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Category Archives: David Bentley Hart

Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky

David Bentley Hart has a new article in First Things that argues for the unthinkable: the wholesale superiority of Tolstoy over Dostoevsky both literarily and theologically: Among converts to Orthodoxy, for instance, as well as among many cradle Orthodox of a particularly rigorist kind, Dostoevsky is especially honored for having held firmly to Chalcedonian orthodoxy […]

The New Atheism and the Cost of Secularism

“Can one really believe–as the New Atheists seem to do–that secular reason, if finally allowed to move forward, free of the constraining hand of archaic faith, will naturally make society more just, more humane, and more rational than it has been in the past? What evidence supports such an expectation? It is rather difficulty, placing […]

For a Good Flaying

David Bentley Hart’s new book on the new atheists is out and, in his usual take-no-prisoners style, Hart pulls no punches. Rusty Reno has a good review of the book on the First Things website. Here’s a taste: Thus, if we return to the usual Western Civ lecture hall cliché—ancient science was somehow stymied by […]

Against Being Holistic

Some of my favorite theologians to read are grand synthesizers who are capable of building conceptual systems of theology that are very beautiful things indeed to explore, linger, and wander about in. Two that come immediately to mind are Hans Urs von Balthasar and Thomas Torrance. Balthasar in particular is one of the greatest examples […]

Balthasar at the Center

Two of my favorite books, as I’ve mentioned many times are David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite and Alan Lewis’ Between Cross and Resurrection. And, in terms of theological conclusions, you would be hard-pressed to find two books that come to more radically different conclusions. Lewis’ study is a bold attempt to seriously […]

Human Being as Gratuity and Futurity

Previously I’ve charged David Bentley Hart with proffering a primarily protological ontology. But here he strikes a more resolute eschatological note: “Both our being and our essence always exceed the moment of our existence, lying before us as gratuity and futurity, mediated to us only in the splendid eros and terror of our in fieri, […]

Rethinking Protology and Eschatology

I’ve commented before on the issue of protology and eschatology, arguing along with Robert Jenson for understanding the future, rather than the past as ontologically primary. The future, rather than the past is determinative for the ultimate shape of our being. However, in line with Jenson’s own thinking, any conception of eternity is some sort […]

Hart and Jenson: Locating the Disagreement

I’m currently re-reading David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite and am loving going back through this text again. This is truly a magnificent work of Christian theology that deserves extensive thoughtful engagement. After my initial reading of Hart’s book, I found myself giving a profoundly negative assessment thereto; however after letting the book sit […]

Divine Suffering is Divine Impassibility

James discusses David Bentley Hart’s beautiful statements on the nature of divine Triune infinity in a recent post.  For Hart, the affirmation of divine infinity necessitates the upholding of divine apatheia.  And he is right.  Or partly right about this.  The problem with Hart’s rejection of divine suffering isn’t that he misunderstands apatheia, which he […]

What is Natural Theology?

Perhaps the most contentious subject in early twentieith century theology was the issue of the viability or not of natural theology.  This polarity persists in contemporary theology, though today the issue has become even more honed directly in on the issue of analogy.  However, this discussion is usually nebulous in that the perceived relationship between […]

The Gift of the Martyrs

“Christ crucified must thus remain ‘metahermenutical’; he stands outside modernity, outside the market, outside every human order of power, as a real and visible beauty.  Nor can worldly power ever overcome him in his mystical body, because, again, the very gesture of the rhetoric of his form is one of donation, of martyrdom, and one […]

David Bentley Hart in one Sentence

Earlier today one of my housemates saw my copy of David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite lying on the table where I was reading, and after looking through it briefly asked me, “So, what’s his main point in this book?” I responded without hesitation:  “Christianity is awesome and beautiful and everything else sucks.”

David Bentley Hart on Modernity

Modern persons will never find rest for their restless hearts without Christ, for modern culture is nothing but the wasteland from which the gods have departed, and so this restlessness has become its own deity; and, deprived of the shelter of the sacred and the consoling myths of sacrifice, the modern person must wander or […]

David Bentley Hart on the Church as Christ’s Counterhistory

Christ’s moment of most absolute particularity – the absolute dereliction of the cross – is the moment in which the glory of God, his power to be where and when he will be, is displayed before the eyes of the world. When the full course of Christ’s life is completed and is raised up by […]

The Beauty of the Infinite :A Review

I posted this at Amazon over a year ago, but recently I’ve noticed this book getting a fair bit of attention on different blogs, so I thought it might be worth duplicating here. Against the stream of most who have read this book I must name myself as one of Hart’s detractors. His book, though an […]

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