"A filozófia a szépségnél végződik, a teológia a szépséggel kezdődik."
2016-ban elindul egy nagyszabású kutatási és PhD ösztöndíjas program, amely Órigenész nyugati recepcióját vizsgálja az emberi szabadság és méltóság fogalmát állítva a középpontba. Lentebb olvasható a program részletes leírása. 14 PhD hallgatói pozíciót hirdetnek meg hat egyetemen, különféle kutatási témákban. A Pécsi Egyházmegye Keresztény Örökség Kutatóintézete partnerszervezetként vesz részt a programban, gyakornokokat fogad és megrendezi az egész program zárókonferenciáját Pécsett.
A doktori hallgatók havi apanázsa az egyes egyetemektől (Prága, Kent, Münster, Halle-Wittenberg, Milánó, Aarhus) függ, de bárhova nyernek felvételt, mindenütt bőségesen elegendő lesz a megélhetéshez és a nyugodt munkavégzéshez.
A program honlapján egyre több információ fog megjelenni.
14 Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions are available within H2020 ITN-HHFDWC-676258 – The History of Human Freedom and Dignity in Western Civilization
The Marie Curie ITN HHFDWC (“The History of Human Freedom and Dignity in Western Civilization”) – a collaboration between 6 universities and 9 non-academic partner organizations across Europe – invites applications for 14 full-time, three-year Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions. The ITN offers an interdisciplinary environment and an innovative training program that allows the ESRs to obtain specialist knowledge of a specific research topic as well as transferable skills that can be used in non-academic institutions.
The research project will trace the historical roots and transformations of the modern conception of the human being and the human values of dignity and freedom, especially in theological and philosophical traditions. In modern western societies, the ideal human being has the right to think, believe, and express itself freely without fearing retribution and to be treated as an autonomous and dignified individual. But such a conception is not shared by all – and never was. Its long history has been formed through a continuous battle between two theological and philosophical traditions going back to Origen of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo, respectively. Origen saw humans as free, valuable, and dignified beings, while Augustine saw them as predestined, sinful, and bound to servitude. The project will continuously circle around this battle between the opposing negative and positive views on humanity that we can encounter in various contexts from antiquity to modern times. By unlocking the patterns of reception they, in turn, can be used as a hermeneutical key to understand later, modern debates of human freedom, free will, and dignity. Thereby, the project will raise awareness of how ancient philosophical and religious tenets still shape political, moral, and anthropological categories and modes of thinking as well as principles of human conduct.
Before initiating the program, eligible candidates must hold an internationally-recognized Master’s or an equivalent degree, which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, in theology, history, philosophy, classics, religious history, or a related field. They must have less than four years of research experience after their candidate degree. The selection committee will seek gender equality among the recruited ESRs, and researchers can be of any nationality. However, eligible candidates have not resided more than 12 of the last 36 months in the country where the PhD is located for which they apply. ESRs are required to undertake transnational mobility as they will complete secondments with one of the nine non-academic partners as well as at one of the other European universities. Applicants should demonstrate evidence of effective communication skills in English, both written and oral. See more on our website http://www.itn-humanfreedom.eu.
The candidates who are awarded a fellowship must commence their PhD degree program on August 1, 2016 at the latest. The salary will include social security and be composed of living and mobility allowances and a family allowance where appropriate, as outlined in the Marie-Curie Grant Agreement and Horizon 2020 – Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Work-Program 2014/15 (see
Applications for the PhD fellowships can only be submitted electronically via an application link on www.itn-humanfreedom.eu. Before submitting your application, please read more about the project on this website. The application system is open between October 19, 2015 and January 10, 2016.
One or more of the ESR positions can be applied for. Applicants must enclose a diploma or documentation for submitting his/her Master’s thesis (or equivalent) for assessment by the deadline for application and must have been awarded the degree before starting the program. Each application (even if more positions are applied for) must contain a two-page CV, proof of English language skills, a transcript of grades, a Master’s degree diploma (or equivalent) or evidence of its completion before initiating the program, as well as a project description not exceeding two A4 pages of 2,400 characters each. This description should include an explanation of your motivation for applying for this particular project and outline how the relevant research project is envisaged.
