Lösel and Reynolds Named Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology
Six scholars were selected on the basis of the strength of their proposals to conduct creative and innovation theological research. The Fellows will conduct research for a year and then present their findings at the annual Luce Fellows Conference and for publication in popular religious journals.
Associate Professor in the Practice of Systematic Theology Steffen Lösel’s project unearths the critical Catholicism in the main operatic works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Lösel plans to explore Mozart’s faith through a musical and textual analysis of anthropological, Christological, ethical, and eschatological themes. Lösel argues that Mozart’s Catholic and humanistic vision of society provides an alternative theological model for how divine grace and forgiveness are communicated to and reflected in the human sphere by all members of society, not just the clerical order.
Philip L. Reynolds, Aquinas Professor of Historical Theology, will explore Christian mystical theology in the western tradition. Reynolds defines mystical theology abstractly as a discourse that posits three phases: (1) a dedication to achieving an ultimate goal that is blocked by acknowledgement that the goal radically transcends human comprehension; (2) letting go (negation); (3) affirmative assimilation to the goal as a result of letting go: an assimilation that many medieval authors construe as an anticipation of ultimate beatitude.