David Bentley Hart

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David Bentley Hart, Ph.D., is a modern Orthodox theologian whose writing focuses mainly on humanities subjects, especially 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 in St. Paul, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore, and his specialties are philosophical theology and patristics. He completed his divinity school training at the University of Cambridge, and his graduate training at the University of Virginia. [1]


  • "...the beauty that perdures in the midst of the world's ceaseless becoming excites in the soul a longing for the infinite beauty that it reflects." ("The Mirror of the Infinite: Gregory of Nyssa on the Vestigia Trinitatis," p. 548)



  • That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation (2019) ISBN 978-0300246223
  • The New Testament: A Translation (2017) ISBN 978-0300186093
  • The Dream Child's Progress and Other Essays (2017) ISBN 978-1621382492
  • A Splendid Wickedness and Other Essays (2016) ISBN 978-0802872647
  • The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss (2013) ISBN 978-0300166842
  • The Devil and Pierre Gernet: Stories (2012) ISBN 978-0802817686
  • Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (2010) ISBN 978-0300164299
  • In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments (2008) ISBN 978-0802845733
  • The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith (2007) ISBN 978-1847241405
  • The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (2005) ISBN 978-0802829764
  • The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (2003) ISBN 978-0802812544

In his book The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth, Hart discusses the language of beauty, the Triune God, and Creation. He states that the Christian understanding of Creation as beauty and gift, as the outward expression of the delight the Trinity has in itself, reveals a vision of reality different from the pagan or fatalist vision of reality. In an effort to explain this latter vision and to elucidate the difference between it and the former, Hart contrasts the music of Richard Wagner (1813-1883), which he cites as an example of the pagan or fatalist vision of reality, with that of J. S. Bach (1685-1750), his example of the Christian vision of reality. Whereas Wagner's music has to end when and how it does, Bach's music contains infinite possibility and could have ended (if he had been immortal) in any number of fashions. Hart adds that Bach's music further demonstrates the Christian vision of reality in how it accounts for dissonance; the music makes room for it, he states, without degenerating into mere discord. [2]


  • "A Gift Exceeding Every Debt: An Eastern Orthodox Appreciation of Anselm's Cur Deus Homo" in Pro Ecclesia, Vol. VII, No. 3, pp. 333-348.
  • "Matter, Monism, and Narrative: An Essay on the Metaphysics of Paradise Lost" (Milton Quarterly, Winter 1996), pp. 16-27
  • "The Writing of the Kingdom: Thirty-Seven Aphorisms towards an Eschatology of the Text" (Modern Theology, Spring 2000), pp. 181-202
  • "Review Essay: on Catherine Pickstock's After Writing" (Pro Ecclesia, Summer 2000), 367-372
  • "The Whole Humanity: Gregory of Nyssa's critique of slavery in light of his eschatology" (Scottish Journal of Theology, Winter 2001), pp. 51-69
  • "Analogy" in the Elsevier Concise Encyclopaedia of Religion and Language (Elsevier Press, 2001)
  • "On Dabru Emet" (Pro Ecclesia, Winter 2002), 10-14; re-printed in Jews and Christians: People of God, eds. Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson (Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 185-190
  • "No Shadow of Turning: On Divine Impassibility" (Pro Ecclesia, Spring 2002), pp. 184-206
  • "The Mirror of the Infinite: Gregory of Nyssa and the Vestigia Trinitatis" (Modern Theology, Fall 2002), pp. 541-561; re-printed in Re-Thinking Gregory of Nyssa, ed. Sarah Coakley (Blackwell, 2003), pp. 111-131
  • "Thine Own of Thine Own: the Orthodox Understanding of Eucharistic Sacrifice" in Rediscovering the Eucharist: Ecumenical Conversations, ed. Roch A. Kereszty (Paulist Press, 2003), pp. 142-169
  • "The Bright Morning of the Soul: John of the Cross on Theosis" (Pro Ecclesia, Summer 2003), pp. 324-344
  • "The Offering of Names: Metaphysics, Nihilism, and Analogy", in Reason and the Reasons of Faith, eds. Reinhard Hütter and Paul J. Griffiths (T. & T. Clark, 2005), pp. 55-76
  • "God or Nothingness", in I Am the Lord Your God: Christian Reflections on the Ten Commandments, eds. Carl E. Braaten and Christopher Seitz (Eerdmans, 2005), pp. 55-76
  • "Beyond Reductionism" (review of Louis Dupré's Religious Mystery and Rational Reflection in First Things, Nov. 1998)
  • "Israel and the Nations" (review of Scott Bader-Saye's Church and Israel After Christendom in First Things, Sept. 2000)
  • Symposium on the Future of the Papacy (First Things, March 2001)
  • Review of Gianni Vattimo's Belief (The Journal of Religion, Spring 2001)
  • "Christ and Nothing" (First Things, Oct. 2003)
  • "A Most Partial Historian" (First Things, Dec. 2003)
  • "Sheer Extravagant Violence" (review of the new Modern Library edition of Nikolai Gogol's Taras Bulba, in First Things, Jan. 2004)
  • "Religion in America: ancient and modern" (The New Criterion, March 2004)
  • "An Orthodox Easter" (The Wall Street Journal, in "Houses of Worship", Friday April 9, 2004)
  • "When the Going Was Bad" (review of Evelyn Waugh's Waugh Abroad, in First Things, May 2004)
  • "Freedom and Decency" (First Things, June/July 2004)
  • "The Pornography Culture" (The New Atlantis, Summer 2004)
  • "Ecumenical War Councils" (Touchstone, November 2004)
  • "The Laughter of the Philosophers" (First Things, January 2005)
  • "Tremors of Doubt" (The Wall Street Journal, in "Houses of Worship", Friday December 31, 2004)
  • "Roland Redivivus" (review of C. S. Ross' complete translation of Matteo Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, in First Things, February 2005)
  • "Tsunami and Theodicy" (First Things, March 2005)
  • "The Soul of a Controversy" (The Wall Street Journal, in "Houses of Worship", Friday April 1, 2005)
  • Beyond Disbelief (The New Criterion June 2005): 78-81. A review of The Twilight of Atheism by Alister McGrath.
  • Introduction to The Justification of the Good: Essays on Moral Philosophy by Vladimir Solovyov, 2005.

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