Professor Johannes Hoff

Johannes Hoff (* in Trier) is a German Christian philosopher, theologian and university professor.

He completed his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Tübingen in 2006 and is currently Senior Research Associate at the van Hügel Institute of the University of Cambridge (UK) and Honorary Professor at the Department of Theology and Religion of Durham University.[1] Until 2018 he has been Professor of Philosophical Theology at Heythrop College (University of London).[2] Previously he has been teaching at St David’s College in Wales and at the University of Tübingen.

His research builds on the performative turn of the phenomenological tradition[3] and the emergence of a ‘natural realism’ in the post-analytic tradition of Anglophone philosophy and theology.[4] Hoff interprets the loss of orientation in today's late modern societies as the symptom of a spiritual crisis that can be traced back to the technological and artistic revolutions of the Renaissance and late medieval Scholasticism. His arguments extend the genealogical hermeneutics of Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, Henri de Lubac,[5] John Milbank[6] and Charles Taylor[7]. The aim of his work is to retrieve the unity of spiritual practice, science and culture found in philosophers of the premodern and particularly the Dominican tradition (e.g. in Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart).

In line with this aim, he argues in his most recent publications that we need to develop a ‘post-digital rationality’ that is consistent with the spiritual and virtue ethical cultivation of our intuitive intelligence, and governed by our natural desire for the true, the beautiful and the good.[8][9] The IT technologies of our present time are more than mere tools; they have a magic life on their own. According to Hoff, this requires us to recover our ability to distinguish between malevolent objects, that are designed to engender idolatrous attachments, and benevolent objects, that support our desire to transform our life to the better. In the wake of the confessionalization of religions in the post-Reformation era we have, according to Hoff, unlearnt the art of discernment.[10] Yet, the modern conviction that we are ‘autonomous subjects’ disguised that fact that our life has become increasingly governed by bureaucratic strategies of surveillance and control. According to Hoff, the digitisation of these strategies reveals their true character: The ‘disenchantment’ of the Enlightenment tradition has turned into a kind of ‘bad magic’ that needs to be counterbalanced by a sacramental re-enchantment. Since we had stopped inhabiting a 'disenchanted' world, we would need to rethink the old tradition of the Discernment of Spirits: "Our smartphones have a 'magic life' of their own – be it that they afford a life that we appreciate, or that they nudge us into a life that we abhor. This challenge requires us to recover our ability to distinguish between idolatrous attachments and the prudent use of 'magic objects' that is consistent with our natural desire to transform our life for the better."[11]

Johannes Hoff's earliest publication build on the philosophies of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault (Spiritualität und Sprachverlust, 1999) as well as on the Renaissance philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa (Kontingenz, Berührung, Überschreitung, 2007). This stream of his research culminated in his book "The Analogical Turn: Rethinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa" (2013), which was publicly discussed in 2016 in an Online Symposium of the Syndicate Network [12]

Related to this research are his publications on the concept of performativity in Augustine[13], Dante[14], the Renaissance [15], Romanticism[16] and modern avant-garde art[17], and his collaboration with leading representatives of contemporary art, such as Christoph Schlingensief.[18] In accordance with the above spiritual tradition, Hoff rejects in these writings the modern 'myth of the given' and argues that the truth has always the character of a 'truth event'. While it could never be secured, it could always only be gradually actualized whilst we are speaking and acting.

Selected publicationsEdit

BooksEdit

  • The Analogical Turn. Re-thinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa. Series ‘Interventions’. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids 2013 (Online).
  • Kontingenz, Berührung, Überschreitung. Zur philosophischen Propädeutik christlicher Mystik nach Nikolaus von Kues Alber: Freiburg/Br. 2007 (Contingency, Tangency, Transgression. A Philosophical Propaedeutics of Christian Mysticism subsequent to Nicholas of Cusa) (Full Text Online)
  • Spiritualität und Sprachverlust. Theologie nach Foucault und Derrida Paderborn, München, Zürich: Schöningh 1999 (Spirituality and the Loss of Language. Theology after Foucault and Derrida) (Full Text Online).

