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 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.


Now available in Veritas: The End of the Law?, by David W. Opderbeck

Now available in the Veritas series: The End of the Law?: Law, Theology, and Neuroscience, by David W. Opderbeck.

Purchase: Wipf & Stock | Amazon

Book description:

Does neuroscience show that all our ideas about law and ethics are false? David Opderbeck answers this question with a broad and deep survey of the relationship between theology, science, and ethics. He proposes that Christian theology, which narrates the humanity and divinity of Christ, in conversation with the new Aristotelianism in the philosophy of science, provides a path through secular and religious fundamentalisms alike.

Praise for The End of the Law?:

“This excellent book shows in a highly lucid fashion how contemporary neuro-scientism trades upon a notion of legality to which it has no right, in order to deny the very ground of the possibility of law, which is the law-making capacity of spiritual creatures that participates in the eternal law of God. No previous book has so successfully shown how scientific positivism trades on the incoherence of legal positivism much more than the other way round. It seriously illuminates the vicious biopolitics of our time and indicates the way beyond.” — John Milbank, author of Theology and Social Theory

“Opderbeck’s is an argument of great originality and profundity. Modern attempts to reduce the human capacity for law and lawfulness—our capacity, that is, for transcending mere material necessity and evolutionary imperatives, as well as for failing before a standard at once within and beyond our nature—are ultimately as contradictory as all other forms of dogmatic naturalism. Opderbeck bracingly contends that this curious condition instead testifies to our relationship with and participation in a God of boundless love, and that its true and ‘natural’ explanation is found in Christology.” — David Bentley Hart, author of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

“If human moral agency is an illusion, perhaps law is merely a tool for the manipulation of human behavior. This is the perspective defended by reductionistic ‘neurolaw,’ drawing on recent developments in neuroscience. In this extraordinarily wide-ranging and vigorously argued book, legal theorist and theologian David Opderbeck shows how reductive neurolaw is self-defeating and how the emergentism and non-reductive physicalism embraced by many contemporary theologians continue to employ a problematically physicalist notion of causality. Building instead on the new Aristotelianism in the philosophy of science, with its non-reductive understanding of the relationship between brain states and human decisions, Opderbeck defends an approach that recovers formal and final causes, pointing unapologetically to love as the reason and end of creation, and to the law of love as a constituent element of human nature. Only if the order of creation flows from the order of love that is the law of God’s own being, he contends, is it possible to recover an adequately non-reductive account of how accountable human persons exist within the context of physical laws of nature. A vital contribution to an important cluster of debates.” — Jennifer A. Herdt, Yale Divinity School

“One of the major concerns raised by recent neurolaw has to do with the legal consequences of skepticism about human agency raised by the neurosciences. This has important legal, philosophical, and theological implications. David Opderbeck is well placed to tackle these issues as both a lawyer and theologian. He has written an accessible and erudite study that tackles the historical dimension to the current debate as well as providing incisive criticism and a constructive theological response. This is an important interdisciplinary contribution to a pressing contemporary discussion with which lawyers, philosophers, and theologians working in this area will have to engage.” — Oliver D. Crisp, University of St Andrews

“This is an erudite, closely reasoned, well-written, and wide-ranging study of the real and imagined problems for traditional Christian thought raised by the development of materialistic, biological, and now neurological theories about human nature and the possibility of an objective law to be discerned and obeyed by rational intelligences. Professor Opderbeck shows how a simply neurological account of our thoughts, motives and actions does more than contradict the Christian story: it is at odds with our ordinary self-understanding, with the possibility of a humane civil order, and with the scientific and scholarly enterprise itself: if all that we think, desire, and do is merely the effect of material events determined by the behavior of physical particles and the long effects of natural selection, there is no sense in supposing that we are capable of learning any objective truth, or amending our thoughts and actions in the light of an objective moral law. Only if we can in some way come to transcend our own physical nature can we hope even to learn what that nature is, and the Christian story at least offers a rational account of how that might occur. Scientists and theologians alike have a lot to learn from Professor Opderbeck.” — Stephen R. L. Clark, University of Liverpool

“‘Follow the science’ is the saving message of pandemic times. And for good reason. But how do we follow the science while keeping our souls intact? Better yet, how do we follow science into goodness, truth, and beauty? Legal theorist and theologian David Opderbeck offers a way. Refusing the reductionist terms on offer, he presses toward a wonderfully bodied account of how our moral habits of speech, rather than flattening out as so much epiphenomenal noise, tell us about the sorts of creatures we are and the kind of world we live in. Especially useful is his Thomistic revision of neo-Aristotelian powers and properties to frame what evolutionary theory comes to regarding our most cherished commitments. Learned, sharp, disciplined, and absolutely needed.” — Jonathan Tran, Baylor University

Purchase: Wipf & Stock | Amazon


2021 Firth Lectures: Prof Celia Deane-Drummond

Humans and Animals:
Boundary Questions and Why they are Significant for theology and Ethics

from Prof. Celia Deane-Drummond
Senior reach Fellow in Theology, Campion Hall, Oxford
Director of the Laudato Si’ Research Institute

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to attend the Firth Lectures this year on 8 and 9 April 2021 hosted by the University of Nottingham’s Theology and Religious Studies Department. The Firth Lectures are delivered biennially to the public on some aspect of the Christian faith in relation to contemporary problems. Past lecturers have included The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Professor Charles Taylor and Professor Terry Eagleton.

