The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss ~ David Bentley Hart [Updated Aug 30, 2015]


Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.

Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.

Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists’ concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestos. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator, described by George Weigel as “one of America’s sharpest minds.” He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Duke Divinity School, Loyola College in Maryland, and Providence College.

David Bentley Hart: Being, Consciousness, Bliss: Beauty as Knowledge of God – Art Symposium 2013

Violence & Peace in Contemporary Art: Biola Art Symposium 2013. March 2, 2013.

David Bentley Hart, is an Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator, whose specialties include philosophical theology, patristics, and aesthetics. 
Hart has been published in various periodicals including, Pro Ecclesia, The Scottish Journal of Theology, First Things, and The New Criterion.

He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore. Hart is the author of seven books including Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Eerdmans, 2004), which has been lauded by The Christian Century as “one of the most brilliant works by an American theologian in the past ten years.” His two most recent books are The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (Eerdmans, 2011), and The Devil and Pierre Gernet: Stories, his first work of fiction (Eerdmans, 2012).

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David Bentley Hart – The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

David Bentley Hart, author of “The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss,” spoke on his book on Tuesday, March 25 at the Bonhoeffer House at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Hart’s lecture was sponsored by the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia (http://livedtheology.org).

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator.

From the publisher:
Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.

Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.

Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists’ concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.

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