Deadline for applications: January 10, 2016 at 23.59 CET
Overview of PhD projects
In order to complete the project’s overall goals, the ITN invites applications for the following PhD projects (please find more information on our website http://www.itn-humanfreedom.eu):
The aim of this project is to distill which Origenian ideas of human freedom and related issues inspired Augustine (354-430), which of these he disagreed with, and in which of Augustine’s works such debates are found. The subproject will compare the terminology, philosophical and theological sources, as well as the whole philosophical and theological vision of freedom in both authors, and discuss the question of Augustine’s access to Origen’s works. It will also investigate to which extent and why Augustine eventually left Origen’s conceptions behind.
This project focuses on the early medieval period from Augustine to John Eriugena (810-877). It will explore how Origen’s ideas continued to have an impact in the aftermath of Augustine’s victorious writings, how his position fluctuated and developed in the centuries after his official condemnation in the 6th century, and how he, despite this, continued to inspire a number of early Western thinkers. The project will thus trace important milestones of Origen’s reception in the medieval period including thinkers such as Cassian, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Gregory the Great, Bede, Gottschalk, and Eriugena.
This research project focuses on the theological anthropology of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). Bernard was firmly embedded in the Augustinian theological tradition, but Origen’s ideas also seem to have influenced Bernard’s views on human freedom, e.g., via his optimistic Christology and doctrine of justification. The project thus aims, first, to detect the influences of Origen on Bernard’s anthropology. Second, it will distill the impact of Bernard’s theology on later debates.
This study focuses on the works of early modern theologians and philosophers, most notably Ficino and Pico as well as their followers, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Hieronymus Emser, and other prominent scholars of the early 16th century. Combining elements of Hermetism, Cabalism, and Natural Magic, these authors developed an innovative anthropological discourse, which clearly drew on and translated the works of Origen. The thesis of this subproject is that the radical Augustinian turn of Luther and his Wittenberg associates exemplified a contingent response to this stance of open receptivity to Origenism, Cabalism, and Hermetism which were founded on a more optimistic anthropology. It is important to interrogate the extent to which the conventional premise of the predominantly anti-scholastic leanings of Protestant reformers may be incorrect and thus in need of revision.
This project focuses on the so-called Cambridge Platonists and Latitudinarian Anglicans. The leading figures of this group were Cudworth, More, Whichcote, Smith, Rust, Glanvill, and Conway. At the core of their liberal philosophy was Origen’s notion of humans as beings endowed with absolute worth and incommensurable dignity, freely capable of moral self-determination and thus responsible for their own deeds and misdeeds. Based on this idea, they forged the first Anglican rational theology in the footsteps of Origenism and Platonism and thus turned out to be forerunners of the concept of human autonomy during the Enlightenment.
This research project will be a comprehensive study on the influence of the Origenian doctrines on the Dutch Arminianism. In particular, it will examine Le Clerc’s works, including the reviews and the articles of his encyclopedias, which allow us to shed light on Le Clerc’s Origenism and, at the same time, to clarify which role the Origenian doctrines of freedom and free will played in the opposition against the Calvinistic doctrines. Finally, the extent of his role in spreading the works of English Latitudinarians, to and over the continent will be analyzed.
This project seeks to explore the anthropological debates on human dignity and freedom in the vicinity of 1700 based on the scholarly networks that formed around Johanna Elenora (1644-1724) and her husband, Johann Wilhelm Petersen (1649-1727), who are generally described as Radical Pietists. The notion of apokatastasis, among others to have been borrowed from the theological teachings of Origen, had been introduced into these debates by the Petersens. Borrowing from the rationalist philosophy of Leibniz as well as from the Jewish and the Christian Cabala, at the same time, influenced by the theosophical currents as well as the early Pietism inaugurated by Philipp Jakob Spener in the Frankfurt environs, these debates provided an innovative counterpoint in the anthropological discourse of the prevailing confessional denominations.
