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Theology Professor Thomas Carlson to Give Public Talk at W&L

Thomas Carlson, religion professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will give a public lecture on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m. in Leyburn Library’s Northen Auditorium.

Carlson’s talk is free and open to the public. The title is “Love as Fundamental Mood of Philosophy: On Heidegger’s Inheritance of Saint Augustine.” The lecture is sponsored by the Howerton Fund.

“My talk explores both the understanding of human love and temporal experience that Saint Augustine develops in his ‘Confessions’ (especially Book XI) and the role that this Augustinian approach to love’s temporality may have played in shaping Martin Heidegger’s influential philosophical project in the 20th century,” said Carlson.

“Also, thanks to the 2012 publication of notes and transcripts from Heidegger’s 1930-31 seminar on the question of time in Augustine, we can now see more fully–and contrary to common criticisms of Heidegger–that love was for Heidegger a ‘fundamental mood’ of philosophical questioning. This point where Heidegger inherits Augustine most deeply, the talk argues, is also a point at which Heidegger departs from Augustine most sharply–by demanding we accept, as Augustine could not, the mortal condition of love’s temporality.”

Carlson is the author of “Indiscretion: Finitude and the Naming of God,” with another forthcoming. He has authored or edited over 20 articles and contributions to books. He also has written 10 reviews and review essays and has translated seven articles or books.

His areas of research and teaching include modern and postmodern philosophy; the history of Christian thought; religion and theory; and religion and contemporary culture.

Carlson belongs to the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and the Society for Theology and Continental Philosophy.

He received his B.A. in religion from Williams College and his A.M. in religion and Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago.