Anthony Godzieba, October 18th, 2017, "Who is the ‘Polis‘ addressed by Political Theology? Notes on a Conundrum“

On October 18th, 2017, Professor Godzieba held a lecture entitled “Who is the ‘Polis‘ addressed by Political Theology? Notes on a Conundrum“ at the University of Vienna. Anthony Godzieba is a Professor for Theology and Religious Science at the University of Villanova in Philadelphia (USA). Besides Fundamental Theology and Phenomenology he is also interested in corporeality and the relation between Theology and Aesthetics. In his lecture he outlined current developments in which the Christian succession and Political Theology are embedded and referred particularly to the dystopia triggered by permanent medial reachability. Even though it is mainly designed to connect people this phenomenon increases isolation and the indifference as to this isolation. Ultimately this leads to a “collapse” of time, “de-temporalisation”, “now-ism” and further to “social acceleration” (Hartmut Rosa).
Walter Benjamin's reflections and the reference to musical performances which are always characterized by temporal and spacial effects established the link between time and space in the lecture. This way Godzieba approached the embodiment and incarnation of participation which plays a powerful role. Thereby he underlined that “understanding” leads to “interpretation” and thus to “application” - an analogy that Anthony Godzieba applied to faith whilst stressing the importance of desire as the origin of the application. He then concluded that “time is greater than space”.

October 21st, 2017: Guest lecture "Presence and Absence of God" with Anthony Godzieba in Melk

On Saturday, the 21st of October, Anthony Godzieba, who is Professor for Fundamental Theology at the University of Villanova in Philadelphia (USA) held a lecture on the subject „Presence and Absence of God“ at Melk Abbey in the context of the seminar for graduate and doctoral students. At first he named the questions that commonly surge with regards to God (who/what/where is God?). He then developed his understanding of God according to which God is always caught in a dialectic between presence and absence, immanence and transcendence, where he is simultaneously knowable and unknowable. We only have access to God within the conditions of human experience and at the same time God himself is its condition, but he is discrete so as to allow us freedom. The question of the phenomenality of the Trinity was thus important for Godzieba. He also emphasised the importance of desire which allows us to go beyond the immediacy of the here and now in order to open ourselves up to the experience of God as a singular event. The latter bears fruit in the participation in God's Grace in discipleship which expresses itself in an action incarnated in time. The lecture formed a rich conclusion to the series of interesting and moving lectures that Godzieba held at the Institute for Fundamental Theology in the course of his stay in Vienna.