This study explores the possible traces of Origen reception in Danish and German Pietistic devotional literature. The aim is to explore traces of influence from Origen’s thinking on human freedom and potential to develop the good in himself, in others, and in society. This will enable us to see whether there is a tension in Pietistic theology between the Lutheran rejection of human beings potential to do good and the Pietistic drive to contribute to religious, social, and educational enhancement. Moreover, in stark contrast to the learned treatises formulated by the Petersen couple, these writings were aimed at a more practical everyday use, e.g., to be read aloud during private devotions. Thus, it will shed light on the possible reception and use of Origen in a completely different milieu.
In exploring the theological and philosophical controversies of the 1770s, this project centers on the notions of apokatastasis and metempsychosis, as invoked by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), which can be traced back to Origenian debates. The controversies concerning reason and revelation, history and religion, as well as the anthropology of humankind played a crucial role in the formulation of the enlightened concepts of human autonomy and free will, which became highly influential in articulating a modern understanding of humanity. With Lessing as its point of departure, the project focuses on these debates in the second half of 18th century.
The aim of this subproject is to investigate the possible interconnections between Origenism, Pietism, and Kant’s religious philosophy. Kant’s main anthropological ideas as expressed within the metaphysical framework of his transcendental philosophy and in his Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft (1793) are in some traces surprisingly similar to those of Origen, but he never mentions him, and he has not read him. The aim of the project therefore is to study similarities as well as tensions and even contradictions between the idea of human freedom and dignity within the tradition of Origenism and Pietism on the one hand and within Kant’s religious philosophy of autonomy und human dignity on the other.
This research project investigates the reception of Origenian ideas in modern Catholic theology with a focus on the works of Jean Daniélou, Henri de Lubac, Teilhard de Chardin, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Karl Rahner. They employed Origenian ideas to create a theological anthropology compatible with the modern values of human freedom and dignity, conceiving for example – against Augustinian views – humans as essentially free, and punishment in hell as pangs of conscience nourished by the misdeeds and sins of each individual.
This project will focus on how, where, and to which degree the modern Protestant tradition has been inspired by Origen to argue for individual freedom and value by rejecting pre-determinism. The most important theologians to be investigated in this respect are Karl Barth, Eberhard Jüngel, and Jürgen Moltmann, but a number of other Protestants have followed in their footsteps. The project will also engage with the question whether the modern protestant embrace of the idea of universal salvation and the rejection of pre-determinism necessarily led to ideas of individual freedom, or if they were rather understood as a loss of freedom.
The project will focus on three cases: A and B) Two Muslim groups in Aarhus – a radical and a group of young graduates – whose views on predestination (qadar), the idea of Allah as omnipotent and omniscient (and its relation to the idea of his unity, Tawhid), and the importance of the idea of judgement day will be investigated and put in relation to the groups’ discourses and views on human freedom and dignity; C) A conservative Lutheran Christian community in Aarhus arguing for a concrete understanding of the Lutheran theology including the ideas about inherited sin, predestination, and unfree will. The project will use classical sociological theory and methods and be based mainly on qualitative interviews.
This research project will examine to which degree the values of individual freedom and dignity play a role for decision-making authorities in modern organizations. These values are sometimes implicit, and the project will therefore also focus on how they can be explicitly articulated. Moreover, the project will investigate the importance of free will for the creation of a feeling of personal worth in the workplace. It will be conducted in cooperation with a non-academic beneficiary, Etikos – a consultancy firm experienced in advising public and private organizations in human resource questions involving ethical issues.
For further information on the ITN project, please see www.itn-humanfreedom.eu, or contact the supervisors of each subproject (see above) or the network coordinator Birgitte Bøgh, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone + 45 87 16 25 01, or +45 50 56 54 66.