John Milbank on the Influence of Russian Theological Thought

Here is a video of British theologian John Milbank lecturing in Moscow. So often, when we hear of Russia today, we do so in a very antagonistic manner, the depiction being that they are our political enemies here in the West. However, there has been a much more fruitful and constructive dialogue among Western and Eastern theologians who have sought to rediscover the richness of the Russian intellectual tradition, both in theology and philosophy, as a response to the emptiness of modern secularism.

John Milbank, one of my favorite theologians, is the founder of the Radical Orthodoxy movement, a 20th-century theological movement that restores a premodern theology, using Plato, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, while having the intellectual boldness and integrity to engage postmodern thought; it is a theological movement which hopes to re-frame and reclaim the world, and things which we have deemed “secular” – politics, sexuality, beauty, culture, art – from a theological perspective, knowing that everything has its origins in God. In this regard, many great thinkers in Russian theology and philosophy have much to offer as well: hence, Milbank’s decision to lecture in Moscow to further the dialogue.

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