On October 12, 13 and 14, 2023, our Athenaeum in collaboration with the Pontifical Gregorian University and ITER-Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Santiago de Chile), will hold a Theological Colloquium on the theme "Dancing with the Absence. Rethinking Theology with Michel de Certeau".

The work of Michel de Certeau, French Jesuit and student of Cardinal Henri de Lubac, has often been characterized as the work of a traveller. He is renowned in the historical as well as in the cultural sciences. His studies on Modern mysticism are exemplary in the section of spiritual theology, while his books and articles on anthropology and psychoanalysis tend to challenge and subvert the discussions of the experts. Likewise, Certeau profoundly interrogates the common ways of doing theology, both in a direct way that characterizes the Christian tradition – when he speaks of the absence of God –, and with his style of writing, which does not allow a disciplinary classification. The explicit theological reception of his works has so far remained on a moderate level, although they offer a variety of challenges for theological reflection not fully taken on board. His provocative interpretation of the relationship between the believer and tradition especially stimulates a series of theological re-readings. A constitutive rupture regarding the accessibility of the origins characterizes this fundamental relation, which is of high relevance in the face of today’s pastoral situation. Thus, Certeau’s works not only provide perspectives to rethink singular theological topoi, but also stimulate a meta-discussion on the options of theological reasoning in general as comprehension of Christian everyday life. This meta-discussion is crucial for thinking about the truth of Christianity in the current contexts of the Western Church marked by profound processes of “exculturation” of Christianity, pushing us to reweave the relation of Theology and Human Sciences as well as the one between theory and practice, i. e. between Theology and lived spirituality, including the dimension of spiritual experience (mysticism). In the horizon of Certeau’s diverse fields of research, the colloquium analyzes and displays the potential of Certeau’s perspectives for a contemporary theology.

Download programme

Download Biographies
Download Abstracts of the Speeches

New succession of speeches on Saturday, 14 October:
09.30: Pierre Gisel
10.00: Graham Ward
11.30: Stella Morra
12.00: Isabella Bruckner

To register click here: DANCING WITH THE ABSENCE
Registration deadline 3 October 2023.

For more information:
Prof. Dr. Isabella Bruckner
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The Theological Colloquium is sponsored by the Institut Français Centre Saint-Louis

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