Developing a Planetary Ethic
Moving beyond identity politics while continuing to respect diverse entities and concerns, Whitney A. Bauman builds a planetary politics that better responds to the realities of a pluralistic world. Calling attention to the historical, political, and ecological influences shaping our understanding of nature, religion, humanity, and identity, Bauman collapses the boundaries separating male from female, biology from machine, human from more than human, and religion from science, encouraging readers to embrace hybridity and the inherent fluctuations of an open, evolving global community.
As he outlines his planetary ethic, Bauman concurrently develops an environmental ethic of movement that relies not on place but on the daily connections we make across the planet. He shows how both identity politics and environmental ethics fail to realize planetary politics and action, limited as they are by foundational modes of thought that create entire worlds out of their own logic. Introducing a postfoundational vision not rooted in the formal principles of "nature" or "God" and not based in the idea of human exceptionalism, Bauman draws on cutting-edge insights from queer, poststructural, and deconstructive theory and makes a major contribution to the study of religion, science, politics, and ecology.
A very impressive book; a visionary synthesis of the most important issues concerning the intersection of science, religion, politics, and philosophy. Bauman weaves a complex and powerful narrative in his constitution of a planetary community. Religion and Ecology is a unique contribution to a growing body of work that critically rethinks our ideas of nature to vitalize the possibilities of material and ecological thinking.
Clayton Crockett, University of Central Arkansas
Scholarship has needed this book for quite a while, one that boldly synthesizes new materialism, queer theory, ecology, and spirituality.
Tim Morton, Rice University
If I could send Obama, Xi Jinping, and Angela Merkel a book (and they would promise to study it), this would be it. These powerful politicians need to understand that their ethical obligations in the twenty-first century will not be toward globalized beings but rather planetary Being, that is, people, animals, and plants who perform their identities rather than submit to them. These are also Beings who know there is no certainty when it comes to performance because, as Bauman says, 'the only certainty is that when certainty is imposed on the world love is impossible and violence is inevitable.' This is a book philosophers, theologians, and scientists will debate for a very long time.
Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona and coautho,r with Gianni Vattimo, of Hermeneutic Communism
Any self-respecting earthling will love this book. Bauman invites us to the 'polyamoury of place' for a new powow of science, religion, and nature. His dazzlingly engaging investigation does not close in our possibilities; deftly subversive, queerly erudite, it does not just analyze, it activates our 'becoming with earth others.'
Catherine Keller, Drew University
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: The Emergence of Planetary Identities1. Religion and Science in Dialogue2. Destabilizing Nature: Natura Naturans, Emergence, and Evolution's Rainbow3. Destabilizing Religion: The Death of God, a Viable Agnosticism, and the Embrace of Polydoxy4. Destabilizing Identity: Beyond Identity Solipsism5. The Emergence of Ecoreligious Identities6. Developing Planetary Environmental Ethics: A Nomadic Polyamory of Place7. Challenging Human Exceptionalism: Human Becoming, Technology, Earth Others, and Planetary IdentitiesNotesGlossaryWorks CitedIndex
Read "Emergence of Planetary Identities," the introduction to Religion and Ecology: