Theology, Phenomenology and the Retrieval of Experience: A Homage to Peter Kemp

Article by Jayne Svenungsson in Eco-ethica, 9 (2020), 17–34. DOI: 10.5840/ecoethica20213830

This article engages in a re-reading of Peter Kemp’s 1973 dissertation Théorie de l’engagement with a view to exploring its persisting theological value. After briefly revisiting its main argument, I turn in the following section to a discussion of its way of relating phenomenology and theology in terms of short-comings as well as possibilities. In the concluding section, I bring together Kemp and the contemporary phenomenologist and philosopher Dorthe Jørgensen and offer a reflection on what theology could and should be and why I believe that it still has a significant role to play in academia as well as in the wider culture. In particular, I argue that phenomenological theology—with its long tradition of reflecting on mythopoetic language—is particularly well-suited to provide a cultural hermeneutics of relevance not only for practicing religious people but also for a broader audience in a culture that is still to a high degree immersed in biblical imagery.

Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology: Call for Proposals

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. Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology 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 offers twelve grants for research projects that advance this constructive aim, which is laid out in more detail in the vision statement Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology: A Vision.  Please read this document carefully before applying.

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 closes on 31st May 2021 at 17:00 BST.

Click here to read more about the call for proposals.

Categorized as Other

The Emergence of I

Article by Andreas E. Masvie in Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion.

Among the ancients, there was no proper conception of the I. Yet an I emerges in ancient Israel. I therefore inquire into the philosophical anthropology of ancient Israel. How did the I emerge? By interpreting the Song of Songs as political myth, from which a philosophical anthropology can be unearthed and reconstructed, I theorize that not only an I, but also a different kind of we emerged through gift-dynamics. Then I demonstrate that these gift-dynamics are compatible with the ancient Israelites’ religious-political institutions and manifest itself in their collective psyche.

Green Purpose: Teleology, Ecological Ethics, and the Recovery of Contemplation

Article by Andreas Nordlander in Studies in Christian Ethics.

According to one influential narrative, a significant root of our ecological crisis is to be found in the Christian appropriation of teleology, undergirding the anthropocentrism endemic to Western thought. This article challenges this argument in three steps. First, I present the Aristotelian understanding of teleology, which is intrinsic to living organisms, and which has been suggested as a resource for ecological ethics. Second, I argue that the rejection of intrinsic teleology in favour of an extrinsic teleology first occurs with modern philosophy, in tandem with a new pragmatic conception of knowledge. Third, I provide an alternative construal of the early Christian understanding of teleology, through the figure of Maximus the Confessor, arguing that his understanding of the contemplation of nature is a key resource to be recovered for ecological ethics. I end with a sketch of such a recovery, as articulated by Thomas Merton.

Gudstjeneste i antropocen? Økoteologi og liturgikk

Article by Carl Petter Opsahl in Tidsskrift for Praktisk Teologi.

How does liturgy cope with climate change and ecological crisis? By engaging ecotheological writings of Sallie McFague, Larry L. Rasmussen and Elizabeth A. Johnson, the article explores possible ways of understanding relations between humans, nature and God. While they are not writing explicitly on liturgy, they develop thinking of liturgical implications, such as cosmology, sacramentalism and liturgical expression. These themes are further developed liturgically in dialogue with the liturgical theologian Gordon W. Lathrop. As the era of Anthropocene as suggested by Paul J. Crutzen is still “terra incognita,” the article acknowledges the difficulties of liturgical response to an ecological crisis of unknown proportions. Thus, it allows for liturgical efforts to be clumsy, hesitant and experimental

Searching for the missing theology in the Nordic discussion of practice

Article by Auli Vähäkangas in Studia Theologica – Nordic Journal of Theology.

The aim of this article is to analyse the relationship between theory and practice and the role of theology in this discussion. The data is formed from writings of prominent scholars who are active in the International Association of Practical Theology (IAPT). The relationship between theory and practice is crucial when we try to answer what role theology has when studying practices. Nordic Practical Theology has traditionally studied pastoral care, liturgy and homiletics in the majority Lutheran contexts. However, today there is a need to expand to various faith communities and a wider variety of practices. This new research has to acknowledge the changed pluralistic context and how it challenges the role of religion/religions in the Nordic societies and how it challenges theological studies as well. Emerging topics in the Nordic context are connected with the pluralistic context in changing Nordic societies, with sexuality/gender as well as with issues connected with rituals. All of these topics connect practice and theory together and require deep theological reflection in which embodiment is acknowledged. My model, Theology of Encounter, is an example of theological reflection over a central religious practice of counselling.