ArticlesEdit

  • The Eclipse of Sacramental Realism in the Age of Reform. Re-thinking Luther's Gutenberg Galaxy in a Post-Digital Age. In: New Blackfriars (2018), pp. 248–270 (Online).
  • Iconicity and the Anamorphosis of Social Space. Retrieving Nicholas of Cusa's Political Pneumatology. In: Dürr, Walter; Vergauwen, Guido; et al. (Ed.), Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Theologische Beiträge zur Sendung des Geistes.Contributions Contributions to the Mission of the Spirit (Münster: Aschendorff 2018) (Online).
  • Die Rückkehr zur Realität: Freundschaft, Politik und Spiritualität in einem post-faktischen Zeitalter. In: Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 46/3 (2017), 299-312 (Returning to Reality: Friendship, Politics and Spirituality in the 'post-truth era') (Online).
  • Diesseits von Theismus und Pan(en)theismus: Orthodoxie in einer Post-digitalen Welt. In: Nitsche, Bernhard; Stosch, Klaus von, Tatari, Muna (Ed.): Gott – Jenseits von Monismus und Theismus? (Paderborn: Schöningh 2016) (Re-thinking the False Dualism between Theism and Pantheism: Orthodoxy in a Post-digital Age), 291-309 (Online).
  • Liturgical Turn: Gottesrede in einer post-digitalen Welt. In: Viertbauer, Klaus; Schmidinger, Klaus (Ed.): Glauben denken. Zur philosophischen Durchdringung der Gottrede im 21. Jahrhundert, WBG: Darmstadt 2016, 61–81 (Online).
  • Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Dante's Comedy and the Forgotten Truth of Apocalyptic Dreamworlds. In: Mara Ambrožič, Simon Njami (Ed.), The Di-vine Comedy Revisited by Contemporary African Artists (Berlin: Kerber Verlag 2014), 66-81 (Online).
  • Bürger, Künstler, Exorzisten. Wissenschaft, Kunst und Kult in den Spuren Hugo Balls, In: Kultur & Gespenster 13 (2012), 33–62 (Online)
  • Life in Abundance. Schlingensief's Deconstruction of (Post-)Modernism. In: Susanne Gaensheimer (Ed.), German Pavilion, 2011. 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale Di Venezia. Venice: Sternberg Press 2011, pp.215-225 (Online)
  • Self-Revelation as Hermeneutic Principle? The Rise and the Fall of the Kantian Paradigm of Modern Theology. In: Conor Cunningham; Peter M. Candler (Ed.), The Grandeur of Reason: Religion, Tradition and Universalism, London: SCM 2010 (Online).
  • Der Heilige Augustinus. Über die Erfindung des abendländischen Christentums in Afrika. In: DIE ZEIT Nr. 53 (‚Schlingensiefs Feuilleton’), 22/12/2009, 30–32
  • Hampson, P. J.; Hoff, J., "Whose self? Which unification? Augustine's anthropology and the psychology-theology debate." In: New Blackfriars (2010) (Abstract)
  • "German Theology in Contemporary Society." In: Modern Believing (Special Issue, ed. by Johannes Hoff) 50/1 (2009), 2-12 (Online).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Professor Johannes Hoff — Von Hügel Institute. Abgerufen am 23. Dezember 2019 (englisch)
  2. ^ Heythrop – Prof Johannes Hoff. Abgerufen am 23. Dezember 2019
  3. ^ Spiritualität und Sprachverlust. Theologie nach Foucault und Derrida, Schöningh: Paderborn, München, Zürich 1999; Kontingenz, Berührung, Überschreitung. Zur philosophischen Propädeutik christlicher Mystik nach Nikolaus von Kues, Alber: Freiburg/Br. 2007, 11-27.
