Rethinking Luther’s Political Theology

Link

Kristof Oltvai

PhD Student, Philosophy of Religions

Rethinking Luther’s Political Theology

The legacy of Martin Luther’s political theology is contested in the philosophy of religion. More contemporary voices like Žižek and Mjaaland have begun challenging the older, intensely critical readings of Engels, Adorno, and Fromm, but the former authors’ defenses of Luther are underdeveloped. This study aims to fill this lacuna and argues that Luther’s critiques of revolutionary prophetism go hand in hand with his challenge to Rome’s magisterial authority. Both, for the reformer, constitute forms of ‘subjectivism.’ The objective Word’s standing over against the congregation is what guarantees the latter as a site of deliberative rationality. In order to see why this is the case, however, we cannot look only at Luther’s explicitly political writings, but also to his rejection of memorialism in the Eucharistic controversy.

The paper may be accessed here.

Tuesday, January 25th, 12:30 PM, Swift 403

This workshop will focus on the pre-circulated paper and will be largely discussion-based. During the workshop, Kristof will present an expanded version of the first section (on Luther’s conception of the freedom of the conscience).

Hosted by the Philosophy of Religions Workshop at the University of Chicago.

The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinators John Marvin (johnmarvin@uchicago.edu) or Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Between Self and No-Self: Some Phenomenological Considerations

Friday, December 3rd – 4:30PM
 
Prof. David W. Johnson
 
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Boston College
Between Self and No-Self: Some Phenomenological Considerations
The Philosophy of Religions Workshop is pleased to host Prof. David W. Johnson of Boston College, a renowned scholar of phenomenology, hermeneutics, and modern Japanese philosophy.  Prof. Johnson will be presenting an ongoing project he plans to give as a talk at a conference next year, the draft of which is attached below.  The talk concerns the No-Self idea in Buddhist thought, attempting “to show how it may be possible
to reconcile the reality of the self with a particular interpretation of the no-self doctrine.”
Prof. Johnson will be presenting an abridged, extemporized version of the talk presented in the draft, and then leading a discussion on the issues at hand with the second half of our time.  He is interested to hear especially from scholars of Buddhist philosophy who may be able to enrich and refine his engagement with those materials.  Reading the draft (attached below) before the presentation and discussion is encouraged, but not necessary for attendance.
The talk can be read here: Between Self and No Self
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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinators John Marvin (johnmarvin@uchicago.edu) or Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

An Exegesis of the Absurd: Kierkegaard On Faith & Hegelian Philosophy

Erica Lavista
MAPH Student, University of Chicago

An Exegesis of the Absurd: Kierkegaard On Faith & Hegelian Philosophy

Friday, October 19th
Pizza and beverages will be provided.

Swift Hall Room 403
This workshop will focus on a pre-circulated paper and will be largely discussion-based.

Please contact tjneenan@uchicago.edu for the paper.

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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop. Please contact Workshop Coordinators John Marvin (johnmarvin@uchicago.edu) or Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

THE ONE AND THE OTHERS

Andrew Cutrofello 

Professor, Loyola University Chicago

THE ONE AND THE OTHERS: AN ESSAY ON SPECULATIVE ANTINOMIANISM 

This is a draft of the second chapter of a work in progress called “The One and the Others: An Essay on Speculative Antinomianism.” In the book Andrew Cutrofello develops a way of thinking about antinomies. The book is structured as a series of responses to the antinomies presented in Plato’s Parmenides. In this chapter, Cutrofello focuses on the antinomies Parmenides deduces from the hypothesis “If the One is.” He contrasts Graham Priest’s characterization of such antinomies as true contradictions with Dante’s characterization of Christian paradoxes as merely apparent contradictions.

Tuesday, October 12th, 1:30PM CT

Lunch will be provided.

Swift Hall Room 403
This workshop will focus on a pre-circulated paper (available here) and will be largely discussion-based.
Please contact tjneenan@uchicago.edu for the paper password.

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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop. Please contact Workshop Coordinators John Marvin (johnmarvin@uchicago.edu) or Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Book Launch & Reading Group: Apocalypse of Truth: Heideggerian Meditations

Please join the Philosophy of Religions Workshop on Wednesday, June 9th for a talk with translator Matthew J. Peterson (PhD Candidate, Divinity School) on Jean Vioulac’s Apocalypse of Truth: Heideggerian Meditations, released this month by the UChicago Press. The talk will be followed by a reading group discussion, which will simply be an opportunity for those who have read the book to discuss it with others in the workshop community. You are welcome to attend one or both events.

Book Launch & Reading Group
Apocalypse of Truth: Heideggerian Meditations

Wednesday, June 9th

4:00pm CT
Talk with translator Matthew J. Peterson

5:00pm CT
Reading group discussion

Virtual Event
RSVP to rrosenfeld@uchicago.edu for Zoom link to one or both sessions.

