From January 7-9 in 2008 King's College in the University of Aberdeen will host a conference on the Career and Prospects of Providence in Modern Theology.
This conference aims to break fresh ground in the analysis of divine providence by exploring a range of current proposals concerning its form, significance and viability within contemporary thought.
The character and interrelation of divine and human agency lies at the contested heart of modern theology. Since the Enlightenment, the classical doctrine of providence has been aggressively criticised within both theology and philosophy. Following on the cross-fertilization of early-modern eschatologies and the doctrine of providence, the idea of providence did not so much go into decline as migrate into secularized forms. In light of the divergence of such humanistic approaches from classical theological conceptions of providence, contemporary restatements of the idea require careful consideration: what exactly is to be recovered? A metaphysical account of the doctrine grounded in divine omnipotence? A thoroughly historicized notion of providence? Or, perhaps something altogether different?
The list of speakers promises a feast of theological inquiry and reflection:
David Bentley Hart
Nicholas J. Healy
Or have a look at the conference papers to whet your appetites. This should make the trip to the far North in unpleasant January worthwile, I suspect. T&T Clark will be publishing the conference volume under the title The Providence of God in 2009 (deo volente!). Keep looking out for it!