Philosophers and theologians have long drawn on the category of rhythm – patterned movements of repetition and variation – to describe reality. However, the ways in which rhythm is used and understood differ based on a variety of metaphysical commitments with varying theological implications. This book brings those implications into the open through an analysis that relies on a distinction from prosody between a synchronic approach to rhythm, which observes the whole at once, and a diachronic approach, which focuses on the unfolding of time. Based on an engagement with the twentieth-century Jesuit theologian Erich Przywara alongside thinkers as diverse as Augustine and the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben, the book proposes an approach to rhythm that serves the concerns of theological conversation by demonstrating the difference that rhythm makes to how we think about questions such as “what is creation?” and “what is the nature of the God-creature relationship?” As a theoretical category capable of expressing metaphysical commitments yet shaped by the cultural rhythms in which those expressing such commitments are embedded, rhythm is particularly significant for understanding how culture and embodied experience influence doctrine.
How can one think the end of time from within time? This impossibility is the challenge that confronts anyone who wants to think about eschatology. This essay argues that poetry may help to circumvent this dilemma by offering the ending of the time of the poem for analysis, thereby providing an analogy for what it might mean for created time to come to an end. Using Giorgio Agamben’s work on the end of the poem and messianic time, the essay argues that the eschatological idea of the end of time lends time rhythmic and participatory quality with important religious consequences.
The capacity of art to contribute to peace is dependent upon the conceptual framework concerning its political significance. This article compares Heidegger’s well-known approach to art as strife with Agamben’s alternative vision of art as rhythm in terms of their respective social and political consequences.
Holism – the idea that the human is a unified entity not divided into different substances – has become a popular position within theological anthropology. This essay argues, however, that while substance dualism may be untenable, the idea of duality itself with respect to the human person should not be abandoned. The essay uses the work of Giorgio Agamben to demonstrate how duality might be reimagined and to highlight its significance in conceptualizing the human as a being that is in dynamic relationship to itself.
This article seeks to demonstrate correspondence between the thought of the Jesuit theologian Erich Przywara and the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben. The article is a challenge to theologians such as Conor Cunningham and John Milbank who suggest that Agamben’s work is nihilistic in nature and therefore unfit for theological engagement. I seek to demonstrate, instead, that while not a theologian, certain elements of Agamben’s thought make him a worthwhile dialogue-partner for theology. Rather than defending Agamben’s theological significance on the basis of theological generalities as others (e.g. Colby Dickinson) have done, this article demonstrates his theological significance by showing his usefulness for illuminating a theme in the work of a recently re-discovered theologian.
This article investigates the similarities between the ethics and theology of Blaise Pascal and Stanley Hauerwas regarding natural law, original sin, and witness, in order to support Pascal as an important thinker for Christian ethics. It argues that Pascal’s theological anthropology is an important contribution to Hauerwas’ ethics by elucidating less clear dimensions of his thought, such as how it is that witness ought to proceed and might be effective despite human sinfulness, and the relation between human corruption and a rejection of natural law. This also serves to support Pascal as an important figure for Christian ethics, despite his being largely neglected by the field.
“Erich Przywara, Analogia Entis: Metaphysics: Original Structure and Universal Rhythm, John Betz and Divid Betle Hart (trans),” Reviews in Theology and Religion 22 (2): 188-190.
“Dynamized Creation and De-Personalized Creator: Douglas F. Ottatti, Theology for Liberal Protestants Volume 1: God the Creator,” The Expository Times 126 (6): 301-302.