Yale Hosts Conference on Medieval Perspectives on the Incarnation of Christ

Yale University will hold an international colloquium titled “Medieval Perspectives on the Incarnation,” Nov. 5-6.

In conjunction with the colloquium, art curator Joanna Weber will lead a tour of Early Italian Art (12th-14th centuries) in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., on Thursday at 2 p.m.

The opening session of “Medieval Perspectives on the Incarnation” will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St. The session will be chaired by Nicholas Wolterstorff, professor of philosophical theology at the Yale Divinity School (YDS). Jaime Lara, assistant professor of Christian art and architecture at YDS, will give a slide lecture on “Building the Incarnation: Christ’s Anatomy in Architecture and Beyond.”

Stephen F. Brown will deliver the keynote address, “The Unity of Christ according to Henry of Ghent, Godfrey of Fontaines and Giles of Rome.”

Brown received his Ph.L and Ph.D. degrees from the Universite de Louvain, Belgium and his B.A. from St. Bonaventure University. He has been the editor and co-editor of six volumes of “Opera Omnia” of William of Ockham and has written numerous articles on Ockham’s sources and critics, on analogy and “univocity” and on the nature of theology in the Middle Ages. He is currently the director of the Institute of Medieval Philosophy and Theology and professor of theology at Boston College.

The Friday sessions will be held in the RSV Room of the Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St. Speakers will include Marilyn Adams, Walter Cahn, Peter Hawkins, Rega Wood and Thomas McKenna from Yale; and John Inglis (University of Dayton), R. James Long (Fairfield University) and Edith Sylla (North Carolina State University).

Understanding the incarnation of God in the man and Messiah Jesus is a central challenge for Christian theology and philosophy. The High Middle Ages built the world’s greatest cathedrals and pioneered systematic theology, including a philosophically rigorous elucidation of the belief in divine incarnation.

“Medieval Perspectives on the Incarnation” will focus on the subject of incarnation in art and theology. The conference will consider depictions of Christ’s anatomy in architecture and the rendering of speech in visual representations of the Annunciation. It will also examine the work of some of the world’s greatest theologians: Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Grosseteste and Duns Scotus. The talks will look at questions posed by medieval theologians about Christ’s human nature, his sensual desires, spiritual union in the body of Christ and the inevitability of the incarnation.

This interdisciplinary colloquium is sponsored by the departments of Medieval Studies and Religious Studies and the Yale Divinity School. Conference organizer is Rega Wood, adjunct professor at YDS and senior research scholar in the philosophy department. She is also general editor of the works of Richard Rufus of Cornwall.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325