Deep Unto Deep: Exploring Mystery, Human and Divine
Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago Divinity School
Amy Hollywood, Harvard Divinity School
October 18-20, 2013
We do not know what God is, and are united to God as to one unknown. These words of Thomas Aquinas name a deep paradox at the heart of the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – if God is truly God, then God abides in unfathomable mystery, and yet we cannot help but speak of God. Is this true only of God? Mystics and theologians from all corners of the medieval and early-modern Mediterranean world began to see the veil of mystery guarding the inmost being of humans themselves, giving new sense to the psalmists’s “deep cries unto deep.” The intent of our “conference within a conference” this year is to explore these questions of human and divine mystery through the prisms of philosophy, theology, art, architecture, poetry, and cultural history.
We invite scholars of European, Byzantine, and Islamic and Jewish studies to join in our exploration of so significant a paradox in the pre-modern Mediterranean world.