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Session 8: John Milbank


Theology Reading Group

invites you to our next session on

John Milbank

on Wednesday, 19th June

at 5 p.m.

*** in H501 ***

(Humanities Building, English Department)

John Milbank is a prolific contemporary theologian who is also a poet with a fascination for the mythic “matter of Britain” and for folk motifs and fairy tales. He is regarded as a leader of the theological movement which arose in the 1990s styled “Radical Orthodoxy” – arguably the most original new wave in Britain since the Oxford Movement. Deeply versed in postmodern philosophical trends, he opposes an assimilative theology in favour of one equipped to propose a different version of modernity from within its own resources, one based on a participation in the divine rather than the “ontological violence” of setting matter against mind, language against meaning or nature against grace. A key to this is his notion of the “diagonal” as a trajectory which does not deny such co-ordinates but engages fully in them so as to exceed them not as a chaotically open (and therefore self-sealing) indeterminate finitude but as a participation in a higher gift of generous and love-grounded relationality.

The texts for this session ("Glissando: Life, Gift and the Between" (in Between System and Poetics) and "The Eight Diagonals", (short introduction to John Milbank's volume of poetry, The Legend of Death) can be downloaded from our Reading Materials website. “Glissando: Life, Gift and the Between” proposes an ontological reading of evolutionary dynamics, whilst “The Eight Diagonals” gives a brief but brilliant overview of his thought in relation to his poetics.

This session will be chaired by Peter Larkin.

The Legend of Death cover