STANTON LECTURE 1: THE RETURN OF METAPHYSICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
John Milbank is delivering the prestigious 2011 Stanton Lectures at Cambridge University on the theme, "Philosophy: A Theological Critique." This opening lecture was delivered on 19 January 2011.
This series of lectures will not be concerned with either the philosophy of religion or philosophical theology. Instead, they will be about the relationship between philosophy and theology.
In terms of this relationship, the initial practical question, from the point of view of theology, is this: if theologians wish to invoke the aid of philosophy, in whatever manner this might be, to which sort of philosophy should they turn? Should they turn to the philosophies that enjoy good repute in their own culture, on the assumption that they are admired exercises of human reason, procedurally neutral from a religious perspective?
This question is usually answered in the affirmative, whether deliberately or by default. Thus today, much theology, doctrinal as well as philosophical, tries to relate itself either to the "analytic" tradition, or to the unfortunately-named "continental" tradition.
The alternative approach is for theology to continue to relate itself to what one some writers, with good reason, have termed the "perennial philosophy," the legacy of Plato and Aristotle, with which Christian theology has been intertwined almost from the outset.
Hat tip to Ben Myers at Faith-Theology Blog