First Church in Middletown Anniversary Services

November 4, 2018: 350th Anniversary!

At 10am we are having Communion Service to honor ancestors and to shape our future and renown philosopher Dr. John Caputo as a special guest preaching “The Weakness of God.” At 4pm we are doing a Blessing of Middletown and hearing the World Premier of ‘Voices of Our Ancestors,’ a musical piece composed by Lee T. McQuillan to celebrate the 350 years of local church ministry with an element of historical repentance. All are welcome!

Bio for John D. Caputo

John D. Caputo, the Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus (Syracuse University) (2004-11) and the Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus (Villanova University) (1968-2004), writes and lectures in the area of postmodern theory and religion for both academic and general audiences. He is a hybrid philosopher/theologian who works in the area of what is called radical theology. Prof. Caputo has spearheaded a notion he calls “weak theology,” by which he means a “poetics” of the “event” that is harbored in the name (of) God, or that “insists” in the name (of) “God,” a notion that depends upon a reworking of the notions of event in Derrida to theological ends. In his major works he has argued that interpretation goes all the way down ( Radical Hermeneutics , 1987), that Derrida is a thinker to be reckoned with by theology ( The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida , 1997), that theology is best served by getting over its love affair with power and authority and embracing what Caputo calls, taking a phrase from St. Paul, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event (2006), which won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence in the category of constructive theology. In The Insistence of God: A Theology of Perhaps (2013), he argues that God does not exist, God insists, and that God’s existence depends upon us. He has also a special interest in addressing more general audiences in books like On Religion (1971), and What Would Jesus Deconstruct (2006).

His most recent work includes a book entitled Hermeneutics: Facts and Interpretation in the Age of Information (London: Penguin/Pelican, 2018), which argues that interpretation goes all the way down while resisting the idea of “alt-facts;” The Folly of God (2015), a philosophical-theological meditation that entertains the questions, “Does the Kingdom of God Need God?”; Truth (2013), which is part of the Penguin Books “Philosophy in Transit” series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. A Caputo Reader, a collection of his work from the early 1970s to the present, has recently appeared from Indiana University Press (2018).

Since retiring in 2011, in addition to his scholarly work, he’s been speaking to various church and community groups interested in a more progressive concept of religion.