The Analogy of Being: A Theological Symposium

I thought the Providence College conference on divine impassibility was about the best line-up of American theologians possible, but the upcoming conference on the analogia entis at The John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. is equally as impressive (of course, four of them spoke at the Providence conference!). The conference will take place on April 4-6, 2008. The symposium is titled “The Analogy of Being: Invention of the Anti-Christ, or the Wisdom of God?” and will focus on the debate between Karl Barth and Erich Przywara, S.J. The conference will coincide with the publication of a new translation of Przywara’s classic work, Analogia Entis, by John Betz and David Bentley Hart.

The list of speakers is impressive, including (on the Barthian side) both Bruce McCormack and John Webster. As with the conference on impassibility, the speakers are stacked in favor of the analogy of being—or, to be more precise, against Barth. Hart’s own position in The Beauty of the Infinite is well known to many by now due to the debate between Hart and George Hunsinger at last year’s AAR/Karl Barth Society meeting in Washington, D.C. How appropriate, then, that this conference be held in the same city on the same topic. While I suspect the organizers of the conference expect the Barthians to defend Barth, I am not so sure that will in fact happen. Many Barthians—particularly Eberhard Jüngel, who is a great admirer of Przywara—have argued that Barth was wrong on the analogy of being, though perhaps right in his overall theological position. In other words, Barth was right in terms of the big picture but wrong in the details. In any case, I expect McCormack to attempt a kind of rapprochement between the two extremes represented in the subtitle of the conference. Webster will likely do something similar. (It is particularly interesting to note that both McCormack and Webster are deeply shaped by Jüngel’s theology.)

Here is the list of featured speakers:

John Betz
Martin Bieler
Peter Casarella
Michael Hanby
David Bentley Hart
Reinhard Hütter
Bruce McCormack
Bruce Marshall
Richard Schenk O.P.
John Webster
Thomas Joseph White O.P.

For more information, see the official website for the conference. H/T to WTM for informing me about this important symposium.


WTM said…
It is just a shame that it is in April - same month as the Wheaton Conference.
Br. Pius, OP said…
Thank you for your post on our upcoming conference. Just to let you know, we have added the registration form to the website. ( Also, we have a new version of the poster, making a small correction. (