PhD position in Church history at Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm (EHS)

Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm (EHS) utlyser ett doktorandstipendium inom forskarämnet Praktisk teologi med kyrkohistoria för forskning inom miljön ”Kyrka i samtid”. Utlysningen gäller inriktningen kyrkohistoria och ett projekt som undersöker relationen mellan väckelserörelser eller frikyrklighet och den svenska demokratins framväxt.

År 2021 är det hundra år sedan kvinnor fick rösta för första gången i ett svenskt riksdagsval – men över 170 år sedan bildandet av den första baptistförsamlingen i Sverige, en församling där både män och kvinnor hade rösträtt. Den svenska demokratins framväxt är, som folkrörelseprojektet på 1970-talet visade, intimt sammankopplad med svensk frikyrklighet. Tack vare en donation från Kungsholmens baptistförsamling kan EHS nu utlysa ett doktorandstipendium för att söka djupare förståelse för och kunskap om denna historia.

Kyrka i samtid är en interdisciplinär forskningsmiljö på EHS. Seminariet består av tio doktorander, och leds av ett kollegium av tre docenter och en professor. Forskarstuderande vid EHS kommer också att vara del av större nätverk, såväl nordiska som internationella, vilket även innefattar möjligheter till kortare utbytesperioder.

Inför vårterminen 2022 utlyses ett doktorandstipendium (18000/mån) för forskarutbildning inom ämnet Praktisk teologi med kyrkohistoria, med forskning förlagd inom miljön Kyrka i samtid. Forskarutbildningen omfattar 240 hp (fyra år) och kan läsas på heltid eller deltid.

Sista ansökningsdag är 1 oktober 2021. Antagning sker under hösten, och besked lämnas senast 1 december. Tillträde under vårterminen 2022.

Krav för antagning innefattar examen på avancerad nivå (magister, master, eller annan jämförbar examen) i kyrkohistoria, samt en väl genomarbetad projektplan. För särskild behörighet krävs minst 120 högskolepoäng i teologi/religionsvetenskap, inklusive en bred baskurs (eller motsvarande) på minst 30 högskolepoäng. Fullgjorda kursfordringar om minst 90 högskolepoäng med relevans för forskarutbildningsämnet krävs, varav 45 högskolepoäng i den inriktning ansökan avser (eller motsvarande). 30 högskolepoäng i forskarutbildningsämnet ska vara på avancerad nivå, inklusive en uppsats om minst 15 högskolepoäng i den inriktning ansökan avser. Undantag kan lämnas för examen i närliggande ämne som bedöms kyrkohistoriskt relevant.

Utbildningen bedrivs i enlighet med högskoleförordningen. Efter fullgjorda kursfordringar och godkänd avhandling utfärdar rektor examensbevis för Teologie doktorsexamen.

Läs mer om Kyrka i samtid – En forskningsmiljö vid THS 

För mer information, kontakta Joel Halldorf, docent och forskningsledare vid Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm

Categorized as Other

Hans Nielsen Hauge i fortid og nåtid

Special issue in Norsk Tidsskrift for Misjonsvitenskap.

‘Alle vil ha en bit av Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771–1824). Slik kan man på en folkelig måte karakterisere den sterke og ferfoldige interessen for Hauge som vi opplever i år ved 250-årsjubileet for hans fødsel. Men interessen for Hauge har vært levende helt siden siste del av 1800-tallet. Det er ikke overraskende når vi tenker på hans personlige begavelse, hans evne og vilje til å følge opp sin tro i visjoner og i handlinger, og den bevegelse han skapte ved sin forkynnelse i skrift og tale. Den ulærde bondegutten fra Tune er blitt sett på som en avgjørende kraft bak utviklingen av det moderne Norge – religiøst, sosialt, kulturelt og politisk.’

Reconciliation: SST Post-Graduate Conference 2021

Conference at the University of Cambridge, 13-15 September

The theme of the conference is ‘reconciliation’, taken both in the sense of the Christian doctrine of reconciliation (from a diversity of perspectives) and the broader sense of reconciling prominent divisions within the landscape of theology. We invite proposals for short paper presentations to be delivered in a maximum of 20 minutes. Please provide a title and abstract of up to 150 words.

The deadline for proposals is 1 July.

Categorized as Events