Thinking the Medieval Legacy For Contemporary Theology:
An Encounter Between Medieval Thought and Postmodern Challenges

April 16-17, 2010

Burkle Family Building, Room 16
Claremont Graduate University
Southwest Corner of 11th Street and Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont, CA

Sponsored by the School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University
Funded by The Margaret Jagels Fund for Catholic Studies

The purpose of the conference is to discuss the possibility of retrieving the theological, spiritual resources of the European Middle Ages for the problems facing contemporary Christian theology in the postmodern world. What can we learn from Medieval theology, spirituality, and culture for theological work today? Six distinguished scholars discuss a topic or theme which each finds especially compelling and relevant to an important problem of the contemporary world in such a way as to produce a genuine encounter between certain Medieval resources and certain challenges of the 21st century. Six graduate students respond. The topics range from divine and human friendship, ontology of the possible, critical and precritical exegesis, the human capacity to know God, ethics of perichoresis and modern transplant surgery, and interreligious dialogue between Christianity and Islam. A very lively discussion is expected.

The conference is free and open to all.

Friday, April 16, 2010
9:00-10:30 Opening Remarks: Anselm Min, Conference Organizer

Chair: Stephen Davis, Claremont McKenna College

Marilyn McCord Adams, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Friendliness:  Human and Divine"

Response: Nathan Greeley, Claremont Graduate University
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 Chair, Karen Torjesen, Claremont Graduate University

Barbara Newman, Northwestern University
"Exchanging Hearts:  What Can a Medieval Literary Topos Tell Us about Modern Transplant Surgery?"

Response: Marlene Block, Claremont Graduate University
12:30-2:30 Lunch Break
2:30-4:00 Chair: Esther Chung-Kim, Claremont School of Theology

Kevin Madigan, Harvard Divinity School
"Can Precritical Exegesis Cure the Ills of the Critical?"

Response: Duncan Gale, Claremont Graduate University
4:00-4:30 Coffee Break
4:30-6:00 Chair: Nancy van Deusen, Claremont Graduate University

Anselm Min, Claremont Graduate University
"The Humanity of Theology:  Thomistic Reflections on Presumption and Despair in the Human Claim to Know God"

Response: Ramon Cisneros-Ruelas, Claremont Graduate University
Saturday, April 17, 2010
8:30-9:00 Coffee/Donuts
9:00-10:30 Chair: Joseph Prabhu, California State University, Los Angeles

Ingolf Dalferth, Claremont Graduate University and The University of Zuerich
"Possibile Absolutum:  The Theological Discovery of the Ontological Priority of the Possible"

Response: Fabrizio D'Ambrosio, Claremont Graduate University
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 Chair: Ingolf Dalferth, Claremont Graduate University

Pim Valkenberg, Loyola University Maryland
"Can We Talk Theologically?  Thomas Aquinas and Nicholas of Cusa on the Possibility of a Theological Understanding of Islam"

Response: Bruce Paolozzi, Claremont Graduate University

For further information, contact the School of Religion at 909.607.9592 or email

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