David Bentley Hart offers an intense and thorough reflection upon the issue of the supernatural in Christian theology and doctrine.
In recent years, the theological—and, more specifically, Roman Catholic—question of the supernatural has made an astonishing return from seeming oblivion. David Bentley Hart’s You Are Gods presents a series of meditations on the vexed theological question of the relation of nature and supernature. In its merely controversial aspect, the book is intended most directly as a rejection of a certain Thomistic construal of that relation, as well as an argument in favor of a model of nature and supernature at once more Eastern and patristic, and also more in keeping with the healthier currents of mediaeval and modern Catholic thought. In its more constructive and confessedly radical aspects, the book makes a vigorous case for the all-but-complete eradication of every qualitative, ontological, or logical distinction between the natural and the supernatural in the life of spiritual creatures. It advances a radically monistic vision of Christian metaphysics but does so wholly on the basis of credal orthodoxy.
Hart, one of the most widely read theologians in America today, presents a bold gesture of resistance to the recent revival of what used to be called “two-tier Thomism,” especially in the Anglophone theological world. In this astute exercise in classical Christian orthodoxy, Hart takes the metaphysics of participation, high Trinitarianism, Christology, and the soteriological language of theosis to their inevitable logical conclusions. You Are Gods will provoke many readers interested in theological metaphysics. The book also offers a vision of Christian thought that draws on traditions (such as Vedanta) from which Christian philosophers and theologians, biblical scholars, and religious studies scholars still have a great deal to learn.
1. Waking the Gods: Theosis as Reason’s Natural End
2. The Treasure of Delight: Nicholas of Cusa on Infinite Desire
3. That Judgment Whereby You Judge: Beauty and Discernment
4. Pia Fraus: Our Words and God’s Truth
5. Geist’s Kaleidoscope: Some Questions for Cyril O’Regan
6. The Chiasmus: The Created Supernatural and the Natural Divine
David Bentley Hart is a writer, religious studies scholar, philosopher, and cultural commentator. He is the author and translator of twenty-three books, including the award-winning You Are Gods.
“David Bentley Hart’s You Are Gods is simply brilliant. The book is a wonderful example of Hart’s incomparable skill as an essayist, delightful writer, and profound thinker, both philosophically and theologically.” —John Behr, author of John the Theologian and His Paschal Gospel
“These outstanding essays are all absolutely first-rate and crucial for current theological discussions and the emergent, most creative directions. Hart successfully shows that the manualist revival is a pathology irrelevant to those directions.”—John Milbank, author of The Suspended Middle
"You Are Gods is a challenging but rewarding theological text whose contents are confessedly radical, and whose end point is to advance the idea that nature and supernature are, in reality, one." —Foreword Reviews
"The debate over whether it is grace or nature that directs human beings towards the beatific vision was one of the most contentious intra-Catholic theological disputes of the twentieth century. David Bentley Hart’s You Are Gods: On Nature and Supernature shows that the debate is alive and by no means merely academic and inconsequential—pantheism, tradition, orthodoxy, and heterodoxy are all very much at stake in the argument." —Public Discourse
"As you might expect, if you have read even a single paragraph of Hart’s previous writing, the essays in this collection are erudite and trenchant, and full of surprises." —Church Times
"[R]eaders would do well not to cheapen Hart’s work by allowing his verbal enthusiasms to be nothing more than an exciting (or aggravating) thrill ride. Instead, there’s probably something for most readers to gain by slowing down and trying to grok the basic judgment holding the whole thing up: All created realities, but especially spiritual realities, have their being and meaning in radical and total dependent relationship to God. This, for Hart, is the necessary shape of our contingence." —The Living Church
"You Are Gods has much to recommend it. The author is highly effective in his attack on two-tier Thomism, and his argument that the Gospels are shot through with non-dualist imagery is sound. . . . David Bentley Hart brings to this elegantly written book his customary verve, theological acumen and ability to communicate difficult ideas." —The Way
"Another masterful essay by an essential Christian thinker." —Mayéutica
"Hart’s prose is flowing, profound and often entertaining... This book will not only be of considerable interest to his followers and to students of deification, but will also be of significance for those who are intrigued to see how the classical tradition can be interpreted in such a way as to eliminate divine aloofness and detachment." —Modern Believing
"Eastern Orthodox theologian and author Hart presents metaphysical meditations on his idea that nature and the supernatural are a unified whole." —Publishers Weekly
"One is invited to reflect upon the metaphysical implications of revelation which hearken to the deepest secret of our created and uncreated existence… Taken as a whole, You Are Gods is by turns bold, incisive, exasperating, ultimately a penetrating exposition of the manner in which the primal root of nature, time, and grace is the eschaton that alone bestows meaning and coherence to dynamisms of heart and mind summoned from the nothing as agapeic gift." —Eclectic Orthodoxy
"In its more constructive and confessedly radical aspects, the book makes a vigorous case for the all-but-complete eradication of every qualitative, ontological, or logical distinction between the natural and the supernatural in the life of spiritual creatures. It advances a radically monistic vision of Christian metaphysics but does so wholly on the basis of credal orthodoxy." —Englewood Review of Books
"You are Gods is a work that would be of great interest to the student of theology, and it is also one that opens up a number of important debates which are worth having, and it already appears to have stirred up the Thomist circles which Hart scrutinises." —VoegelinView
"To say that David Bentley Hart possesses brilliant theological insight is a truism newly confirmed in this beautifully written collection of essays themed around the topic of nature and supernature. The book is an engaging read that should not be missed by anyone interested in contemporary theologies of grace."—The Heythrop Journal
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award: Religion, Gold Medal