Being as an Image of Divine Love: Introducing Ferdinand Ulrich’s Homo Abyssus

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Being as an Image of Divine Love: Introducing Ferdinand Ulrich’s Homo Abyssus

April 5, 2019 - April 6, 2019

April 5 — 6, 2019
Keane Auditorium, McGivney Hall

In honor of the recent appearance of Homo Abyssus: The Drama of the Question of Being, the first translation of a major work by Ferdinand Ulrich into English, the John Paul II Institute at The Catholic University of America is hosting a two-day symposium, with scholars from around the world, to present the book to a broader audience.

As one of the most profound exemplars of Catholic philosophy in the twentieth-century, Homo Abyssus explores the meaning of being in the light of creation, itself illuminated by the central mysteries of the Christian faith.  Ulrich grounds his reflections in a speculative interpretation of Thomas Aquinas, which is fructified through a critical engagement with modern thought, above all that of Hegel and Heidegger.  The result is a philosophy which Hans Urs von Balthasar said “has one great advantage over all the other ontologies with which I am familiar: It stands in intimate contact with the mysteries of revelation, offers an access to them, and yet never abandons the strictly philosophical domain. In this sense, it overcomes the baneful dualism between philosophy and theology, and it does so perhaps more successfully than ever before.”

The symposium will offer an introduction to Ferdinand Ulrich, present some of the major themes of Homo Abyssus, assess the significance of his work in relation to major streams of thought in the twentieth century, and suggest what fruit it might bear in the future.

Friday, April 5
6:30 p.m. Check-in table opens
7:00 Keynote Address
Bishop Stefan Oster, SDB: “Ferdinand Ulrich as Teacher and Spiritual Father”
8:30 Reception
Saturday, April 6
8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast available
9:00 Themes from Homo Abyssus

  • Marine de la Tour, “The Light of Gift in Homo Abyssus
  • Martin Bieler, “Metaphysics as Re-Enactment”

Moderator: David L. Schindler

10:30 Break
11:00 Grace, Nature, and Man’s Onto-Dramatic Task

Moderator: Nicholas Healy

12:30 p.m. Lunch
2:00 Ulrich and Catholic Philosophy

  • Emmanuel Tourpe, “Ferdinand Ulrich and 20th Century Thomism”
  • John Betz, “Ulrich, Pryzwara, and Modern Catholic Thought”

Moderator: Adrian Walker

3:30 Break
4:00 Ulrich, Hegel, and Heidegger

Moderator: Michele Averchi

6:00 Closing Mass at the St. John Paul II National Shrine


Video Lectures from this event can be found below.


April 5, 2019
April 6, 2019
Event Category:

Ferdinand Ulrich as Teacher and Spiritual Father

YouTube video

The Light of Gift in Homo Abyssus

YouTube video

Metaphysics as Re-Enactment

YouTube video

Grace and Nature in Ulrich’s Anthropology

YouTube video

The Word as the Center of the Human Onto-Drama

YouTube video

Ferdinand Ulrich and 20th Century Thomism

YouTube video

Ulrich, Pryzwara, and Modern Catholic Thought

YouTube video

Ulrich and the Question of Ontotheology

YouTube video

Ulrich, Hegel, and God

YouTube video
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