  4. ^ Liturgical Turn: Gottesrede in einer post-digitalen Welt. In: Viertbauer, Klaus; Schmidinger, Klaus (Ed.): Glauben denken. Zur philosophischen Durchdringung der Gottrede im 21. Jahrhundert, WBG: Darmstadt 2016, 61-81, 61-66;Johannes Hoff: The Analogical Turn. Responses to John Betz, Michael E. Moore, Matthew Moser, and Daniel O’Connell. Virtual Symposium on „The Analogical Turn“ in the „Syndicate Theology“ from the 27th of April to the 11th of Mai 2015 (https://syndicate.network/symposia/theology/the-analogical-turn/), 51-59.
  5. ^ Mystagogische Zugänge zur Kirche als Leib Christi. Certeaus taktische Re-lektüre von Corpus Mysticum und das Vermächtnis Henri de Lubacs. In: Bauer, Christian; Sorace, Marco A. (Ed.), Gott, anderswo? Theologie im Gespräch mit Michel de Certeau (Mainz: Matthias Grünewald 2019), 249-286.
  6. ^ 23. Review-Essay: Beyond the Secular Order: The Representation of Being and the Representation of the People by John Milbank. In: Modern Theology (2016), 679-683
  7. ^ 28. Hampson, P.; Hoff, J., Nicholas of Cusa: A Pre-modern Post-modern reader of Shakespeare. In: Hampson, Peter; Lehmann Infeld, Zoe; Milbank, Alison (Ed.), Theology and Literature in Post-modernity (T&T Clark: London - New York, 2015), 115-137, 115-121
  8. ^ Johannes Hoff: Liturgical Turn: Gottesrede in einer post-digitalen Welt. In: Viertbauer, Klaus; Schmidinger, Klaus (Hrsg.): Glauben denken. Zur philosophischen Durchdringung der Gottrede im 21. Jahrhundert. WBG, Darmstadt 2016, S. 61–81
  9. ^ Johannes Hoff: Die Rückkehr zur Realität: Freundschaft, Politik und Spiritualität in einem post-faktischen Zeitalter. In: Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio. Band 46, Nr. 3, S. 299–312.
  10. ^ Johannes Hoff: The Eclipse of Sacramental Realism in the Age of Reform. Re-thinking Luther's Gutenberg Galaxy in a Post-Digital Age. Hrsg.: New Blackfriars. 2018
  11. ^ The Eclipse of Sacramental Realism in the Age of Reform. Re-thinking Luther's Gutenberg Galaxy in a Post-Digital Age. In: New Blackfriars (2018), 248.
  12. ^ https://syndicate.network/symposia/theology/the-analogical-turn/ Online-symposium of the ‘Syndicate Theology’
  13. ^ Der Heilige Augustinus. Über die Erfindung des abendländischen Christentums in Afrika, in: DIE ZEIT Nr. 53 (‚Schlingensiefs Feuilleton’), 22/12/2009, 30-32. http://www.zeit.de/2009/53/Schlingensief-Christentum?page=all
  14. ^ Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Dante's Comedy and the Forgotten Truth of Apocalyptic Dreamworlds. In: Mara Ambrožič, Simon Njami (Ed.), The Di-vine Comedy Revisited by Contemporary African Artists (Berlin: Kerber Verlag 2014), 66-81.
  15. ^ 58. Die sich selbst zurücknehmende Inszenierung von Reden und Schweigen. Zur mystagogischen Rhetorik des Nikolaus von Kues. In: Meyer, Holt; Uffelmann, Dirk; ed.: Religion und Rhetorik. Entwicklungen und Paradoxien ihrer unvermeidlichen Allianz, Religionswissenschaft heute, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 2007, 222-236.
  16. ^ The Analogical Turn. Re-thinking Modernity with Nicholas of Cusa. Series ‘Interventions’. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids 2013,125-133.
  17. ^ Bürger, Künstler, Exorzisten. Wissenschaft, Kunst und Kult in den Spuren Hugo Balls, in: Kultur & Gespenster 13 (2012), 33-62.
  18. ^ Leben in Fülle. Schlingensiefs Dekonstruktion der (Post-)Moderne. In: Susanne Gaensheimer (Ed.), Deutscher Pavillon 2011. 54. Internationale Kusntaustellung La Biennale Di Venezia. Venedig: Kiwi 2011, pp.213-223.

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