Sean Hannan

As a Marty Center Junior Fellow this year, my goal is to make progress on a dissertation that will reflect not only my own research, but also the ongoing project of bringing that research to life through conversation with my colleagues.  Every doctoral student in the Divinity School aims to produce solid work that will make a difference in the scholarly community and beyond, but the Marty Center allows us to enter into that sense of community while we’re still in the process of writing and reflecting on our chosen themes.  That’s the main reason I’m excited to take part in the Marty Seminar and to be part of the Marty Center as a whole.
My own research focuses on the theme of “belatedness” in the writings of Augustine of Hippo.  I contend that this theme is what links Augustine’s philosophy of time to his theology of history.  In other words, I want to see how Augustine takes us from one basic question—“What is time?”—to a broader set of historical inquires, including “What time is it?” and “Where is time taking us?”  When it comes to all of these questions, Augustine argues, we have to contend with the fact that we are already caught up in time as we ask them.  That is to say: we always get around to interrogating time a little too late. 
Questions of time and history ask a lot of us, without a doubt, but I’m confident that the Marty Center will help me engage in a broader conversation—one that’s up to the task of pursuing such questions down to their solutions, however strange and surprising they might turn out to be.