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Graduate study day

Christian Theology Graduate Study Day

Metaphysics and Biblical interpretation  

Keynote speaker: Dr. Hans Boersma (Regent College)

27 June 2016, 9-5pm
Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge

At the back of the successful graduate study day in April, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Hans Boersma in Cambridge to lead us in what promises to be an exciting and interdisciplinary day of discussion of learning. The format will be similar: Dr Boersma will lead us to think about the way metaphysics – how we think about the nature of reality – shapes biblical interpretation – how we read and make sense of the Bible. Several contributions from the graduate community will then address the theme from a variety of approaches and angles:

- Victor Emma-Adamah: Theology
- Barnabas Aspray : Philosophy (abstract)
- Bruno Clifton, O.P.: Biblical Studies (abstract)
- E.S. Kempson: Patristics (abstract)

Dr Boersma is known for his work on sacramental ontology (Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery [2009], Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry [2011]) and Patristics (Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa [2013]). He will draw on his forthcoming book and argue that the participatory or sacramental ontology of the Church Fathers shaped their sacramental reading of the Bible and the moving away from sacramental ontology lies at the origin of a historical-critical reading the Bible in the early modern period (see his abstract below).

The day includes coffee breaks and a sandwich lunch. Attendance is free, but places are limited and registration is mandatory. Please book your place by 20 June, by writing to Pui (phi21) with the subject line "Graduate study day".


"Scripture, Sacrament, and Metaphysics: Origen, Hobbes, and Spinoza"

Metaphysics is directly linked to the way in which we read Scripture. Drawing on my forthcoming book, Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church (Baker Academic, 2017), I will argue that a proper metaphysics is sacramental in character. That is to say, created realities exist by participating in the eternal being of God.  Scripture, likewise, I argue, has a sacramental character. I hope to show that this is so by turning first to Origen (as someone whose participatory view of reality made him read the Scriptures sacramentally) and then to Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza, who I suggest lie at the origin of a modern, non-sacramental way of reading Scripture (that is to say, a historical-critical way or reading the Bible, which assumes that history is an a "purely natural" affair, completely separate from otherworldly concerns).



Philosophy of Religion and Christian Theology Graduate Study Day

How To Think About Being

Keynote speaker: Dr. Rudi Te Velde (Tilburg Universtiy)

20 April 2016, 9-5pm
Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rudi Te Velde in Cambridge for a day of shared learning and discussion of the qestion "How to think about being". Dr Te Velde is known for his work on Aquinas (Participation and Substantiality in Thomas Aquinas [1995], Aquinas on God [2013]) and is currently working on a book about metaphysical degrees of abstraction (separatio). Dr Te Velde will share some of his ongoing research with us, as well as lead discussions about selected texts. He will argue that a metaphysically informed theology should not shrink back from the accusation of ontotheology, but must try to retrieve a sense of 'being' which is indispensable for an understanding of creation and God as creator (see his abstract below).

There will moreover be a number of contributions from Graduates, in the form of different perspectives on the question "How to think about being":
- Pui Him Ip (Cambridge): A Patristic Perspective
- Nathan Lyons (Cambridge) : a Postmodern Perspective
- Hugh Burling (Cambridge): an Analytic Perspective
- Stefan Baumann (Zürich): a Phenomenological Perspective

The day includes coffee breaks and a sandwich lunch. Attendance is free, but places are limited and registration is mandatory. Please book your place by 5 April, by writing to Silvianne (sb952) with the subject line "Graduate study day".



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