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Catch the EcoSpirit: Earth Day 2010

22nd April 2010

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, first christened by US Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970 to raise awareness of environmental issues and conservation. Since its inception, it’s become a global event, especially in recent years, when issues such as global warming have become crises of critical importance.

Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies of the Earth, edited by Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller, examines the increasing shift toward awareness, even as the intensity of environmental destruction continues. The essays in this volume posit that nothing short of an epic epiphany in global thinking can begin to reverse the damaging effects we’ve wreaked on the planet thus far. This change in thinking would involve the very overhaul of the way we practice religion and philosophy–what Ecospirit proposes is a shift so profound, it would challenge the very foundations of the way humans have talked about, written about, and studied the Earth for thousands of years. It’s a radical challenge, but a call to action we all need.

Also from Catherine Keller, and Chris Boesel, comes Apophatic Bodies: Negative Theology, Incarnation, and Relationality, a study of Apophatics, or the study of negative theology, in which God is described in what CANNOT be said about the divine. This volume pursues the unlikely conjunction of apophasis and the body, not for the cachet of the “cutting edge” but rather out of an ethical passion for the integrity of all creaturely bodies as they are caught up in various ideological mechanisms—religious, theological, political, economic—that threaten their dignity and material well-being.

New this Spring, Apophatic Bodies contributor Virginia Burrus has collaborated with Mark D. Jordan and Karmen MacKendrick on Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires, Confessions. Seducing Augustine analyzes the iconic Confessions, exploring religion and theology in a sexual context–a perspective not often tackled by critics. Often ambivalent but always passionately engaged, their readings of the Confessions center on four sets of intertwined themes—secrecy and confession, asceticism and eroticism, constraint and freedom, and time and eternity.

Discussion of the Earth and the environment has its roots in theology, philosophy, and human nature itself. Join the discourse with Fordham!