A Conference in Celebration of Professor Janet Soskice's Work
1 December 2017
David Bentley Hart
(Remotely via Skype)
(Remotely via Skype)
|9:00-9:30||Early Bird Tea & Coffee|
|10:00-11:15||“Naming Kindness: Creation, Language, and the Theology of Janet Soskice”||Vittorio Montemaggi|
|11:30-12:45||“Literary & Liturgical Language”||Maggi Dawn|
|13:00-14:00||Lunch (at Divinity Faculty, outside Runcie Room)|
|14:00-16:00||Panel: “Constellations of Being: On Creation Ex Nihilo”||Ruth Jackson, David Burrell (via Skype), Giles Waller & Andreas Nordlander|
|16:30-17:30||“The Legacy of Janet Soskice & the Future of Theology”||David Ford|
|17:30-18:00||Reflection and Close||David Bentley Hart (via Skype) & Karen Kilby|
|19:00||Celebratory Dinner (optional – additional fee)|
Bringing together a host of scholars from Yale, Notre Dame and the University of Cambridge, the conference maps Janet Soskice’s key contributions by focussing on the form and content of theological and liturgical writing, the symbolics of gender, the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, the avant-garde in Janet’s theology and a final flourish on the future of a Soskician theology of naming God.
Since the very beginning of Janet’s career, questions relating to linguistics and religious language use, have occupied her thoughts. Her very first book, Metaphor and Religious Language (1984) came to interrogate the potentialities of reading philosophies of language in conversation with the early church fathers. With the established thesis that religious language use is permeated with metaphors and strategies of naming the ineffable, Janet responded to feminist concerns of gendered language use in the Bible and the problems of androcentric theologies in her contributions to Swallowing a Fishbone? Feminist Theologians Debate Christianity (1996), Feminism and Theology (2003) and, particularly, her book The Kindness of God (2007). Finding fecund theological avenues for philosophical and theological engagement in the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, Janet further continued to publish widely on the metaphysics of Scripture and the prevalence of the doctrine of creation out of nothing in the Abrahamic religions in the co-edited book Creation and the God of Abraham (2010) and co-edited special edition journal ‘Creation ‘Ex Nihilo’ and Modern Theology’ (2013). Janet’s current research continues her lifetimes work by probing further into the linguistic terms by which the ineffable is named.
The day boasts an impressive array of speakers who have each in their respective ways been influenced and impacted by Janet’s thought. Celebrating, Janet’s legacy and the future of her theology, the conference will open a Soskician theology to a wider audience by presenting it in terms of a unified theological corpus.