The Unconditional: A Postmodern Approach to Religion

Date(s) - 10/24/2015
10:00 am - 11:45 pm

Northway Christian Church



The Unconditional: A Postmodern Approach to Religion
Ninth Jean and Patrick Henry Seminar
Saturday, October 24, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
John Caputo, Thomas J. Watson Emeritus Professor of Religion and Humanities, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY and David R. Cook Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Stalcup icons_EventIn this seminar I will raise the question of whether in the “postmodern” world—the high-tech, highly pluralistic and dizzyingly digitalized age we live in today—religion still has a place. To that end I will propose an idea of religious faith, hope and love as the affirmation of the “unconditional.” I will examine the extent to which this idea is or is not identical with what we call God, and the extent to which this affirmation is found not only in religion in the strict sense but also outside it. I will use this notion of the unconditional to examine the contest that is being played out in our world between the religious and the secular, fundamentalism and its critics, theism and atheism, faith and reason, and between one religious faith and another. I will conclude by raising the question of whether religion has a future.

John D. Caputo joined Syracuse in 2004 after retiring from Villanova, where he taught from 1968 to 2004. His special interest lies in the meaning of religion in a postmodern culture. His most important scholarly contribution to this work is The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event (2006), which received a 2007 American Academy of Religion Book Award, and The Insistence of God: A Theology of Perhaps (2013), which argues that God does not exist, God insists. In addition, he has also produced a steady stream of books aimed at a wider, non-academic audience, the most popular of which is What Would Jesus Deconstruct? (2006), which won the ForeWord Magazine Best Philosophy Book of 2007 award. He has a book forthcoming this fall entitled Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim. Since retiring in 2011, he has been speaking to various church and community groups interested in a more progressive concept of religion.