2 February–John Cavadini

The Theology Workshop is pleased to be able to co-sponsor an exciting event with the Lumen Christi Institute. This Thursday, February 2 at 7:15 PM, Prof. John Cavadini from the University of Notre Dame will give a lecture entitled “The Grand Design: An Augustinian Reply to Stephen Hawking.” The event will be held in Social Sciences 122.


Stephen Hawking has recently declared that philosophy is dead, and that science is the only reasonable method for securing knowledge. In response, Professor Cavadini will argue that philosophy is rooted in man’s wonder about the universe, and that scientific inquiry is only one aspect of true wisdom and should not be privileged over others.

John Cavadini is Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in patristic and early medieval theology, the theology of Augustine, and the history of biblical and patristic exegesis. He has published extensively in these areas, as well as in the theology of miracles, the life and work of Gregory the Great, and the theology of marriage.

This event is free and open to the public. For Directions, visit:  http://maps.uchicago.edu/mainquad/social.html

Persons with disabilities requiring assistance, please call 773-955-5887

23 January–Andrew DeCort

The Theology Workshop cordially invites you to participate in the upcoming workshop with Andrew DeCort, 2nd year PhD student in Religious Ethics, on Monday, January 23rd, 12:00-1:30 PM, in Swift 201.


“Theology as Freedom: Scripture, Sovereignty, Creationality, and Civilization”


In his presentation, Andrew will analyze two competing logics surrounding Evangelical interpretations of biblical authority. On one hand, Evangelicals would agree that (1) God created a good world that quickly rebelled against God, (2) that God covenanted Godself with people that were repeatedly unfaithful to God, and (3) that God’s continued presence and action among us is the clearest sign of God’s own faithful love for the world. Rather than engineering a world or a history that is “infallible” or “inerrant,” we see God giving and affirming creaturely freedom, co-creativity, and co-authority, what he will call a logic of “creationality.” On the other hand, Evangelicals insist that Scripture is an exception from this pattern, in which God works so successfully that Scripture remains spotless from error or internal disagreement, which he interprets as a logic of “sovereignty.” We will interrogate the argument that the Evangelical doctrine of a Scripture that cannot fail betrays the wider biblical commitment to a God who does not work through unmediated, absolute force but through mediated, response-able inter-action, which leaves room for Scripture to be a) authoritative and b) accompanied with error, which c) isolates the continuing demand for genuinely critical-and-committed reading and action.

Julius Crump, 1st year PhD student in Theology, will respond. The paper will be available through the Theology Workshop listserve, but no advance preparation is expected of participants. Lunch will be provided.

9 January–Evan Kuehn

Welcome to 2012! Please join the Theology Workshop as we embark on our Winter quarter theme: “Reckoning with Scriptures”, at 12:00 pm, Monday, January 9th — Swift 200.

Our first presentation is that of Evan Kuehn, 2nd year PhD student in Theology. Evan will offer a constructive proposal inspired by Schleiermacher’s  Glaubenslehre that incorporates his account of the threefold office of Christ into a new reading of the cry of dereliction. It will propose an interpretation that revises Schleiermacher’s explicit conclusions about the event of Christ’s abandonment by God while hewing closely to the structure, content, and purpose of Schleiermacher’s doctrine of the person and work of the Redeemer. Instead of following Schleiermacher by interpreting the godforsakenness of Jesus as problematic for His unique and persistent dignity as Redeemer, Christ’s godforsakenness will be explained as the end of the prophetic office of Christ.

Kyle Rader, 4th year PhD student in Theology, will respond.

The paper will be available through the Theology Workshop listserve, but no preparation is expected of attendees of the workshop. Like last quarter, presentations will range 25-30 minutes, with a 5-10 minute response and roughly 45 minutes for discussion. A light lunch will be provided.

Reckoning with Scriptures, Winter 2012

Theologians and their analogues across a huge array of religious traditions consider certain texts to be uniquely authoritative, and themselves to be somehow accountable to them. The extent and manner of their response to sacred texts, however, are highly variable even within single communities. Furthermore, the study of theology and the study of scripture have come to occupy largely separate spheres in most North American and European universities and seminaries. This arrangement has not been fruitless, but there is a growing discomfort with it in many quarters. For instance, the dominance of the historical-critical paradigm has been contested by liberationist, feminist, queer and other reading strategies, including many that would retrieve classical forms (e.g. Patristic or Talmudic) of exegesis as normative. This quarter’s presentations will explore the relation of theology to scripture, in ways that wrestle with the hermeneutical, political, epistemic, ethical, and ecclesiological problems indigenous to scriptural traditions.