cover of book

Contemplation and Kingdom
by Kevin Hart
St. Augustine's Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-58731-136-9
Library of Congress Classification BV5091.C7H378 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 248.34

This book rises out of Dr. Kevin Hart’s 2020 Aquinas Lecture at the University of Dallas. Contemplation and Kingdom seeks to retrieve aspects of Richard of St. Victor's treatment of contemplation, principally in De arca mystica, and does so by weighing Thomas Aquinas's reservations about this treatment in the Summa theologiæ. Is Aquinas right to object, as Augustine does in De Doctrina Christiana, that our contemplation should go directly to God and not be stalled in the consideration of the natural world? What relation is there between Jesus's preaching of the Kingdom and the contemplation of God? Is the contemplative life consistent with Jesus's injunction to love both God and neighbor? These are the principal questions considered in the book.

This book is vintage Hart, erudite, well written, a treat for a wide readership. It is an example of how theology ought to be done, with a clarity and depth unsurpassed in today’s scholarly world. Its blend of anglo-saxon elegance and continental insights will be praised in the Academy and outside. – Jean-Yves Lacoste, Clare Hall, Cambridge
In the light of great contemporary interest in contemplation, this brilliant and erudite work is a stunning example. The focus on Richard of St. Victor and Thomas Aquinas is especially appropriate. Theologians and philosophers will be especially thankful for Kevin Hart’s work on the actuality of contemplation. – David Tracy, University of Chicago 

Kevin Hart holds the Edwin B. Kyle Chair of Christian Theology at the University of Virginia where he is also Courtesy Professor of English and Courtesy Professor of French. In 2020 he was awarded the Aquinas Medal by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Dallas. His 2020 Étienne Gilson Lectures, given at L'Institut Catholique de Paris, offer a fresh approach to the theology of the imago dei in Augustine. His 2020 Gifford Lectures, given at Glasgow University, examine various questions to do with the theology of contemplation and propose a new "hermeneutics of contemplation." His most recent scholarly publications include Kingdoms of God and Poetry and Revelation, and his most recent collections of poetry are Wild Track: New and Selected Poems and Barefoot.

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