Beholding the Glory: Poetry, Science and Theology in Conversation

oxford_blog59Everyone is warmly invited to a podium discussion on science, poetry and theology in conversation, featuring Micheal O’Siadhail (poet), N.T. Wright (biblical scholar), Eric Priest (physicist), and Judith Wolfe (theologian).

The popular image of the scientist in the laboratory is of white-coated boffins dispassionately testing hypotheses and recording data in order to dissolve the mysteries of the world and so grant us mastery over it. The poet, on the other hand, is often portrayed as someone essentially playful in his or her engagement with the world, allowing imagination to run riot, taking liberties with truth and so offering us a pleasurable diversion from reality rather than immersing us more fully in it. What ought we to make of such caricatures? Might science and poetry actually prove to have much more in common than we typically suppose? And what, if anything, have either got to do with the sorts of claims which religious faith typically makes about the world? Scientist Eric Priest, poet Micheal O’Siadhail, biblical scholar Tom Wright and theologian Judith Wolfe will be discussing these questions and others like them in live conversation. All are welcome to come and hear them, and admission is free!

Saturday 10th October, 7pm

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Queens Terrace, St Andrews, Scotland

The Telegraph Ways with Words Festival at Dartington Hall

dartington_hall
I’m speaking at the Telegraph Ways with Words Literary Festival at Dartington Hall on 6 July, on our new book on C.S. Lewis — C.S. Lewis and His Circle — and on Lewis more generally.

The book took seven years to complete, and comprises essays and memoirs by former Inklings, their friends and family members, as well as by scholars including Elizabeth Anscombe, Malcolm Guite, Walter Hooper, Alister McGrath, Tom Shippey, and Rowan Williams.

You can download the festival programme here.

My speaking schedule for 2015 is available here.

If you’re planning to be at Dartingon, please come and say hi!

JudithWolfe small

Tolkien’s Jonah Text

TolkLetter1_2818763a

The October 2014 issue of the Journal of Inklings Studies will be a special issue on the Inklings and the Bible.

It will include research articles on C.S. Lewis’s “Liar, Lord or Lunatic” paradox, Lewis’s use of the Bible in his RAF talks, Lewis and Jerome, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s philosophy of creation. It will also include original texts by two Inklings: Charles Williams’s review of the Bible in Basic English, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s original translation of the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible.

Many will know that Tolkien translated the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible, a 1960’s Roman Catholic translation of the Holy Scriptures. But the version of Tolkien’s translation that was eventually published in the Jerusalem Bible was not the author’s original submission, but a collaborative effort, heavily edited by a style editor who had been employed to standardize the grammar and vocabulary of the various translators who had contributed to the Jerusalem Bible.

With kind permission of Tolkien’s Estate, the Journal of Inklings Studies is now able to make available Tolkien’s original translation from Bodleian Manuscript. A research article by Brendan Wolfe on the history and features of the translation will accompany the text.

The special issue is being published in a strictly limited edition.

To order or subscribe, go to the Journal of Inklings Studies website.

 

 

Author Interview on Heidegger & Theology

Heidegger and Theology by Judith Wolfe


T&T Clark
What particular areas or themes of Theology interest you and why?

JW: I’m particularly interested in the ways theology opens for thinking about what the world is like, and what it is to be human. ‘If we claim this or that about God, what does that mean for our understanding of a good life, or free will, or our relationship to nature?’ And conversely, ‘if we pay close attention to human experience, what can it teach us about the possibility of knowing God?’ Theology in this sense cannot be strictly separated from what philosophers or literary scholars do; rather, it’s a way of pursuing the same questions with the freedom and the scholarly tools to take seriously the role that the question of God plays in those pursuits.

T&T: How would you describe your book in one sentence?

JW: What it says on the package: it aims to give readers a thorough understanding, based on the latest research, of Heidegger’s relationship to theology – in his life, in his thought & writings, and in the theological reception of his work.

T&T: When did you start researching for this book?

JW: I’ve been reading Heidegger and his theological friends and enemies for a long time, but began research for this book in earnest during a two-year visiting fellowship in Berlin from 2009 to 2011. The libraries of Humboldt University and the state collections, as well as the archives of Freiburg University, have wonderful resources which have never been used by English-speaking scholars, including Heidegger’s various correspondences and the Minutes of his faculty board meetings during the 1930’s and 40’s.

T&T: Which part of writing this book have you enjoyed most?

JW: One of the great things about working on Heidegger is that it involves both serious philosophical and theological questions and real biographical problems (such as the details of his ‘conversion’ from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, or his relationship to Nazism). I love both detective work in archives and very abstract thought, so perhaps the most fun thing about writing this book was the chance to see what light they throw on each other.

T&T: Any tips for people reading the book?

JW: Having a big glass of gin and tonic to hand?
Other than that, it’s worth saying… Continue reading

Just published: Heidegger and Theology (T&T Clark)

William Blake Ancient Days 2

a superb tour d’horizon of the terrain – biographical, philosophical, and theological – on which future work on the vexed topic of Heidegger and theology may be carried out

— Tom Sheehan

My new book, Heidegger and Theology (T&T Clark) has just been published.
More information is available here. Copies can be ordered on Amazon.

The Introduction is available as a free reading sample on my academia.edu page.

See also Heidegger’s Black Notebooks: Caught between Hitler and Romanticism.

Heidegger’s Black Notebooks: Caught between Hitler and Romanticism

Heidegger desk…Bultmann’s sympathetic response may seem shocking; but in reality, it merely shows how unspecific the National Socialist programme still was in the early Thirties. To Heidegger, as to many other intellectuals at the time, it seemed less an innovation than a return to the great nationalist tradition of the 19th century…

Read the full article on Heidegger’s Black Notebooks in Standpoint Magazine.

C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield: The Great War

barfieldandlewis

Between 1925-1930, C.S. Lewis and his best friend, Owen Barfield, conducted a lengthy philosophical exchange they affectionately called their “Great War.” Its topic was the question whether imagination or reason was the better organ for discovering truth — Barfield passionately arguing that the imagination could reach truths inaccessible to reason, Lewis that the imagination was an unreliable organ in need of guidance and regulation by reason and authority.

Most of this exchange has remained unpublished until now.

With the kind permission of the literary estates of C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield, the Journal of Inklings Studies is now publishing the missing texts of the Great War as a special supplementary issue of the journal. The issue includes full texts of all unpublished writings within the ‘Great War’, including Lewis’s ‘Summae Metaphysices contra Anthroposophos‘ and Barfield’s ‘De Toto et Parte‘. The collection is edited with notes by Arend Smilde and an introduction by Norbert Feinendegen.

You can now order your copy here.

To subscribe to the Journal of Inklings Studies, go to the journal website.