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Philosophy

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 145

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Guests on Volume 145: David I. Smith, on Christian teaching as a set of practices that accords with Christian content; Bruce Hindmarsh, on the rise of the conversion narrative in early Evangelicalism; Jason Baxter, on the psychological subtlety in Dante’s Divine Comedy; John Fea, on the entanglement of American evangelicals and politics; Laurie Gagne, on the spiritual longing of French philosopher Simone Weil; and Matthew O'Donovan, on singing Renaissance polyphony with Stile Antico.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 36

Juvenescence: Robert Pogue Harrison on Cultural Age

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Cultural critic and professor of Italian literature, Robert Pogue Harrison, examines the conditions in which cultural transmission can take place. In this Conversation, Harrison argues that Western culture is on the cusp of a new mode of civilization that can either result in a rejuvenation of the legacies of the past or in their juvenilization, the latter of which would lead to a loss of cultural memory and the infantilization of desires. Harrison reflects not only upon the ways in which our culture is evolving into a younger way of being human, but also upon the peculiar and precious qualities of youth that are uniquely receptive to fostering the amor mundi needed to preserve and transmit a world of permanence and belonging.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 35

Glorious Abasement: John Betz on the Prophetic Critique of J. G. Hamann

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Theologian John Betz discusses the eighteenth-century philosopher and translator, Johann Georg Hamann, critic and contemporary of Immanuel Kant and other prominent figures of the German Enlightenment. Hamann, even from the early stages of the Enlightenment, saw and argued that the project of modernity would lead to its own destruction. Hamann argued that reason could not, by itself in a pure form, give a complete account of reality, for he saw that the modern ideal of “pure reason” is a fiction. Reason, he argued, is always embedded within an historical culture and language from which one can never fully be detatched. In his evaluation, Hamann anticipated the postmodern critics of the twentieth century; however, he avoided the nihilism of postmodernism by observing the revelatory character of language and history. By focusing on the divine kenosis or humility of God, who creates, reveals, and condescends to humanity through His Word, Hamann maintained that man’s pursuit of truth is always contingent on God’s Word in special and general revelation through history and creation. Throughout the interview, Professor Betz describes the centrality of God’s condescension in Hamann’s understanding of knowledge and reason. It is through the humility of God in his condescension to communicate to man that Hamann recognizes the Promethean project of modernity to attain enlightenment from man’s resources alone. $6

Areopagus Lecture 4

Paul Tyson: Escaping the Silver Chair

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Philosopher Paul Tyson’s talk, entitled “Escaping the Silver Chair: Renewed Minds and Our Vision of Reality,” explores how the Christian responsibility “to repent” involves more than expressing feelings of regret for moral wrong-doing and the desire to reform. Rather, the New Testament call to “repentance,” the English rendition of the Greek word metanoia, is inseparable from radically reenvisioning what is “really real.” St. Paul’s admonition that we be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” — in other words, metanoia — invokes a process that demands the recognition and rejection of various false enchantments of this world. With the help of C. S. Lewis’s story The Silver Chair, however, we realize that identifying and then escaping the ways in which we are bewitched is no easy task. $4.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 143

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Guests on Volume 143: Mark Regnerus, on the effects of social changes in modernity on sexual behavior; Jessica Hooten Wilson, on the influence of Fyodor Dostoevsky on Walker Percy’s convictions and his approach to writing; John Henry Crosby, on the heroic witness borne by Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977) in his philosophical writings and his battle against Nazism; John F. Crosby, on the influence of the schools of phenomenology and personalism in the thought of Dietrich von Hildebrand; Wynand de Beer, on lessons from Hellenic cosmology about the metaphysical questions raised by organic diversity and change; and Sørina Higgins, on the perennial appeal of the stories inspired by the figure of King Arthur, especially in the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 142

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Guests on Volume 142: Stanley Hauerwas, on writing letters to his godson about the virtues; Perry L. Glanzer and Nathan F. Alleman, on the fragmentation of modern higher education and why we need theology to unify universities; Jeffrey Bishop, on how modern medicine shapes an inadequate understanding of the human body; Alan Jacobs, on how contemporary communications media discourage charitable thinking; D. C. Schindler, on the diabolical nature of the modern understanding of freedom; and Marianne Wright, on how the gospel comes through in the writings of George MacDonald.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 141

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Guests on Volume 141: Grant Wythoff, on the technophiliac obsessions of Hugo Gernsback, the geeky midwife of modern science fiction; Susanna Lee, on how the hard-boiled protagonists of crime fiction in the 1930s and 40s were replaced by more nihilistic tough guys in the 1950s and 60s; Gerald R. McDermott, on how the work of theologian E. L. Mascall can expose blind spots in contemporary Christian thought; Carlos Eire, on how and why religion became “interiorized” in the wake of the reformations of the sixteenth century; Kelly Kapic, on theology’s use of experience and why the Incarnation is the ground of Christian hope; and James Matthew Wilson, on the beauty of truth and goodness, and on the necessity of cultivating “intellectual vision.”

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 30

Rebecca DeYoung on Vainglory, the Forgotten Vice

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In this conversation, philosopher Rebecca DeYoung explains how the language of vices speaks to patterns or narratives in our lives in a way that is distinct from “original sin” and from “sin as moments or acts of rule-breaking.” Drawing from the wisdom of the Desert Fathers, DeYoung describes vainglory and the other “deadly sins” as capital vices from which more vices may materialize. 56 minutes $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 139

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Guests on Volume 139: W. Bradford Littlejohn, on post-Reformation debates about the meaning of freedom; Simon Oliver, on how the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is a doctrine about God (and not just the origin of the universe); Matthew Levering, on the necessity of God’s wisdom in the doctrine of creation; Esther Lightcap Meek, on Michael Polanyi’s case that making contact with reality is a process of discovery; Paul Tyson, on resisting our modern assumptions about knowledge in favor of knowledge that is grounded in wonder; and David Fagerberg, on acquiring a liturgical posture in everyday life.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 16

David Bentley Hart, "A Perfect Game: The Metaphysical Meaning of Baseball"

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(from First Things, August 2010)

In this playful article from First Things, theologian David Bentley Hart muses on what is arguably America’s greatest contribution to civilization: baseball. Baseball, as Hart would have it, is the Platonic ideal of sports, “a game utterly saturated by infinity,” a game not contrived by our own artifice, but a discovery long kept secret in the dark mysteries of Reality. Contrary to what Hart disparagingly dubs “the oblong game” — the spatial and temporal confines of which are “pitilessly finite” — baseball in its shape and motion stretches towards endless vistas, unfolding organically according to its own narrative and inner logic while at the same time striving to complete the most perfect of shapes, the circle. Read by Ken Myers. 27 minutes. $2.

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