A third book edited by Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy Dr. Bryan Wagoner is set to be released in 2022 as the 15th volume of the “International Yearbook for Tillich Research.” Wagoner, who returned from sabbatical in the fall semester, will also contribute an essay for the publication.
Paul Tillich (1886-1965), a German-American philosopher and theologian, has long been the focus of Wagoner’s research beginning with his doctoral studies at Harvard University.
For the upcoming work, Wagoner’s essay on refugees and human rights will employ some of Tillich’s concepts. The volume is tentatively titled “Liminal Spaces and Ethical Challenges/Grenzgebieten und ethische Herausforderungen” and reflects on ambiguous transitional moments in human consciousness and culture.
“In early 2020, the entire planet ground to a halt due to a deadly, invisible foe in COVID-19, leading to intertwined health, political, racial justice and economic crises,” Wagoner said. “People began to recognize again the deep layers of interconnection and interdependence amongst all beings, including our fragile ecosystem. While conflicts and natural disasters did not stop, immigration largely did, exacerbating an already tragic humanitarian crisis not seen since the end of World War II.
“Paul Tillich would have understood these overlapping challenges to be heralding a kairotic moment, reflecting simultaneous crises and opportunities,” Wagoner explained. “The upcoming volume will reflect on many of the ethical challenges precipitated by the kairos moment beginning in 2020.”
The “International Yearbook for Tillich Research” series, published by De Gruyter Press in Germany, provides a platform to present different ways of interpretation and reception of Tillich’s works. Wagoner served as an editor for the 2018 volume, which addressed Tillich’s key 1952 book “The Courage to Be,” and for the 2019/2020 volume, which highlighted the concepts of “Brokenness and Reconciliation” and was the focus of Wagoner’s sabbatical.
Each volume is published in German, French and English, with contributions from scholars on all six inhabited continents. As an editor, Wagoner collaborates with co-editors in Germany, Austria and Canada on themes, invited authors, disciplinary and linguistic balance, and volume coherence. He also solicits works that are sent for peer-review. Once the submissions are accepted, Wagoner edits all English-language essays, translates the English-language essays’ abstracts into German and French, and translates the abstracts of the German and French-language essays into English.
Wagoner is also working on translations and thematic annotated volumes on “Ethics and Philosophy of History” for the “Complete Works of Paul Tillich in English” project, to be published by De Gruyter Press in 2022 and 2024, respectively.
In addition to teaching at Davis & Elkins, Wagoner also serves as director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. He is the former president of the North American Paul Tillich Society and holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from Gordon College. He also is the author of “Prophetic Interruptions: Critical Theory, Emancipation, and Religion in Paul Tillich, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, 1929-1944.”