The book may be purchased through the Seminary Co-op Bookstore or other booksellers.

About the book: We inhabit a time of crisis—totalitarianism, environmental collapse, and the unquestioned rule of neoliberal capitalism. Philosopher Jean Vioulac is invested in and worried by all of this, but his main concern lies with how these phenomena all represent a crisis within—and a threat to—thinking itself. In his first book to be translated into English, Vioulac radicalizes Heidegger’s understanding of truth as disclosure through the notion of truth as apocalypse. This “apocalypse of truth” works as an unveiling that reveals both the finitude and mystery of truth, allowing a full confrontation with truth-as-absence. Engaging with Heidegger, Marx, and St. Paul, as well as contemporary figures including Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek, Vioulac’s book presents a subtle, masterful exposition of his analysis before culminating in a powerful vision of “the abyss of the deity.” Here, Vioulac articulates a portrait of Christianity as a religion of mourning, waiting for a god who has already passed by, a form of ever-present eschatology whose end has always already taken place. With a preface by Jean-Luc Marion, Apocalypse of Truth presents a major contemporary French thinker to English-speaking audiences for the first time.

About the translator: Matthew Peterson is a doctoral candidate in the philosophy of religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Continental Philosophy Review and The Journal of Religion.

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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinators Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) or Rebekah Rosenfeld (rrosenfeld@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Division(s) and Transformation(s): Five Cognitive Stations in the Delimitation of Things (有分與物化:知物的五層封野)

 

Chiayu Hsu

Postdoc, UChicago Divinity School

The courses (Daos) of transformation—this is the Zhuangzi’s most manifest and recurrently zig-zagging theme. For Zhuangzi, the world is “changing and transforming, never constant.” The transformations of the ten-thousand things never having begun to reach their limit, we nevertheless draw lines over this world transforming at each moment, dividing it up into sections, and establishing boundaries.
In Part II of a joint series on Zhuangzi & Absolute Division, we will analyze a passage in the Equalizing Assessments of Things which expressly sets forth the delimitation of things within human knowledge, and illustrates what Zhuangzi takes to be the five stations of the cognition, as well as the interrelation between division(s) and transformation(s).

Although we’ve chosen to present Chiayu’s paper in bi-lingual format, with the Chinese and newly translated English side-by-side, conversation will be held in English. No prior background in Chinese is required!

Thursday, May 20th, 6:30pm CT

The workshop will focus on a pre-circulated paper (available here) and will be largely discussion-based. 

Please contact tjneenan@uchicago.edu for the Zoom link. 

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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinators Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) or Rebekah Rosenfeld (rrosenfeld@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.

Sonam Kachru: Non-Presentism in Antiquity: South Asian Buddhist Perspectives

Sonam Kachru

Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Non-Presentism in Antiquity: South Asian Buddhist Perspectives

Sooner or later in one’s exploration of early Buddhism one will come across a suggestion to the effect that, at the end of the day, early Buddhism comes down to an endorsement of the following injunction: One should attend only to the present. What is the argument behind either the injunction or believing that Buddhism comes down to an endorsement of it? Here’s one. (Buddhists believe that) (1) The present uniquely exists; (Buddhists also believe that) (2) one should attend only to what exists or to what one can affect and control: for one can only control or affect what exists. I discuss ancient and contemporary variations on this argument, while noting the instability of it.  For not all early Buddhists believed (1), and even among those that did, not all believed (2). And in any event, the idea of “attention to the present” turns out not to be all that clear, even in cases where we are not dealing with the far more involved varieties of temporal and modal content that can characterize some early Buddhist modes of attention. In the talk based on the pre-circulated essay, I’ll analyze these claims briefly and discuss why the failure to reduce early Buddhism to a combination of ontological and practical presentism matters.

Thursday, April 29th, 4:30pm CT
Please note the new start time of 4:30pm.

Virtual Event
This workshop will focus on a pre-circulated paper (available here) and will be largely discussion-based.
Please contact rrosenfeld@uchicago.edu for the paper password and the Zoom link.

Sonam Kachru (Assistant Professor, University of Virginia) studies the history of philosophy, with a particular focus on the history of Buddhist philosophy (and literature) in Ancient South Asia. He is particularly interested in philosophy of mind (consciousness, attention, imagination), metaphysics, and philosophical anthropology. His first book (forthcoming from Columbia University Press) is entitled Other Lives: Mind and World in Indian Buddhism. He is currently working on a history of norms of attention in Indian Buddhism, a project that also involves a reconsideration of conceptions of self-control and inner purity in practices of self in antiquity, from Athens to Pataliputra.

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The Workshop on the Philosophy of Religions is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive workshop.  Please contact Workshop Coordinators Tyler Neenan (tjneenan@uchicago.edu) or Rebekah Rosenfeld (rrosenfeld@uchicago.edu) in order to make any arrangements necessary to facilitate your participation in workshop events.