Annual William Witherspoon Lecture - Listen Now!

by Joshua Mauldin

Dr. Andrea Hollingsworth (Boston University) gave the annual William Witherspoon Lecture on Theology and Science at CTI on Monday, May 4 in Luce Hall. Her lecture—titled “Nicholas of Cusa’s Mysticism in Theological & Scientific Perspective”—drew on research she undertook at CTI during the 2012-13 academic year, while a resident member of the Inquiry on Religious Experience and Moral Identity. 

Dr. Hollingsworth writes, 

For fifteenth century German Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, mystical theology was not just an intellectual exercise, it was a spiritual practice meant to evoke and shepherd transformation in the minds and hearts of readers. 

By surfacing the experiential texture of Cusa’s most famous mystical text, De visione Dei (1453), and interpreting that texture with an eye to neuropsychology, it becomes possible to trace ways in which the prayerful journey represented in this text may indeed have elicited profound transformation in the selves of readers via experience-dependent processes. Such a reading opens up new vistas of theological meaning in this classic treatise.