In late September and early October 2015, Syndicate: A New Forum for Theology hosted a symposium that I edited on Thomas Pfau’s magisterial tome, Minding the Modern: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge. This is a magnificent exegesis of key thinkers from antiquity to the modern period on what it means for a person to think and act; indeed, thinking and reading are acting, according to Pfau, making this ‘phenomenology of reading’ a profoundly empowering book for those of us who read for a living.
My symposium introduction can be read here. We had six panelists:
- Silvianne Bürki, ‘The (Missing) Praxis of Radical Hermeneutics‘
- Eugene Webb, ‘Recovering Paths of Mystery‘
- Vivasvan Soni, ‘On Recovering Utopia‘
- Cyril O’Regan, ‘Critical Excavations of Genealogy‘
- Andrew Grosso, ‘Nominalism, Monotheism, and the Incarnation‘
- William Robert, ‘Concerning Method‘
I’m grateful as this symposium’s editor for Pfau’s close engagement with each of these essays, as well as these authors’ close reading of Pfau’s very deep book. The interaction in this forum speaks to each of these persons’ deep commitment to the real mission of the academy, the rigorous close reading and dialectical engagement for which Pfau calls in Minding the Modern.
I’m also grateful for Christian Amondson and his very able skills as the managing editor, freeing my hands to simply engage as the Theology and Social Theory section editor.