It is with great honour that we welcome Prof Celia Deane-Drummond (Oxford) to be this year’s Firth Lecturer. Her lectures will be on the topic of ‘Humans and Animals: Boundary Questions and Why They are Significant for Theology and Ethics. These lectures have been pre-recorded and are available to view on the Firth Lecture website. We will be holding live Q&A sessions via MS Teams on both of her lectures at the following times:

  • Live Q&A for Lecture 1 ‘Theology and the Evolution of Violence: Are we Wired for War or Peace?’: Thursday 8th April 6pm-6.30pm. To join the Q&A get your ticket on Eventbrite by following this link.
  • Live Q&A for Lecture 2 ‘Humans are Animals but Are Animals Persons? Implications for Theological Ethics.’: Friday 9th April 6pm-6.30pm.  To join the Q&A get your ticket on Eventbrite by following this link.

Abstracts of each lecture and further information can be found on the Firth Lecture website. Please do join us for these exciting and important lectures.

You may download the flyer here.


Funding Opportunities in Philosophical Theology (St Andrews)

Interactions between Christian thinkers and continental philosophy often have a critical focus, whether on the intellectual debt continental philosophers owe to the Christian tradition, or on the ways secular philosophers critique classical theological accounts of ultimate reality. The newly-funded Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology project at the University of St Andrews focuses on the joint potential of theology and continental philosophy for discovery and growth, using the intellectual resources continental philosophy makes available to open new horizons in philosophical theology.

Widening Horizons is offering twelve grants for research projects that advance this constructive aim. Applications may be for

  • small projects of up to £60,000 (including c. £8,000 fixed costs); or
  • large projects of up to £160,000 (including c. £23,000 fixed costs).

Projects should start between 1st October 2021 and 1st March 2022, and end between 30th September 2023 and 28th February 2024. Most activities may be concentrated within a shorter period if desired.

The call for proposals for these projects is now open until 31 May 2021 (17:00 BST). Application details and further information can be found at:


The Future of Christian Metaphysics

The Future of Christian Metaphysics

An international Zoom conference hosted by St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

Thursday 29th April
1:40p – 6:00pm

With Guest Speakers:

  • Philip John Paul Gonzales
  • Jennifer Newsome Martin
  • John Betz
  • Lorella Congiunti
  • Tim Pawl

With responses from:

  • Caitlin Smith Gilson
  • D.C. Schindler
  • Gaven Kerr
  • Andrew Meszaros


To register for this even, please visit this link at

Next year, in April 2022, St Patrick’s College are hosting an Internation Conference on, “The Future of Christian Thinking.” Full details of this conference can be found here.



KALOS: Anchorhold: Corresponding with Revelations of Divine Love, by Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer

Newly available in the KALOS series: Anchorhold: Corresponding with Revelations of Divine Love, by Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer (Cascade Books; January 2021; 208pp+).

Purchase: Wipf & Stock

Book description:

This is a book of letters, letters to Julian of Norwich concerning her Revelations of Divine Love. It is an attempt to search for my life by giving myself heart and soul to the teaching of a text and it is about the possibilities of transformation that ensue. Julian makes extreme claims about the love of God revealed in the body of Christ on the cross. She claims that in love the human self can truly flourish and in the end that “all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” I need to know if these claims are true. Thus, I write letters, ask questions, and look for answers as to how to indwell the vision given to Julian, while engaging the limits of my personhood and the modern paradigms that constrain my thoughts. I bring my whole being to the correspondence, I am changed, and I do find my life.

Praise for Anchorhold:

“Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer has offered something truly rare and life-giving: a present and living conversation with the ghost of a familiar friend. In these pages the thought and presence of Dame Julian of Norwich come to life afresh through the gentle power of Pinto Gfroerer’s subtle and beautiful writing. This is not a work of theological scholarship. It is much more, it is an urgent and vital work of the human spirit. A must-read.” — Aaron Riches, author of Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

“‘Your work is open’ writes Kirsten Pinto Gfroerer in one of the letters to Julian that form this astonishing work. And as the crucified Christ in Julian’s Revelations invites us into his wounds, so Julian’s text becomes a permeable site to which the reader is invited to be nourished and sustained in dark times. This is a brilliantly insightful theological reflection in which Julian’s rich writings are set against the author’s own experiences and often highly original reinterpretations.” — Alison Grant Milbank, University of Nottingham

Purchase: Wipf & Stock


Now available: The Foundations of Nature by Michael Dominic Taylor

Now available in the Veritas series: The Foundations of Nature: Metaphysics of Gift for an Integral Ecological Ethic, by Michael Dominic Taylor, with a foreword by Larry Chapp (Cascade/Wipf & Stock; 282 pp+; December 2020).

