David Bentley Hart Rules: A Banner Year for Eclectic Orthodoxy

2018 was a banner year for Eclectic Orthodoxy, registering a 21% increase in views (hits) and a 20% increase in visitors! Total views: 424,340; total visitors: 158,714. This big increase, as we shall see, was largely due to the popularity of two pieces by David Bentley Hart, which he graciously allowed me to publish (thanks, David!). This also has the downside that if I’m unable to persuade Dr Hart to write something for Eclectic Orthodoxy in 2019, my viewing audience will no doubt drop precipitously. But that is all to the good.

Most popular articles:

1. “A Reply to N. T. Wright” by David Bentley Hart

The response generated by this article was simply astounding: 26,859 hits! To give you a comparison, the previously most popular article was published back in 2013, when I dared to comment on Pope Francis. That short piece got mentioned on Catholic social media and we had an explosion of hits—6,611. It was very strange and viewing quickly returned to normal. Since then the most popular articles each year have averaged around 2,000–3,000 views. And then DBH made his appearance—BOOM!

2. “Anent Gary Wills and the DBH Version

Total views: 3,453. No surprise here. David Hart rules!

3. “Apocatastasis: The Heresy That Never Was

This article was originally published back in 2015, but I decided to update and republish it. Bingo! Clearly folks are interested in the topic of the universalist hope, and not much has been written on the Fifth Ecumenical Council and its (alleged) repudiation of apocatastasis. It’s more complicated than what your parish priest has told you.

8. “How to Read the Bible from a Universalist Perspective” by Thomas Talbott

1,569 hits—I was delighted that Dr Talbott gave me permission to publish his article on biblical hermeneutics and the universalism. Everyone uncritically assumes that the Bible teaches everlasting damnation, clearly and plainly. They do not consider the possibility that the reason they think this is because they are reading the Scriptures through perditional glasses. Take off those glasses and things start looking very different.

9. “In Defense of Christian Platonism” by Alexander Earl

I am proud to have introduced to the world the young scholar Alexander Earl. Alex hit the top ten with this piece on Platonic metaphysics and Christian theology. Welcome to EO, Alex!

Of my own 2018 articles (none of which hit the top ten), I particularly enjoyed writing on divine creation in Tolkien and on St Dionysius the Areopagite (this series covered four months—sorry about that, folks).

In addition to Hart, Earl, and Talbott, several other guest writers graced the pages of Eclectic Orthodoxy, including Fr John Behr, Jonathan Geltner, Thomas Cothran, Christopher Ben Simpson, Henry KarlsonAlvin Rapien, Addison HartBrian Moore, Robert FortuinTom Belt, and Fr Jonathan Tobias. Thank you, gentlemen! You carried my blog on your shoulders this past year.

I want to thank you for your faithful support. Theological blogging (and hopefully mine qualifies, in some modest way) is nothing compared to the heyday of 10–15 years ago. It’s been replaced by Facebook and Twitter, which is really too bad. I am proud that Eclectic Orthodoxy has survived for over six years. I will be turning 67 later this month and have noticed a big drop in both energy and memory retention. But I intend to keep plugging away. I have also decided to try to write a journal article on the greater hope, which will no doubt compete with my blogging. We’ll see how it goes.

Special thanks again to David Bentley Hart for making this a banner year for Eclectic Orthodoxy!

I bid the blessings of our Lord upon you and yours in 2019.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Aidan Kimel

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4 Responses to David Bentley Hart Rules: A Banner Year for Eclectic Orthodoxy

  1. Aidan, thank you for a fine blog and a valuable resource! God’s keeping in the new year ahead.

    The Rev’d Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt
    Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation
    Director, The Rueben P. Job Institute for Spiritual Formation
    Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
    2121 Sheridan Road
    Evanston, IL 60201

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruce says:

    Yes, I agree with Rev’d Schmidt. Thank you for this valuable resource. You have broadened my horizons considerably.
    Pastor Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grant says:

    I would also like to say thank you for this blog Father Kimel, I don’t post that often but I’m a regular reader and this blog in particular has been so invaluable in my spiritual and theological journey over the last 3 (or is it 4, I can’t fully remember how long it’s been) years. For quite a while it was either one of or my only real source of Christian contact and spiritual nourishment as both my sense of God and theological paradigms have changed and perspectives have both shifted and become clearer, and was for many dark times in my mental life a true source of solace as well as learning and education.

    The love and compassion of God is here in this blog, in both your articles, your dedication, and your caring, for that as well as the articles themselves I’m am truly grateful (and I also really liked divine creation in Tolkien as a Tolkien fan even if it didn’t get the hits other articles did 🙂 ). Particularly as I don’t really do Facebook or Twitter, this blog as come to mean something special to me, so as long as it doesn’t cause you problems or becomes difficult, I hope it continues to endure for a good time to come.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Jack H says:

    This is the best resource for David Bentley Hart online, in my view. Most people who post here have respectful attitudes towards those that disagree with them.


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