David Bentley Hart

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David Bentley Hart (born 1965) is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator.


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.

Awards and reception[edit]

On 27 May 2011, Hart's book Atheist Delusions was awarded the Michael Ramsey Prize in Theology.[2] Hart's latest book, The Experience of God, The Guardian called "the one theology book all atheists really should read".[3]


As a patristics scholar, Hart is especially concerned with the Greek tradition, with a particular emphasis on Sts. 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 tradition. His defense of the classical doctrine of divine apatheia, of the analogia entis, and other aspects of Christian 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 claims to be as suspicious of liberal capitalism as of centralized state socialism.[4]



  • 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. ^ "Winner of £10,000 Theology Prize Announced". The Archbishop of Canterbury. May 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Burkeman, Oliver. "The one theology book all atheists really should read". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  4. ^ David B. Hart (November 2010). "Anarcho-Monarchism". First Things. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 

External links[edit]