♦ Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar: A Neo-Aristotelian Mereology (New York: Routledge, 2018)
Book Synopsis: The central aims of Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar are to (a) examine and defend a classical, Aristotelian account of the nature of substance against mechanistic-reductionistic alternatives, and (b) to explore the implications of these metaphysical views for the nature of human persons and agency.
PUBLISHED ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS
♦ “Divine Omnipresence and Immensity”, Forthcoming in T&T Clark Companion to Analytic Theology, edited by James Arcadi and James T. Turner.
♦ “Theology in the Second Person: Christian Dogmatics as a Mode of Prayer” Forthcoming in Reaching for God: New Theological Essays on Prayer (Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology), ed. by Oliver D. Crisp, James M. Arcadi, and Jordan Wessling
My aim in this paper is to explore the irreducibly second-personal dimension of theological inquiry. In the first (and longest) section I aim to sketch a component of a larger ontology of Holy Scripture, one that I argue is indicative of a second-person dimension to Holy Scripture, namely Scripture as divine speech or address. And if Holy Scripture as the principal ground of dogmatics is irreducibly second-personal at some level, then arguably the dogmatic task ought to be carried out in the manner of interpersonal relatedness to God, what I call “prayerful dogmatics”. In section 2 I highlight some historical reflections from the work of Karl Barth on the inseparability of dogmatics and prayer. And I conclude in section 3 by exploring how the notion of prayerful dogmatics can serve as a guardrail that keeps the theological life properly theological and thereby formational (2 Cor. 3:18).
♦ “On Christian Theism and Unrestricted Composition” (co-authored with Alexander Pruss), Forthcoming in American Philosophical Quarterly
♦ “Beholding the Face of the Hidden God: Assessing the Argument from Divine Hiddenness for Atheism”, Southwestern Journal of Theology (2018) 60:2
♦ “Against Constitutionalism” in The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan Loose, Angus Menuge, and J.P. Moreland.
♦ “Omnipresence and the Location of the Immaterial“, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Volume 8 (Awarded the 2014 Sanders Prize in Philosophy of Religion)
I first offer a broad taxonomy of models of divine omnipresence in the Christian tradition, both past and present. I then examine the recent model proposed by Hud Hudson (2009, 2014) and Alexander Pruss (2013)—ubiquitous entension—and flag a worry with their account that stems from predominant analyses of the concept of ‘material object’. I then attempt to show that ubiquitous entension has a rich Latin medieval precedent in the work of Augustine and Anselm. I argue that the model of omnipresence explicated by Augustine and Anselm has the resources to avoid the noted worry by offering an alternative account of the divide between the immaterial and the material. I conclude by considering a few alternative analyses of ‘material object’ that make conceptual room for a contemporary Christian theist to follow suite in thinking that at least some immaterial entities are literally spatially located when relating to the denizens of spacetime.
♦”Epistemic Temperance and the Moral Perils of Intellectual Inquiry“, Philosophia Christi (2015) 17:2
An oft-repeated dictum in contemporary epistemology is that the epistemic goal minimally includes the acquisition of true beliefs and the avoidance of false beliefs. There is, however, a robust epistemological tradition in the Christian West that distinguishes between a virtuous and a vicious desire for and pursuit of cognitive contact with reality. The cognitive ideal for humans consists (in part) in epistemic temperance, an appetite for and pursuit of truth that is conducted in appropriate measure, and calibrated to appropriate objects and ends. Here I explore this rich Christian tradition with an eye toward its application to contemporary Christian philosophy.
♦ “Neo-Aristotelian Plenitude“, Philosophical Studies (2014) 168: 583-597
♦ “De Re Essentialism, Species, and Modal Ambiguity”, Metaphysica (2014), 15: 43-46
♦ “Essential Dependence, Truthmaking, and Mereology”, In Metaphysics: Aristotelian, Scholastic, Analytic, Novak, Novotny, Sousedik, Svoboda (eds.), Ontos Verlag, 2012.
♦ “Gratuitous Evil Unmotivated“, Philosophia Christi (2013) 15:2, 435-447
In his article “The Existence and Irrelevance of Gratuitous Evil,” Kirk R. MacGregor has argued that the Christian theist need not demur at the existence of gratuitous evil. In fact, we are told that Christian theists have ample philosophical, theological, and biblical evidence in favor of the existence of gratuitous evil. In this brief note I examine both the general structure of his argument as well as several of his more central arguments in favor of gratuitous evil and the compatibility of such evil with Christian theism.
♦ “Why So Serious? Non-Serious Presentism and Cross-Temporal Relations” Metaphysica (2012) 13: 55-63
Work in Progress
“Anselm on Creation as Divine Similitude and the Aesthetic Perception of God”
In this paper I aim to explore Anselm of Canterbury’s Christo-centric ontology of creation, in particular, his account of creaturely reality as a similitude or likeness to the divine Word, the second person of the Trinity. In section 1, I unpack the main tenets of Anselm’s ontology of creation and divine exemplarism. In section 2, I aim to highlight a tension in Anselm’s ontology of creation, what I call the paradox of similitude, as well as Anselm’s stated response to the paradox. I conclude the talk in section 3 by exploring the relationship between Anselm’s ontology of creation and remarks he makes (in Pros. 17) concerning the possibility of rational creatures perceiving the aesthetic excellence of God in creation.
Recent or Forthcoming Book Reviews
- Thomas McCall, An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology, The Journal of Analytic Theology, Vol. 5, 2017
- Thomas McCall, An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology, In the Southwestern Journal of Theology, 2017
- Timothy Pawl, In Defense of Conciliar Christology, In the Southwestern Journal of Theology
- Katherine Rogers, Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism, In the Southwestern Journal of Theology
- Robert Koons and Timothy Pickavance, The Atlas of Reality, In the Southwestern Journal of Theology
- Alexander Pruss and Joshua Rasmussen, Necessary Existence, In the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies
Recorded Academic Presentations
“Prayerful Dogmatics”, Given at Fuller Theological Seminary for the Analytic Theology for Theological Formation Project (Directed by Oliver Crisp)