"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thinking Through Modernity

The liturgical scholar Daniel Galadza, currently working on his dissertation at the Oriental Institute in Rome and serving this year as a junior fellow at the most prestigious institute of Byzantine studies in North America, viz., Dumbarton Oaks (under the aegis of Harvard University) will, no doubt, be this upcoming generation's version of Robert Taft. He recently and very kindly drew my attention to a new book published in Lebanon after a conference there in 2007 at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology at the University of Balamand: Thinking Modernity : Towards a Reconfiguration of the Relationship Between Orthodox Theology and Modern Culture (2010, 230pp). 

Like many of the Institute's publications, this one is apparently available through their North American distributor, Alexia Publications.

You can read, in French, Arabic, and English, the list of presenters at the 2007 conference, and see pictures of the same, here

Later this month, the Institute is hosting another conference which sounds fascinating on the theme of exegesis and theology in the Antiochian schools of Edessa, Antioch, and Nisibis. Details here

While on this topic of Christian relations to modernity, and the intellectual and theological problems it poses, permit me to mention one of the most fascinating books I have ever read on this topic, by the Roman Catholic historian Louis Dupré: Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture

Now almost twenty years old (it was published by Yale University Press in 1993), it has lost none of its intellectual power, it seems to me, in the last two decades. 

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