WEBINAR: Apocalypticism in Times of Crisis

May 19, 2020
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Bernard McGinnUniversity of Chicago

Willemien OttenUniversity of Chicago Divinity School

Cosponsored by America Media, the Saint Benedict Institute, the Nova Forum, the Collegium Institute, the Beatrice Institute, the Institute for Faith and Culture, the Harvard Catholic Center, Saint Paul's University Catholic Center, and the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Plague, political turmoil, famine—throughout Christian history, local catastrophes spurred on a sense of cosmic crisis, judgement, and prophetic fulfillment. What role has this apocalyptic imagination played for Christian communities? How does it continue to shape Christian responses to today's global pandemic? Join for a conversation with scholars of medieval Christianity Bernard McGinn and Willemien Otten on Apocalypticism in Times of Crisis.


Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies at the University of Chicago. He has written extensively about the history of apocalyptic thought, spirituality, and mysticism. McGinn's many books include Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with EvilThe Presence of Goda multivolume history of Western Christian mysticism, and most recently Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography.

Willemien Otten is Professor of Theology and the History of Christianity; also in the College; Associate Faculty in the Department of History, Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. She holds an M.A. and PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Otten studies the history of Christianity and Christian thought with a focus on the Western medieval and the early Christian intellectual tradition, including the continuity of Platonic themes. She is coeditor of Eriugena and Creation (2014), On Religion and Memory (2013), and the Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine (430–2000) (2013). Her most recent book is Thinking Nature and the Nature of Thinking: From Eriugena to Emerson (2020).