January, 30 – Theology Workshop with Dr. Nestor Medina

Please join us on Friday, January 30, noon- 1:30 pm in the Common Room.

Néstor Medina is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent University, School of Divinity, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His research focuses on multiple points of intersection between culture, theological knowledge and religious practices among Latinas/os in the US, Canada, and Latin America. Professor Medina is the author of Mestizaje: Remapping Race, Culture, and Faith in Latina/o Catholicism (Orbis 2009) and co-editor of Theology and the Crisis of Engagement: Essays on the Relationship between Theology and the Social Sciences (Pickwick, 2013). He is currently at work on two monographs: “Humanity, Culture and the Spirit,” and a second on Latina/o theological method. Professor Medina received his PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto.

The title of his lecture Thursday, January 29 at 4:30 is: The Construction of Mestizaje in Colonial Latin America: A Partial Story.

The title of his presentation in the Theology and Religious Ethics workshop Friday, January 30 at noon is: “U.S. Latina/o Theology: Challenges, Possibilities and Future Prospects.”

The workshop paper is attached. Medina workshop paper Jan 30 2015

January, 27 – Theology Workshop with Ms. Nichole Flores

Please join us on Tuesday, January 27, noon – 1:30 pm in the Common Room.

Nichole M. Flores is Instructor of Theology at St. Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire.   Ms. Flores’ research focuses on the interface between contemporary contextual theologies (rooted especially in U.S. Latino/a theology), political theologies, and Catholic theological ethics with broader political-philosophic traditions of discourse on justice, emotion, and aesthetics. She is a doctoral candidate at Boston College in theological ethics, completing a dissertation entitled “Guadalupe in the Public Square: Theological Aesthetics and the Pursuit of Justice in Liberal Society.”

The title of her lecture Monday, January 26 at 4:30 is: “Beyond Consumptive Solidarity: An Aesthetic Response to Modern Day Slavery”

The title of her presentation in the Theology and Religious Ethics workshop Tuesday, January 27 at noon is: “The Personal is Political: Toward a Vision of Justice in Latina Theology”


January 12 – Dr. Robin Lovin (CTI)

A special meeting of the Theology and Religious Ethics workshop with Dr. Robin Lovin on Monday, January 12, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, in the Common Room. Dr. Lovin will lead a discussion entitled Theology and Ethics in Interdisciplinary Contexts.

Robin Lovin is currently the director of research at the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), a leading interdisciplinary research center in Princeton, NJ. He is also the Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics emeritus at Southern Methodist University. He served as Dean of Perkins School of Theology from 1994-2002, and Dean of the Theological School of Drew University from 1991-94. Before that, he spent thirteen years as a faculty member here at the University of Chicago. Prof. Lovin is a former president of The Society of Christian Ethics, a member of the editorial advisory board of Studies in Christian Ethics, and an editor-at-large for the Christian Century.

No advance preparation is expected. Wine, cheese and refreshments will be served.

Persons with disability who would request assistance, please use “contact us” on the website.

December 9 – final meeting of the fall quarter

You are invited to our last meeting of the fall quarter next Tuesday, December 9, 12:00 – 1:20 pm in Swift 208 , co-sponsored with the Philosophy of Religions workshop.

Evan Kuehn (a Ph.D. candidate in Theology) will present his paper entitledFrom Postulates of Reason to Doctrines of the Faith: on Doing Theology after Kant.” Russell Johnson, a Ph.D. student in Philosophy of Religions, will respond.
Lunch will be served.

The abstract is below:

This paper will attempt to lay out some theses for the task of doing theology after Kant and in the spirit of his philosophical work. In particular, I am interested in the problem that faces any would-be Kantian theologian of how to offer a theological account of things like God, or the immortality of the soul, or human freedom. Kant sees these sorts of ideas as necessary postulates of reason which can, however, never become objects of knowledge for us. Yet in many cases, theologians do not consider ideas like these from such an epistemological remove. Ideas which according to Kant are merely regulatory for theoretical knowledge and at most objects of faith are, for theological inquiry, often treated as objects of knowledge. Can theology engage these objects (systematically, critically, and theoretically) as objects of theological knowledge without thereby abandoning the original Kantian framework of human knowledge limited to the categories of understanding? And what resources are available within Kant’s Critiques for dealing with these theological ideas as objects of theological knowledge?

Paper is available for download below, prior to the workshop.  Please do not cite or share.

Persons with disability who would request assistance, please contact us using the website form  in advance.  

EKuehn Workshop Paper

November 17 – AAR Paper presented by Carly Lane

You are invited to our next meeting co-sponsored with the Animal Studies workshop. Please notice the (unusual) time and location: Monday, November 17, 4:30 – 6:30 pm in the Social Sciences Tea Room (SS201).

Carly Lane (from the Committee on Social Thought) will present her in-progress AAR paper entitled “‘The Starry Heavens Above Me and the Moral Law Within’: Transcendentalism’s Claim Against Deep Ecology.”

The abstract:

I open this paper with a brief but sympathetic survey of the instincts and aims of Deep Ecology. I argue that on its own terms Deep Ecology can neither justify its necessity or make coherent progress on its own stated goals: Dismissing the ‘transcendent subject’ as so much metaphysics, and “anthropocentrism” as a moral/ecological threat, Deep Ecology undermines its own conditions of possibility. Turning to the very philosophical sources Deep Ecology understands itself against, I develop an account of the relatively-transcendent (which is to say responsible, undetermined, free) subject and her aesthetic-cum-ethical judgment. I show this form of judgment to be at work—albeit contradictorily—throughout Deep Ecology literature. Borrowing from Arendt, I defend the appropriateness of this form of judgment, not least for community formation and political action. I conclude by tracing the intimate relationship between this form of judgment and poetic thinking: As an exemplary alternative to Deep Ecology I proffer the poetic thought of Henry David Thoreau who sounds out his aesthetic-ethical judgments that we might be recalled to our humanity, in both society and the natural world.

Refreshments will be served.

You may download the preliminary version of the paper as well as Carly’s request for feedback here Carly Lane Workshop Presentation

Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Theology panel

Are you applying to Ph.D. programs this fall or considering applying in the future? Don’t miss the Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Theology event brought to you by the Theology workshop on Tuesday, November 4, 4:00 – 5:30 in the Common Room.  Our very own professor, Willemien Otten and Dwight Hopkins, seasoned application reviewers and mentors of doctoral students, will share their advice on navigating different aspects and writing effective Ph.D. program applications.  There will be ample time for Q&A.  Bring your questions!    Refreshments will be served.

SAVE THE DATE! Prof. Christine Helmer (Northwest​ern) on December 2

You are cordially invited to a special meeting of the Theology workshop with Prof. Christine Helmer from Northwestern University on Tuesday, December 2, 4:00 – 5:30 in the Common Room (Swift Hall)  Prof. Helmer will lead a discussion of her brand-new book Theology and the End of Doctrine (Westminster John Knox Press, 2014).  The book uses historical theology (in particular, but not exclusively, the works of Luther and Schleiermacher, and mystical theology) to make a constructive proposal with regard to the future of theological inquiry.

Prof. Helmer is a senior scholar of academic theology.  In addition to her new work to be presented at the workshop, she wrote and edited eleven books, including The Global Luther: A Theologian for Modern Times (Fortress Press, 2009) and Schleiermacher and Whitehead: Open Systems in Dialogue (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004).

The workshop will follow our regular format: a presentation by Prof. Helmer, followed by a brief response, with significant time reserved for discussion.  There is likely to be an opportunity to go out to dinner with Prof. Helmer after the workshop meeting.

Prof. Helmer asks that, if possible, workshop participants read chapter 2 and chapter 5 in preparation for the workshop to ensure a more stimulating discussion. Copies of Theology and the End of Doctrine are made available for sale at the campus Barnes & Nobles and the Seminary Coop.  Alternatively, the chapters are available for a free download (30-day trial) at http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com. You would need to create an account to enable download.