In the Medieval university, collationes (“gatherings” or “conferences”) were conversations often held in the evenings in the presence of a small group of students and teachers. More informal than disputations and often somewhat experimental, they were unique places to engage the thought of the teacher.
This practice is the inspiration for this series of evening conversations, which will cover a variety of topics both theological and philosophical. I invite you to go deep on questions of ultimate importance, but in an informal setting that allows you access to add your own comments and questions.
These events are free, but require registration (see the relevant page for details).
A video will be provided to all registrants for a limited window, so even if you can't join us in person, you don't have to miss out entirely. To be informed of offerings and registration windows, join the mailing list and select “Literary and Theological Studies.”
Reading with God: The Practices and Principles that Shape our Engagement with Scripture
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are foundational for the Christian faith. It is not surprising, therefore, that they have been subjected to every sort of debate: how did they come about? How trustworthy are they? What are their limits (which books are in Scripture and which books are out)? How consistent are they? How is one to interpret them? And so on.
Join me for deep look at some of the practices and principles that can and do shape how we read Scripture.
The Necessity of Dragons: An Apology for Wonder
In this collation, we will explore just what it is dragons mean to us, why they are so closely connected to our most important stories and our greatest longings. My thesis will be no less than that dragons, far from being a childish indulgence or a dream we may indulge in if we have the leisure, are absolutely essential for a healthy human life.
Defending the Faith in Love: Understanding Christian Apologetics
This collation will look at the Christian apologetic task. Key will be the claim that apologetics is not primarily about having clever philosophical arguments or proofs for the existence of God, and that it is not at its best when it aims to provide these. This is because, however attractive these may be to the believer, they do not actually address the issue the non-believer is having. Instead, we will aim to be attentive to the heart of the seeker, and to respond with the type of witness that is well suited to the condition of that longing heart.
The Journey of the Mind to God: Theological Reflections on Imagination, Wonder, and Beauty
In this special collation for the feast of St. Bonaventure (my favorite theologian), I will expand on these faculties and virtues as important aspects of the mind’s journey to God. You will get a sneak peak at my work on theologies of the imagination and wonder, and some highlights from my work on a theology of beauty.