Research Seminar - Teleology, Providence and the 'Death of God' in Wagner's Ring Cycle

B2 The Hemsley Building
Wednesday 19th October 2016 (16:00-17:30)
Thomas O'Loughlin
TRS seminars

Professor Richard Bell, University of Nottingham. 

Teleology, Providence and the ‘Death of God’ in Wagner’s Ring Cycle: A Study in the Composer’s Debt to G.W.F. Hegel

Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which comprises the operas The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods, could on one level be said to be G.W.F. Hegel set to music (and helps makes this philosopher/theologian of the stratosphere comprehensible by means of the musical and dramatic sequence). Wagner’s artwork presents a vast canvas of mythicized “world history” which, once comprehended, forms “the Golgotha of the Absolute Spirit.” This paper examines Wagner’s appropriation of Hegel’s philosophy and theology, and ends with a discussion of what “Death of God” actually means for the composer.

No prior knowledge of Wagner is necessary but here is the Ring of 15 hours compressed into 2½ minutes.

This is a free seminar and all are welcome.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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