October 2013‎ > ‎

5. Faculty Spotlight - Lambert Zuidervaart

Lambert Zuidervaart, BA (Dordt College), MPhil (Institute for Christian Studies), PhD (VU University, Amsterdam), is Professor of Philosophy at ICS as well as an Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty in Philosophy at the University of Toronto.

A recognized expert in critical theory, especially the work of Theodor Adorno, Lambert's teaching ranges across continental philosophy, hermeneutics, social philosophy, and philosophy of art, with an emphasis on Kant, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Habermas. He is currently developing a comprehensive and transformative conception of truth, in debate with prominent philosophers in both analytic and continental traditions. His most recent books include Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture (Cambridge UP, 2011), Social Philosophy after Adorno (Cambridge UP, 2007), and Artistic Truth: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Imaginative Disclosure (Cambridge UP, 2004).

Lambert has a busy schedule this fall as a graduate instructor and scholar. He is teaching two seminars at ICS: “Religion, Life, and Society,” an introduction to reformational philosophy; and “Theories of Language and Interpretation,” a study of three influential philosophers in the German, French, and Anglo-American traditions. Lambert also is helping organize the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy, held October 10-12, and co-hosted by ICS’s Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics (CPRSE) and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Lambert’s keynote lecture, titled “Husserl’s Conception of Truth,” will conclude the conference. This lecture arises from his work on a new book about what truth is and why it matters.

Lambert has two other book projects underway. He is the senior editor for a new collection of essays, titled Truth Matters: Knowledge, Politics, Ethics, Religion, that stems from a 2010 conference in Toronto co-sponsored by ICS, Calvin College, Dordt College, and the VU University Amsterdam. McGill-Queen’s University Press will publish the book in late 2013 or early 2014. The other book project is about topics in reformational thought. Working with ICS research assistant Sarah Hyland, Lambert plans to revise many of his essays from the past three decades and publish them as two volumes containing 15 chapters each.

Recently the American Philosophical Association (APA) invited Lambert to speak in a special symposium on Art and Social Theory at the APA’s annual Eastern Division meeting in Baltimore this December. The title of Lambert’s lecture is “Creating a Disturbance: Art, Social Ethics, and Relational Autonomy.” Lambert gave an earlier version of this talk at the Arts and Ethics conference hosted by Trinity Western University last fall.

Two substantial journal articles by Lambert will come out this fall. “Art, Religion, and the Sublime: After Hegel” will appear in The Owl of Minerva, published by the Hegel Society of America. This essay takes issue with the art historian James Elkins and shows why Hegel’s conception of the sublime is significant for interpreting contemporary artworks such as Terrence Malick’s film The Tree of Life. The other article, titled “Critical Transformations: Macrostructures, Religion, and Critique,” will appear in the new journal Critical Research on Religion. This essay offers a programmatic critique of religion—a critique both aimed at religion and inspired by religion in a self-critical fashion.