Elisa Zocchi

PhD Fellow im EU-Projekt HHFDWC

Einrichtung: Seminar für Alte Kirchengeschichte
Projekt: "The History of Human Freedom and Dignity in Western Civilization"
Anschrift: Domplatz 23 | Raum 460 | D-48143 Münster
Telefon: +49 (0)251 83-22442
Telefax: +49 (0)251 83-25050 (Sekretariat)
E-Mail: zocchi AT uni-muenster DOT de


My name is Elisa Zocchi; I come from Italy, and I graduated in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan. Philosophical anthropology has always been my main interest. I wrote my Bachelor thesis (2013) on the Event in Heidegger’s thought and my Master thesis (2015) on the role of affectivity in his philosophy, with a special focus on the relation between moods and transcendence. I have studied for short periods in Germany and France; for my MA I spent a year at the Theology Faculty of Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.

My PhD project will explore the reception of Origenian ideas in modern Catholic theology, with a focus on Carl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar; some particular elements will be relevant in order to shape their anthropological vision and the compatibility with the modern values of human freedom and dignity.

I will set off from the idea of spiritual senses, present in both these authors, in order to understand how their consideration of human being develops from a particular knowledge theory. I will examine Rahner’s concept of Vorgriff aus esse, deeply related to Origen’s sensu spirituales, to understand their role in human dignity and the general role of sensibility and pre-comprehension. After examining Vorgriff as the necessary condition for an openness to transcendence, I will inquire the relation between transcendence and action, and so with freedom.

The spiritual senses are important also in von Balthasar theology, where they can be called the “fundamental anthropological element” for a divine revelation. I will also investigate the idea of mystery, deeply related to the concept of person, in order to find a connection between mystery and freedom, such as between incarnation and dignity.

The PhD project is entitled The reception of Origenian ideas in modern Catholic theology and falls under the supervision of Professor Dr. Dr. Alfons Fürst at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.