Northwestern Events Calendar


"Theology and the End of Doctrine"

When: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Harris Hall, 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Graduate Students

Contact: Rossitza Guenkova-Fernandez   847.491.3611

Group: Religious Studies Department

Category: Academic


Interdisciplinary Conversations: Religion Meets ReligiousStudies@Northwestern:
"Theology and the End of Doctrine"

A book panel presented by Christine Helmer, Professor of Religious Studies and German (Northwestern University) and moderated by Robert A. Orsi, Professor of Religous Studies and History (Northwestern University)

Sylvester Johnson, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies (Norhwestern University)
Stephen Ray, Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Systematic Theology (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)
Gary Saul Morson, Frances Hooper Professor of the Arts and Humanities (Northwestern University)

About the Book:
This book is about the crisis brought about by doctrine's estrangement from reality--that is from actual lives, experiences, histories, and from God. By invoking "the end of doctrine," Christine Helmer opens a new discussion of doctrinal production that is engaged with the challenges and possibilities of modernity. The end of doctrine refers on the one hand to unquestioning doctrinal reception, which Helmer critiques, and on the other, represents an invitation to a new way of understanding the aim of doctrine in deeper connection to the reality that it seeks.

The book's first section offers an analysis of the current situation in theology by reconstructing a trajectory of Protestant theology from the turn of the twentieth century to today. This history focuses primarily on the status of the word in theology and explains how changes in theology in the context of the political and social crisis in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s led to a distancing of the word from reality. Helmer then turns to the constructive section of the book to propose a repositioning of theology to the world and to God. Helmer's powerful work will inspire revitalized interest in both doctrine and theological inquiry itself.

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