Dr. Christopher Watkins with Journey in Times Square. Photo illustration: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

From Tony Carnes:

Hi Journeyers,

This morning, I received the enthusiastic greeting of William Edgar, the author of A Supreme Love: The Music of Jazz and the Hope of the Gospel. He wrote, “Christopher Watkin is a marvelous rising star! And the biography of Tim Keller is a masterpiece. Keep these coming!” I hope you will feel the same way after tonight.

It was a lot of fun to see Professor Watkin interact with his students here in New York City (see photo on left) and to interview him. His book is long for sure, but it is a clear, sparkling read.

This morning, we visited with one of our Journey Zoom TV guests, Richard Villodas, and heard musician Dantrell Conton sing “Tune my Heart, my soul finds stillness in You,” which we featured on Journey on December 31, 2022. Very thoughtful and beautiful.

Look forward to hearing from you, and best,


Dr. Christopher Watkin is visiting professor at Reformed Theological Seminary of New York City and a senior lecturer in French studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture. He holds B.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Cambridge University.

“At its broadest, my research seeks to make sense of how people make sense of the world, and how they interact with ideas and positions different from their own. In my first book Phenomenology or Deconstruction? (2009) I explored the complex relationship between two major philosophical tendencies in the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul Ricoeur, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Difficult Atheism (2011) then examined how three contemporary thinkers—Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Quentin Meillassoux—make sense of the world without the gods of metaphysics, poetry, and religion, and how their three positions critique and refine each other. In French Philosophy Today: New Figures of the Human in Badiou, Meillassoux, Malabou, Serres, and Latour I shifted the focus from God to humanity, arguing that very different contemporary thinkers each rely on a ‘host’ to make sense of the human, whether it be a capacity, substance or narrative. My latest book, Michel Serres: Figures of Thought (forthcoming) continues my investigation into different ways of making sense of the world by presenting the first systematic treatment in English of a key twentieth and twenty-first-century philosopher whose genuinely cross-disciplinary work finds complex ‘North-West passages’ between the sciences, humanities, and arts.

Current project: The modern emancipation narrative.

I am currently exploring the different ways in which the modern West has made sense of the ideas of emancipation and liberation, drawing on both religious and secular models in its development of what has been called the modern ‘emancipation narrative’. The idea of a progressive liberation from the oppressions of previous ages is fundamental to modern Western identity, but unprecedented ecological and social challenges threaten this idea today. The project will produce a new account of the development and prospects of the modern Western concept of liberation, tracing how key cultural liberation stories, both religious and secular, shape collective experiences and hopes of freedom. It aims to develop a new theory of how ideals of liberation change over time, and to evaluate current challenges to the expectation that freedoms can or should progressively increase.”

Source link