Han-luen Kantzer Komline is a PhD candidate in theology at the University of Notre Dame and Faculty Fellow for the academic year 2014-2015 at Western Theological Seminary. There she is teaching two sections of Church History I while she completes her dissertation on Augustine’s conception of will.
Though Augustine’s thinking on will is often treated as just one page in the story of the history of philosophy, her dissertation makes Augustine’s conception of will the subject of a story unto itself, a story with changes and chapters of its own that are vital to grasping the complexity of Augustine’s thinking on this topic. In fact, she argues, it is impossible to tell the story of Augustine’s thinking on will without reference to two further stories: the story of Augustine’s development as a thinker and the overarching story of redemption he finds in Christian scripture. As he matures, Augustine layers page upon page onto his conception of will. Ultimately, the Bishop of Hippo comes to believe that events like creation, fall, redemption and eschaton all have drastic consequences of how human willing works, and even what it “is.” This conviction still shapes us today.
Suzanne McDonald was born and raised in Australia. She has a B.A. and Masters in English Literature, and it was through studying literature that she came to faith. After working for the Red Cross in Australia and in local government administration in England, Professor McDonald studied theology at Cambridge University, earned her Ph.D. at St. Andrews University, and taught theology at the seminary in Cambridge before accepting the call to come to Calvin five years ago. She recently published the book, Re-Imaging Election: Divine Election as Representing God to Others and others to God.