David Bentley Hart

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David Bentley Hart (born 1965) is an Orthodox Christian philosophical theologian, cultural commentator and polemicist. Engaging heavily with classical, medieval and continental European philosophical systems as well as with Dharmic, Biblical and Patristic texts, his works have addressed topics ranging from ontology and comparative mythology to theological aesthetics and existentialism.


Hart earned his BA from the University of Maryland, MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and MA and PhD from the University of Virginia.[1] He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Maryland. He served as visiting professor at Providence College, where he also previously held the Robert J. Randall Chair in Christian Culture. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Hart was Danforth Chair at Saint Louis University in the Department of Theological Studies. In 2015, Hart was appointed as Templeton Fellow at the University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.[2]

Awards and reception[edit]

On 27 May 2011, Hart's book Atheist Delusions was awarded the Michael Ramsey Prize in Theology.[3] Hart's latest book, The Experience of God, The Guardian called "the one theology book all atheists really should read".[4]


As a Patristics scholar, Hart is especially concerned with the tradition of the Greek Fathers, with a particular emphasis on Ss. Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. His writings on such figures are distinctive in that they are not cast in the mold of typical patristics scholarship; Hart is quite willing, for instance, to use Maximus as a "corrective" to Martin Heidegger's "history of Being". The emphasis is very much on ideas and "deep readings", which seek to wrest from ancient texts insights that might fruitfully be brought into living contact with contemporary questions.

Hart's work is controversial in some respects,[citation needed] and he has his critics,[who?] particularly among Protestant thinkers in the Reformed theological school. His defense of the classical doctrine of divine apatheia, of the analogia entis, and other aspects of the Christian intellectual tradition are all worked out within the web of his own thought and elicit extensive debate.[citation needed] Issues of the Scottish Journal of Theology and New Blackfriars have devoted special space to his work.

As a cultural critic, Hart appears conservative in many respects, but his politics are difficult to define. On a number of occasions he has called himself an "anarchist monarchist", and he is frankly censorious of liberal capitalism.[5] In numerous public venues he has also described himself as close to being a Christian Marxist.



  • A Splendid Wickedness and Other Essays. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans: 2016.
  • The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss. New Haven: Yale University Press: 2013.
  • The Devil and Pierre Gernet: Stories. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans: 2012.
  • Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.
  • In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans: 2008.
  • The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith. London: Quercus: 2007.
  • The Doors of the Sea. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans: 2005.
  • The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans: 2003.


Book reviews[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "David Bentley Hart". The Berkley Center - Georgetown University. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "David Bentley Hart". Notre Dame - Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Winner of £10,000 Theology Prize Announced". The Archbishop of Canterbury. May 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Burkeman, Oliver. "The one theology book all atheists really should read". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  5. ^ David B. Hart (November 2010). "Anarcho-Monarchism". First Things. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 

External links[edit]