New Publications in AUC Theologica
Three cTPM members have recently published their articles in a theological journal Acta Universitatis Carolinae Theologica. Tim Noble and Ivana Noble focus on the theme of hospitality with regard to Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Gábor Ambrus suggests a possible approach to the topic of media from theological perspective. Dealing with the work of C. S. Lewis, Barbora Šmejdová examines the theme of pleasure, joy and desire in the context of fundamental theology.
Tim Noble and Ivana Noble: “Hospitality as a Key to the Relationship with the Other in Levinas and Derrida”
This article looks at the theme of hospitality with a focus on the work of two twentieth-century French philosophers, Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. It begins with a presentation of some of Levinas’ Jewish writings relevant to the theme. These writings display Levinas’ understanding of the nature of freedom in regard to the other, who holds me hostage. Yet, the article argues, this leaves Levinas still to some extent bound by the I, even the I as hostage. The dilemma is further investigated with reference to Jacques Derrida, starting with his own reflections on Levinas. The article then outlines Derrida’s own ideas on hospitality, asking how to reconcile the impossible demands of pure hospitality with the conditional forms it takes in our societies. The conclusion asks what the two writers have to say to European societies in their current encounters with refugees and migrants.
A proper theological perspective on technical media is not possible without a thorough consideration of the role of language in Christianity. Christian theology can gain this perspective in view of the fact that the sphere of language and that of technical media have a large cultural space in common and that language occupies a central position in the theological tradition. A representative example of the theology of language is the Gospel of John, which portrays Jesus Christ as the eternal Word of God who was sent into the world to proclaim God’s incarnate words. The “Word-in-flesh”, that is, in the flesh of human language, is fully normative to the “Word-in-the-beginning”. The term “flesh” may be normative in the full scale of its relevant application, as it may denote and cover all kinds of technical media such as the human body, the printed book and the digital computer. As possible carriers of the incarnate words of the Word, these material media may, to some extent, share the glory of the risen Christ. A theory of God’s Medium and media, as inspired by the Gospel of John, is necessarily at variance with secular media theory.
The aim of the article is to focus on the term “argument from desire”, which is often used by the scholars dealing with C. S. Lewis’s work, in order to answer the question if the term truly reflects the original thinking of the author. The first section briefly introduces the discussion of this topic in Czech and international titles. After that, we are going to describe the theme of joy as related to Lewis’ notion of the word. The next section gives reasons why we think that the term “argument from desire” does not aptly illustrate the way the theme of desire and Joy is presented in Lewis’ work. Finally, the article discusses these topics from the perspective of fundamental theology and shows that joy and desire should be rather seen as a part of Lewis’ personal testimony, which complements his rational arguments.