Michael Hanby: Art and the New Totalitarianism
A number of recent thinkers have argued that the late modern West is entering into a new and subtle kind of totalitarianism characterized not by an absolute, authoritarian state but by a technocratic order which acknowledges no horizon beyond its own power, a totalitarianism predicated above all upon the denial of transcendence. In this lecture, Michael Hanby will explore the contours of this new totalitarianism, the importance of the Christian imagination, and the prophetic role of the arts in illuminating the transcendent horizon which is the ultimate source of human freedom.
About Michael Hanby
Michael Hanby is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Before joining the Institute in 2007 he was an Assistant Professor of Theology in the Honors College at Baylor University and the Associate Director of the Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning. He was also the Arthur J. Ennis Fellow in the Humanities at Villanova University. He has studied at the University of Colorado, Duke University, Cambridge University, and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Hanby has written in widely in the areas of systematic and philosophical theology, philosophy of science and biology, and political theory. He is the author of two books: the 2003 monograph Augustine and Modernity and most recently No God, No Science? Theology, Cosmology, Biology, which brings the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo into critical engagement with the metaphysics of modern science generally and with the Darwinian tradition of evolutionary biology specifically. His 2015 article in First Things, “The Civic Project of American Christianity,” was an important contribution to the ongoing debate about public significance of Christianity in America and the Church’s proper response to our changing cultural situation. His 2014 article in The Federalist, “The Brave New World of Same Sex Marriage”, brought together the current debate over the redefinition marriage and disconcerting trends in biotechnology in a new and explosive way, and generated significant attention and controversy. He articles have also appeared in academic journals such as Communio, Pro Ecclesia, Modern Theology, and Theology Today and in numerous edited volumes. He is also devoted to the renewal of Catholic education and is one of the creators of the St. Jerome educational plan, a philosophy of education and classical school blueprint that has attracted national attention.