The 2015 Karl Barth Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary was a one of a kind experience for me. I got to immerse myself in theological lectures and conversations with people who know a lot more about theology than me. I made new friends and got to meet in real life several people who I had previously only connected with online. And I had an unexpected opportunity to talk one on one with Jürgen Moltmann when I came downstairs for a cup of coffee that Sunday morning (the day of his lecture). I reminded him about my letter to him last year concerning universalism and thanked him for his reply. He said that his lecture that night would be on the same sections of Church Dogmatics that he had told me to read. “Karl Barth didn’t know whether he was a universalist or not,” Moltmann said.
And universalism was certainly in the foreground of the lecture that night, even if Moltmann’s position on the topic was only made explicit during the Q&A. He began by exploring the problems created by the traditional Calvinist doctrine of election (Introduction), followed by how Barth’s christocentric reformulation of election overcomes the damaging dualism of Double Predestination (points one and two). But his most profound contribution was his “added chapter” to Barth’s doctrine of election, bringing it into conversation with liberation and political theologies (point three).
I’ve discovered three more Jürgen Moltmann lectures* that are available free via Princeton Theological Seminary. The first two are from the year Moltmann spent in America after the publication of Theology of Hope in English, and the other corresponds to the publication of The Crucified God. Enjoy!
Yesterday I shared some audio from Princeton Theological Seminary from when professor Moltmann delivered his historic Warfield lectures in 1979 on the Trinity. A few years earlier (1976), he delivered a different series of lectures at PTS on a variety of topics that are also available for free download. I’ve started listening to the audio from both collections – the quality is very good, and it has been a delight to hear for the first time a much younger Moltmann (easily 30 years younger than in any other lecture I’ve heard). I’m finding these to be unusually engaging for academic theology lectures. He is witty and even self depreciating at points, and (judging from the laughter) he clearly had the audience on the edge of their seats despite his German English.
Mark your calendars, Moltmanniacs! Jürgen Moltmann is scheduled to speak at the Karl Barth Conference, June 21-24 2015, over at Princeton Theological Seminary. Registration is now open at an Early Bird Rate of $170 (through March 1).
I would love to hear from you if you are a fellow Moltmanniac and plan to come to this event! Drop me a comment below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. I hope to be there for this and would love to connect.