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((released 2014-08-05) (handle mh-122-cd) (supplement ))
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
Volume 122 (CD Edition)
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Volume 122 (CD Edition)

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Guests on Volume 122

 N. T. WRIGHT on the significance of narrative awareness as a gesture towards participating in God's on-going narrative and away from cultural captivity
GEORGE MARSDEN on American public intellectuals of the 1950s and their anxieties concerning national purpose
MAKOTO FUJIMURA on modernist art, Jacques Maritain, and the Eastern pictorial tradition
DAVID BENTLEY HART on why historic theism (and all of its metaphysical claims) explains reality better than materialism does
THOMAS LESSL on the institutional "Copernican revolution" of the university and its attending warfare mythology as enduring perpetuators of the war between science and religion

A digital edition of this Volume is also available

Click here to download a pdf file with the contents listing and bibliographic information about this Volume.

N.T. Wright

“I think I want to say that story is not simply a bit of decoration around the borders of reality.”

— N.T. Wright, author of Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Fortress Press, 2013)

New Testament scholar N. T. Wright addresses reasons for why we should want to reconstruct a first century worldview and discusses to what extent discipleship should be a re-arranging of how we see reality. He also defends the significance of reading Scripture as narrative, and more specifically, God’s narrative in our world, in which God’s actions are historically decisive and not reducible to dogmatic abstractions. In this interview, Wright offers his take on why many people are suspicious of narrative.       

•     •     •

George Marsden

“[T]hey represented the ideal of consensus. And the consensus was built on trying to shore up the American traditions that go back to the founding and to say ‘here we’ve fought this terrific war against the forces of evil. We’re now facing the Cold War where we have atheistic communists to confront. What are the American ideals that we stand for?’”

— George Marsden, author of The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief (Basic Books, 2014)

Historian George Marsden discusses the influence of public intellectuals in America during the 1950s and their concerns for national moral consensus. Marsden identifies the continuity felt among public figures in the fifties with the common sense ideals held by American Enlightenment founders. Somewhat paradoxically, in addition to calling for a shared tradition, these critics encouraged individual non-conformity to allay the leveling effects of mass media.       

•     •     •

Makoto Fujimura

“I find Maritain’s writing in general to bridge this gap between some modernist position[s] that nature … first of all, that we have enmity, that we have to fight against nature, but furthermore that it is a veil and a certain obstacle to even reach the divine. There’s this notion that if God is to exist, nature in some way gets in the way. . . . Maritain seems to bring that veiled nature into this very transparent, maybe even integrated, path toward God.”

— Makoto Fujimura, author of Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture (NavPress, 2019)

Artist Makoto Fujimura reflects on the modernist conflict between man and nature. In this conversation, Fujimura discusses the subtleties of abstraction, poetic essence, and re-presentation in visual art. He also talks about the convergence of Jacques Maritain’s writings on creativity and art with Fujimura’s adaptation of the Asian visual tradition.       

•     •     •

David Bentley Hart

“[C]onsciousness, especially intentional consciousness . . . that is, the capacity of the mind to be about things, to know things not only as a sort of storm of sense impressions, but under particular aspects with certain intentions imposing certain meanings . . . that’s an act of the mind reaching out towards; that is intention, the stretching out towards all reality in a finite, specific way; that is the most conspicuous imaginable violation of the principle of mechanism, . . . because intention, in that sense, is teleological.”

— David Bentley Hart, author of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss (Yale University Press, 2013)

Theologian David Bentley Hart discusses what is meant by “God” in contemporary apologetic debate among both atheists and Christians. He examines how pre-modern questions about transcendent form and purpose expose the modern pathology to elevate mechanistic method to the realm of metaphysics. Hart challenges the assumption that progress is made in our ability to account for reality if we assume the modern division between material and spiritual or physical and metaphysical. In this interview, Hart explains how pure naturalism leads to an un-doing of rationality as a result of its self-imposed limitations.       

•     •     •

Thomas Lessl

“We tend to perceive scientists as a kind of priestly cast, independent from all others, who interact in this [public] sphere in different ways, almost like the way the Catholic church would have been perceived down through the ages … because [their] resources of knowledge come from elsewhere: for the church that was revelation and tradition and for science, it’s nature. Science has become the priest that mediates between the natural world and the rest of us.”

— Thomas Lessl, author of Rhetorical Darwinism: Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity (Baylor University Press, 2012)

Communications professor Thomas Lessl discusses how “public science”—comprising its need for sources of revenue and institutional support and its means of attaining that support—influences our perception of the role of science in public life. Lessl explores the emergence of science as an institution during the nineteenth century and the structural effects it had upon the university.