This is the podcast of a pub talk I gave at “Truth on Tap”, in the Broken Bay Diocese earlier in the year. You can listen to it at the XT3 website here: You can also download the podcast from the XT3 site.
The basic thrust of the talk is this: that faith is the result of an encounter with Christ the Beautiful One. Christians are fundamentally lovers of Beauty. It examines the difference between a theoretical or purely conceptual encounter with Christ, and the actual encounter with Christ. Christ is beautiful, even and especially as the Crucified. These topics are explored through the story of one young man’s encounter with Christ.
The talk draws upon the theological project of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Last night I gave a talk at the young adults event Theology at the Pub in Melbourne, which was more or less a repeat of a talk I had given in May at Guinness and God in Canberra. The talk was called ‘Faith in a Postmodern World: Insights from Benedict XVI’. The talk looks at modernity, Jean-Francois Lyotard’s critique of modernity’s concept of knowledge, and some of Benedict XVI’s seminal ideas about the narrative structure of faith, beauty and the encounter with the God of love.
I was trying to offer a logic for faith in a world that remains suspicious of claims to knowledge that lie beyond the scientific method.
My analysis of Lyotard owes a lot to James K. A. Smith’s clever book, Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism: Taking Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault to Church. Thanks to everyone who came out for the talks, and thanks especially to Daniel who allowed me to quote part of our email conversation about atheism in the talk. Here’s the video of the Canberra talk (with thanks to CatholicLIFE and ACU):