Purchase: Wipf & Stock | |

Book description:

Will the ecological crises of our time be resolved using the same form of thought that has brought them about? Are technological prowess and political power the proper tools to address them? Is there not a deeper connection between our ecological crises and our human, social, political, economic, and ethical crises? This book argues that the popular approaches to ecological, bioethical, and other human crises are not working because they fail to examine the problem in its full depth. This depth escapes us because we have abandoned true metaphysical reflection on the whole and substituted it unknowingly for a series of inadequate alternatives. Both the technocratic paradigm that views all of nature mechanistically and its antagonists—the eco-philosophies that argue for the realities of intrinsic value, relationality, and beauty—carry partial truths but are insufficient. This book presents a more radical alternative, rooted in the classical tradition yet fresh and vibrant. The metaphysics of gift, based in the giftedness of existence shared by all, offers a deeper and more satisfying vision of all things that can transform our relationship with nature and touches every aspect of human life: social, political, economic, technical, and ethical.

Praise for TheFoundations of Nature:

“Taylor has performed three services in one in this work. First he offers us a comprehensive exposition of the best that trinitarian metaphysics has offered in the past century, secondly he has done this with a great deal of literary panache, and thirdly he has shown how a metaphysics of gift is required to underpin bioethical practices which will actually foster freedom and respect human dignity. This work belongs to a new generation of bioethics that goes beyond and beneath the tired old protocols that acknowledge nothing higher than technology.”
Tracey Rowland, St. John Paul II Chair of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Australia; 2020 Ratzinger Prize Laureate

“Taylor’s use of ‘integral ecology’ reasserts the fact that ‘nature’ comprehends the entire created universe and, for this reason, includes both human bioethics and ecological ethics in the same worldview that gazes upon the manifold gift of existence. . . . The book’s clarity and precision make it an invaluable contribution to the future of ethical debate, especially regarding the environment, technology, and medicine.”
Pablo Martínez de Anguita, Professor of Forestry and Rural Development, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid

“Dr. Michael Taylor’s work offers a profound Christian vision of the real. He seeks honestly to gaze on the whole in all of its depth through the aid of figures such as Ferdinand Ulrich, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Pope Benedict XVI among others. At the interface of metaphysics and trinitarian theology, this book ranges from the mystical into the ecological and back again.”
Aaron Riches, author of Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

“Taylor’s book takes a matter that concerns all of us at some level, namely, the meaning of nature, and opens it up to depths far beyond the limits modern ecology often sets for itself. It not only lets a new light into the field, but it does so in a way that allows us to avoid all the usual tired reductions. Those seeking orientation in this field will benefit greatly from his wise insights.”
D. C. Schindler, Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute at The Catholic University of America

Purchase: Wipf & Stock | |


Religions special issue CFP: Literature and Eco-theology

Message from the Guest Editor

Dear Colleagues,

Systematic and philosophical theologians within the Christian tradition are increasingly having recourse to literary texts with which to do creative theological work, while the religious turn in critical and cultural theory has given new impetus to the interdisciplinary field of literature and theology, with increased attention to the religious ideas engaged through literary tropes, genres and modes. While there are a number of journals and books devoted to this intersection, apart from occasional articles or studies of individual writers, little so far has been produced about the manner in which ecological religious thinking is performed and debated in poetry, drama or fiction. This Special Issue is an attempt to explore this neglected area and invites contributions on any aspect of the topic from any period. While the academic field of religion and literature has been primarily concentrated within Christianity, we invite submissions from any religious tradition.

Prof. Alison Milbank
Department of Theology and Religious Studies,
University of Nottingham,
University Park,

Deadline for manuscript submissions:
31 May 2021

Download the official CFP here [PDF].


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:



(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 buy levitra in uk case.

The Centre is concerned with:

  • The historical interaction between theology and philosophy.
  • The current relation between the two disciplines
  • Attempts to overcome the analytic/ Continental divide in philosophy
  • The question of the status of ‘metaphysics’. Is the term used equivocally? Is it now at an end? Or have 20th Century attempts to have a post-metaphysical philosophy themselves come to an end?
  • The construction of a rich Catholic humanism

The Theology Department of the University of Nottingham, within which the COTP is situated, was awarded the top 5* A grade in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2001). Nottingham was one of only two theology Departments who submitted all its staff and was rated 5* A.

For all enquiries, please email Conor Cunningham:

To return to the Nottingham Theology Department:


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

Recent Posts

Now available: Wonder Strikes: Approaching Aesthetics and Literature with William Desmond by Steven E. Knepper
July 13, 2022
Seminar: Form as the Grammar of Change by Lexi Eikelboom
June 25, 2022
Conference: Pavel Florensky for the 21st Century
June 25, 2022
Now available: The Great Divide and the Salvation Paradox, by David P. Griffith
May 3, 2022
Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with Cyril O’Regan
March 27, 2022
Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with David Bentley Hart
March 14, 2022
Future of Christian Thinking conference: Interview with John Milbank
February 18, 2022
Upcoming Postgraduate Courses by Edith Stein Institute of Philosophy
February 16, 2022
Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic Online Seminar (7 Feb 2022)
January 12, 2022
Available now: Outside the Gates, by W. C. Hackett
January 5, 2022

(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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Recent Publications

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