and Philosophy, by Darius Karłowicz, translated by Artur Sebastian Rosman and with a foreword by Rémi Brague.
[Purchase: Wipf & Stock]
“This significant new book amply demonstrates that the relationship of Christianity to pagan teaching did not really correspond to what we today take to be the distinction between faith and reason. Instead it was a matter of complex continuities as well as discontinuities in terms of practice and spiritual stance as much as theoretical affirmation. A very important corrective.” — John Milbank, author of Theology and Social Theory
(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)