News and Events

"Kierkegaard, Augustine, and the Catholic Tradition"

October 27-28, 2016-Villanova University


Kierkegaard, Augustine, and the Catholic Tradition”

Anticipated Schedule

Thursday, October 27, 2016

8:00 am – 9:00 am: continental breakfast. Connelly.

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Plenary: “Kierkegaard and Augustine?”: Lee Barrett (Lancaster Theological Seminary), introduced by Joshua Furnal (Radboud University Nijmegen). Connelly Cinema.

10:45 am – 12:15 pm: Panel Sessions.

Philosophical Engagements. Radnor Room.

Celine Leon (Grove City College): “Pascal and Kierkegaard: A Tale of Existential Affinities.”

Robert Reed (Boston College): “A Paradox of Knowledge in Kierkegaard and Augustine.”

David Seltzer (LaSalle University): “The Meno Paradox in Augustine and Kierkegaard.”

Works of Love. St. David’s Room.

Paul Camacho (Villanova University): “Eros and Self-Emptying Reconsidered: On the Redemption of Natural Love.”

Ian Clausen (Villanova University): “‘Love Is a Matter of Conscience’: Approaching Kierkegaard as a Moment in the Decline of Augustinian Love.”

Christina Danko (Assumption College): “Lust and Love in Augustine and Kierkegaard.”

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch. Devon Room and environs.

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm: Panel Sessions.

Sin and Redemption. Radnor Room.

Aaron Fehir (St. Leo University): “Kierkegaard and Augustine on Hereditary Sin.”

Erik Hanson (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs): “Augustine, Kierkegaard, and Evil.”

Lucilla Pan (Emory University): “Hidden Grace: Salvation in Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety.”

Fundamental Questions. St. David’s Room.

Karl Aho (Baylor University): “Kierkegaard and Augustine on Time.”

Matthew Drever (University of Tulsa): “The Loving Image of God: Selfhood in Augustine and Kierkegaard.”

Paul Martens (Baylor University): “Reexamining Augustine, Kierkegaard, and the Task of Ontologizing the Contradictory: Contesting the Radical Catholicity of Milbank and Pickstock.”

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Plenary Session: George Pattison (University of Glasgow). Connelly Cinema.

6:00 pm – 6:45 pm: Reception. Villanova Conference Center

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Dinner. Villanova Conference Center

Friday, October 28, 2016

8:00 am – 9:00 am: continental breakfast. Connelly.

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Plenary Session: “Kierkegaard and the Catholic Imagination”: Clare Carlisle (King’s College, London) and Eric Ziolkowski (Lafayette College). Connelly Cinema.

10:45 am – 12:15 pm: Panel Sessions.

Reading and Narrative. Bryn Mawr Room.

Gregory Beabout (St. Louis University): “Rhetoric, Narrative Reasoning, and the Art of Character: Augustine and Kierkegaard on Communication, Fallenness, and Grace.”

Asher Gelzer-Govatos (Washington University, St. Louis): “Toll-Free Lege: Augustinian and Kierkegaardian Voices in Muriel Spark's Memento Mori.”

Tom Millay (Baylor University): “You Must Change Your Life-Kierkegaard and Augustine on Reading.”

Kierkegaard and Catholicism. Devon Room.

Jacob Given (Villanova University): “Görres, Mysticism, and Kierkegaard’s Reception of Catholic Spirituality.”

Philip Gonzales (University of Dallas): “Kierkegaard, Augustine, and the Catholic Tradition.”

Carson Webb (Eureka College): “Kierkegaard and the Medieval Distinction of Powers.”

12:30 pm – 2:15 pm: Lunch and Plenary Session: Cyril O’Regan (University of Notre Dame). Radnor Room/St. David’s Room.

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Panel Sessions.

Education Panel. Bryn Mawr  Room.

Noel Adams (Marquette University): “Catholic Universities, Identity Issues, and the Challenges of Secularism:  Some Observations Informed by Kierkegaard’s Writings.”

Randall Colton (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary): “Reduplication, the Intellectual Virtues, and Communication: The Task of the Teacher in Kierkegaard and St. Thomas Aquinas.”

Christian and Jewish Encounters. Devon Room.

Elliot Ratzman (Temple University): “Anxious Abrahams: Jewish Encounters with Augustine and Kierkegaard.”

Helena Tomko (Villanova University): “The Blackbird and the Hunchback: The Necessity of Kierkegaard in Theodor Hacker’s Catholic Critique of National Socialism.”

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Summary Session: Jack Caputo (Syracuse University), George Pattison (University of Glasgow), Cyril O’Regan (University of Notre Dame). Connelly Cinema.

Rooms have been blocked at the following hotels
The Radnor Hotel


The Villanova Conference Center


Be sure to mention Kierkegaard & Augustine Conference/VCLE to get the discounted rate.

Kierkegaard, Augustine, and the Catholic Tradition

Villanova University

October 27-28, 2016

During the first half of the twentieth century, there were a number of efforts to put Søren Kierkegaard’s thinking in conversation with the Catholic tradition, from the Kulturkritik of Theodor Haecker to the metaphysical ruminations of Erich Przywara to the theological projects of figures such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, and Henri de Lubac. These endeavors, while seemingly forgotten in the latter half of the twentieth century, have served as both inspiration and provocation in recent years, as articles, panels, and monographs dedicated to “Kierkegaard and Catholicism” have seen a resurgence. This conference aims to promote this development by putting Kierkegaard in conversation with Augustine of Hippo, in addition to exploring points of agreement and disagreement between Kierkegaard and the Catholic tradition writ large.


The conference will be held on the campus of Villanova University, and it will feature papers on a range of issues related to its overarching theme. Such issues might include:


o   The importance of rhetoric in theological writing

o   Theological anthropology

o   The relationship between nature and grace

o   Biblical hermeneutics

o   Pedagogy, particularly in a Christian context

o   The spiritual life, with a focus on different historical “movements” (Neoplatonism, die Deutsche Mystik, Pietism, etc.) or “questions” (sainthood, mystical experience, apophaticism, etc.)

o   The relationship between philosophy and theology

o   Matters of church and state


Proposals on these or other related topics should be emailed to Christopher Barnett (Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and John Doody (Department of Philosophy, They should include a title and an abstract of roughly 500 words. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016.


In addition to the speakers selected from the Call for Papers, this conference will also include the following invitees:


o   Lee C. Barrett, Lancaster Theological Seminary

o   John D. Caputo, Syracuse University and Villanova University

o   Clare Carlisle, King’s College London

o   Vincent McCarthy, St. Joseph’s University

o   Cyril O’Regan, University of Notre Dame

o   George Pattison, University of Glasgow

Please register for the "Kierkegaard, Augustine, and the Catholic Tradition" conference here.  

Thank you.