Wednesday, 6 September 2006

George Hunsinger

The excellent Barth scholar from Princeton, George Hunsinger, has increasingly been engaging in political activism in the States. A recent article offers a very hostile (and, in spite of itself, quite revealing) assessment of Hunsinger’s politics.

And, speaking of Hunsinger, Joshua alerts us to a paper Hunsinger will present in November, entitled “The Analogia Entis Makes a Comeback: David Bentley Hart.” Hart will be there to respond as well, so it should be a lively and fascinating discussion. If any of my lucky American friends happens to be there, I’d love to hear about the paper and about Hart’s response.

6 Comments:

Keith said...

I'll be there, and I'll be happy to post notes on what happens. If you're a Barth Society member, you usually get the full lectures printed in the next issue of the newsletter. That might be motivation to join!

Ben Myers said...

Thanks, Keith -- and you're right, I'd forgotten that the lectures get printed in the Barth Society newsletter.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Hunsinger's political activism is a parth of his Barthianism. It is also not entirely new. He is a longtime member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (as am I) and he was active in the anti-nuke movement of the '80s and, to a lesser extent, in the global campaign against apartheid in South Africa. Along with 3 theologians from "historic peace churches," Eugene Roop (Church of the Brethren), Douglass Gwyn (Friends/Quakers), and the late John Howard Yoder (Mennonite), Hunsinger co-authored one of the strongest theological statements on nonviolence in decades.

His recent work against torture, preemptive war, imperialism, etc. are all of a piece with his longtime commitments. They are also a part of his interpretation of Barth as a political theologian--something he wrote on early in his career.

GoobyNelly said...

If Princeton will pay my way, I'll be there.

And yes, the article, in spite of itself being a conservative rant to the tune of "What about THOSE bad people over there?!", was quite revealing!

George is doing work that he believes can prevent, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the sort of spiritual climate in which the Third Reich came bringing salvation. Unfortunately, Christians cannot always be vindicated by their visible persecution (i.e. being hauled off by the secret police in the middle of a lecture).

kim fabricius said...

Michael is absolutely right about Hunsinger's Barthianism and his "longtime" [political] commitments": Karl Barth and Radical Politics was published exactly thirty years ago, in 1976. With Hunsinger, as with his mentor, social justice has always been an essential predicate of the gospel.

As for the imminent Hunsinger lecture, however, why the hype about the analogia entis making a "comeback"? What about von Balthasar? He is an acknowledged darling of the contemporary theological chattering classes, and the analogia entis is absolutely central to his thought. He learned the concept from Barth's old foe Erich Przywara, a decisive influence whose brilliance he sang. Mind, as John O'Donnell observes, von Balthasar did "seek to integrate the analogy of being into [Barth's] analogy of faith. Nonetheless, he retained the view that the analogy of being was a necessary presupposition for the analogy of faith," insisting that without it the analogy of faith "was in danger of becoming a monologue between God and himself." Let's hope, then, that Hunsinger tackles von Balthasar as well as Hart.

Chris Field said...

Good blog, thanks for the thought provoking words.

I would be interested in some of you going to my blog and sharing your thoughts on my post: "Why I Became A Vegetarian"?

Shalom.

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